Interdependence of life: Aquatic ecosystems

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by OnlyMahad
Last updated 5 years ago

Discipline:
Science
Subject:
Ecosystems
Grade:
10

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Interdependence of life: Aquatic ecosystems

Note: A snapping turtle actually may not be able to capture and eat a crayfish that easily; crayfish are very fast swimmers and are difficult for a turtle to catch, but this is a valid possibility on the food web!

Now lets look at a rather more amphibious critter in this ecosystem, found in rivers and brooks. Crayfish, particularly small in size, are omnivorous scavengers that eat dead insects and fish, worms, algae, and debris at the bottom of lakes and whatever water bodies they reside in. These organisms dietary properties classify them as detrivores. Unfortunately for them however, they are food for a variety of other organisms such as other large fish, birds, alligators, and minks. This organimsm's niche could be classified as a consumer in the environent, and a source of food for others, all followin gth food web.

Mahad's Glog: Interdependence of Life

Learning about the Mink, Duckweed, Crayfish, and Snapping turtle

Mink: Consumer, carnivore

Although minks are mammals, they still contribute and perform symbiosis frequently in aquatic and water surrounded ecosystems. Just a little smaller in size and weight than a ferrets, minks are strict carnivores (consumers) found in most moist areas of North America. The mink's appetite consists of small mammals, various types of small fish, and crayfish, hence the connection to aquatic ecosystems. What minks are conusmed by however, does not have as much of a connection to aquatic environments: Minks are eaten by typical ferocious predators such as lions, tigers, and foxes. Minks also have parsites like ticks, fleas, and mosquitos that live off them, as do a lot of other mammals. The mink's niche, being a part of the weasel family, is being a hunter, killer, and consumer of various orgainisms in its environment.

And their niches in an aquatic ecosystem

Snpping turtles are quite harsh consumers, living in aquatic habitats covered with mud and algae, that will eat just about anything in this type of ecosystem: aquatic plants, fish, frogs and tadpoles, salamanders, insects, snails, leeches, worms, snakes, small mammals, and baby ducks and goslings. They will also eat carrion (dead animals) (http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/common_snapping_turtle.htm). Though this organism does eat a few types of dead animals, it is not necessarily classified at a detrivore, because it is only a small part of it's appetite. Not many animals consume snapping turtles, but there are a few such as: Other large turtles, birds, snakes, racoons, and large fish. This turtle's position on the food web relatively high, but there certainly are a few organisms that eat them.

Duckweeds, "Water lens" are very small plants that float on water, obviously residing in wetlands and ponds. Many birds, and fish, especially ducks, as suggested by the name, consume this plant. Duckweeds are producers and autotrophs, making food for themselves and releasing oxgen into the atmosphere. Duckweeds have a rather important niche in most aquatic ecosystems, first off obviously since they are producers and use photosynthesis to give off oxygen for mammals and other organisms, and also for other environmental aids such as serving as aquatic shelter for certain animals.

How is a mammal a part of an aquatic ecosystem? Does this make the ecosystem diverse? Does this make some of the organisms endangered? What we can take fromm the description of the mink, is that it does symbiosize with crayfish and other small fish in this environment. It is assumable that minks are not necessarily a part of the aquatic ecosystem, but they do take from it, therefore making them a part of the food web. A thought is that this overlapping happens often between ecosystems; different animal groups and types interact with others, overlapping and contributing to different ecosystems.

This ecosystem apparently has a lot of different types of organisms, including reptiles, mammals, amphibians, and producer plants. Now are all ecosystems this diverse? Notice that this environment is a completely balanced, working aquatic ecosystem with plenty of benefits and working relations/processes of nature. It can be observed that this is all true despite the types of organisms in the ecosystem. This can actually completely alter one's logic of what certain ecosystems are necessarily made of. Typically, one would suggest that the aquatic ecosystem would be all fish, tadpoles, frogs, birds, etc. Basically theme-based animals, referring to the setting of the ecosystem. What this new idea suggests is that the core of ecosystems is actually the plants and organisms relationships and simbioses, rather than what the types of organisms actually are.

So wait, now there's a reptile involved? Wow! This really is a diverse ecosystem! Are all ecosystems like this? What would it be like if it didn't have this many different types of animals? Take for example, a completely amphibious ecosystem. Would it be the same? Would it be different? How different would it be?

Crayfish : Omnovoric scavenger, detrivore

Snapping turtle: Consumer

Duckweed: Producer plant

Press play!

Why are specifically just crayfish listed in the minks diet? Also listed there were "other small fish". So what connections can we make with this? There is most likely more than just one mammal that interacts with this ecosystem, so what do they eat? Do they eat duckweed? Snapping turtles? The food web and the overlapping of ecosystems seems infinite when you think about it sometimes.

Since we know that a lot of critters and animals eat duckweed, and the snapping turtles eats just about anything of reasonable size and location, can't we connect that snapping turtles eat duckweed? How many more of these connections can we make? The foodweb seems endless sometimes!


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