Ecosystem Food Web

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by Nikesh07
Last updated 5 years ago

Environmental Studies

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Ecosystem Food Web

Food Web of Saguaro National Park

When most people think of the desert, they think of a desolate, harsh climate in where nothing grows. That idea of the desert could not be farther from the truth when describing the evironment of Saguaro National Park.Saguaro National park is actually relatively luscious and diverse in wildlife when compared to other deserts, although it is still in a very arid climate. Saguaro National Park is adjacent to the city of Tuscon, AZ, and is located at precisely (32.25°N, 110.5°W). Although very green and full of biological action, the average temprature in Saguaro National Park duringthe summer months is 107.5°F and an average of 65°F during the winter. Water is a very scarce resource in Saguaro National Park,with less than 12 inches of precipitation falling every year, although all campgrounds are situated near a small body of water. Saguaro NationalPark varies in elevation, with the lowest point being the desert floor, which is around 2,200 ft. above sea level, and the highest point is at Mica Mountain which is at 8,666 ft. above sea level. That is a rough explanation of the climate of Sagauaro National Park.

Works Cited

Saguaro National ParkBy Nick Mishra

There are many ways humans have impacted Saguaro National Park.One of the main reasons how Saguaro National Park is being affected is that since it is situated next to Tuscon, Arizona, a city with a rapidly growing population. This is a major contributing factor for two of the park's main issues: air pollution and congestion. Airplanes and cars are causing air pollution in the park every day; in 2002, out of the 3.43 million visitors to the park, 2.82 million were "commuters"-that is, their visits to the park were not truly visits, but simply used as a shortcut to Tuscon. This large number of commuters, along with the large number of planes and ultralight aircraft, creates a lot of air pollution, which redues the aesthetic as well as the ecological attraction of the park. Also, Saguaro National Park is often congested, with visitor centers jam-packed with people, parking lots filed to the limit with oversized vehicles such as RV's and trucks, and roads that are designed for viewing of the park through car windows are now not only filled with cars, but also pedestrians, wildlife watchers, and cyclist's. This congestion heavily effects the park's natural ecosystem and most of the wildlife are directly affected by this issue, sometimes even losing their lives to poachers and careless visitors alike.

Click HERE for a video of Saguaro National Park

Limiting Factors


There are three main limiting factors in Saguaro National Park. Space is a major limitng factor in the desert, since most of the perimeter of Saguaro National Park is surrounded by Tuscon, Arizona, which means less space for wildlife to move around, therefore leading to more competition between organisms. Another big limiting factor in Saguaro National Park is the lack of water. Water is a VERY scarce resource in the desert, and especially Saguaro National Park. The only parts of the park that have a continuous supply of water are the campgrounds, and even then, visitors only have a certain limit to the water they can use. A major, albeit suprising limiting factor is the wind. Although this may have never occured to you, with no trees or large shrubs to block wind, heavy gales can become annoying in the desert, and potentially lethal to animals, which have restricted amounts of activity time when it becomes windy.

Click HERE for a map of Saguaro National Park

The Lesser long-nosed bat, or Mexican lon-nosed bat, is one of the endangered animals in Saguaro National Park.

Abiotic Factors

There are many abiotic factors in Saguaro National Park, but not all of them are as important as the ones I am going to describe here. First, let me explain what an abiotic facto is. According to Biology Online, an abiotic factor is " a non-living chemical or physical factor in the envioronment..." Sunlight is one of the main abiotic factors in the Saguaro National Park ecosystem. Sunlight is the catalyst that either directly or indirectly provides energy or nourishment fo all organisms in the desert, which makes it by far one of the most important abiotic factors in Saguaro National Park. Another abiotic factor in Saguaro National Park is water. Although rare, water plays a pivotal role in the Saguaro National Park ecosystem. Without water, plants wouldn't be able to grow, and for animals like the kangaroo rat, who get their hydration and nutrients from plants, a lack of water could be disastrous. The last main abiotic factor in Saguaro National Park is temprature. Though not nearly as important as the previous two factors, a drastic change in temprature could have a negative affect on the ecosystem of Saguaro National Park. Let's say, for instance, the average temprature in Saguaro national Park fell 10°. Since the organisms in Saguaro National Park are adapted to a generally hot enviornment, even this small temprature change could be harmful for wildlife.

Fun Fact

Human Impact

The Editors of Encyclopedia Brittanica. Encyclopedia Britannica. N.d. Enclyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.NPS. Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Lepus Californicus). N.d. Photograph. National Park Service, Alpine, Texas.NPS. Prickly Pear Cactus in Bloom. N.d. Photograph. National Park Service, New York, New York. National Park Service. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.Oxford Scholarship. "Oxford Scholarship." Oxford Scholarship. Oxford UP, 2013. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.Saguaro National Park. Dir. 58NationalParks. Youtube. Youtube, 28 Nov. 2012. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.Tammemagi, Hans. "Sonoran Desert at the Forefront of Geotourism." Editorial. E-The Environmental Magazine. 30 Apr. 2007: n. pag. E-The Environmental Magazine. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.Uhler, John W. "Saguaro National Park Information Page." Saguaro National Park Information Page. Hillclimb Media, 2007. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.Ward, David. "Abiotic Factors." The Biology of Deserts. N.p.: University, n.d. 11-20. The Biology of Habitats. University Press Online. Web. 11 Dec. 2013.

Symbiotic Relations

Commensalism- The creosote bush and the kangaroo rat live in commensalism. The creosote bush provides shade for the kangaroo rat, but it does not gain anything.Parasitism- The kangaroo rat and fleas live in a state of parasitism. When the flea bites the kangaroo rat, it gains nutrients, but the kangaroo rat loses blood.Mutualism- The Long-tounged bat and the prickly pear cactus live in mutualism. The Long-touged bat gains nutrients from the cactus and the bat pollinates for the cactus in return.


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