The Great Barrier Reef

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    The Great Barrier Reef

  • At First Sight

    At First Sight
    Louis De Bouganville was the first person that documented the land of the Great Barrier Reef. The Great Barrier reef is located off the coast of Queensland in northeast Australia.
  • Climate and Weather

    Climate and Weather
    The Great Barrier Reef has a tropical climate that consists of only two climates one being green and the other being dry. During the summer in the Great Barrier Reef the temeture ranges from 24 to 33 degrees Celesius and in the winter it is only 14-26 degrees Celesius.
  • Abiotic Factors

    Abiotic Factors
    *Temperature Cariation
    *Light Penetration
    *Gasess in Solution
  • Eukaryotic Species

    Eukaryotic Species
    Thirty species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises. 1500 fish species including clown fish, red bass, and several species of snapper and coral trout. 17 species of sea snake live in the Great Barrier Reef in warm waters up to 50 meters. 6 species of sea turtles come to the reef to breed. Saltwater crocodiles live in mangrove and salt marshes on the coast near the reef. Around 125 species of sharks and sting rays live on the reef. 215 species of birds visit the reef or nest on the islands.
  • Density Independent Factors

    Density Independent Factors
    Experiments involving removal of dominant species of damsel fish (Pomacentrus Wardi) in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia shows rates of increased species and survival of new species independent of density of adult fish on reef. Density of population of reef fishes maybe reduced by severe weather like storms, cold temperatures, predators or lack of enough larvae that can settle in coral reef.
  • Density Dependent Factors

    Density Dependent Factors
    • Operate more strongly when population is large and dense.
    • One example of density-dependent factor in Great Barrier Reef is the abundance of kelp.
    • Animals that live around the coral will slowly die out because of not having enough nutrients.
    • This also effects other parts of the food chain tremendously.
    • Diseases
  • Coral Bleaching

    Coral Bleaching
    Coral bleaching happenes when corals are stressed by changes in conditions (like temperature, light, or nutrients) and expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, causing the coral to turn completely white.
  • Threatened Species

    Threatened Species
    • 27 marine species listed as ‘vulnerable or endangered or critically endangered’ under the Australian and Queensland Government legislation.
    • Seven marine reptiles, six marine mammals, six sharks, and eight seabirds.
  • Coral Bleaching Level of Destruction

    Coral Bleaching Level of Destruction
    Up to 90% of the energy corals need to grow and reproduce comes from an algae called zooxanthallae. The zooxanthallae give the coral much of their color and when the relationship breaks down coral bleaching occurs. Some coral can ffe themselves, but most rely on the algae or they begin to starve. Coral reefs that have a high death of corals after coral bleaching may take years or decades to recover.
  • Limiting Factors/Resources

    Limiting Factors/Resources
    • In Coral Reefs the primary producers nutrients is a limiting factor, water around tropical coral reefs are relatively nutrient poor. In order to solve this problem corals developed a symbiotic relationship with microalgae called zooxanthellae.
    • Temperature can also be a limiting factor in coral reefs. The temperature cannot be less than 18-20 degrees Celsius. Most tropical coral reefs are found 30 degrees north and south of the Equator.
  • Biodiversity

    Home to thousands of coral and other invertebrate species including: bony fish, sharks, rays, marine mammals, marine turtles, sea snakes, seabirds, algae and other marine plants. Biodiversity also covers all the natural variation from genetic differences within species to variations across a habitat or whole ecosystem.
  • Coral Bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef

    Coral Bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef
    In 1998 there was a mass bleaching event where 50% of the coral suffered bleaching. The Great Barrier Reef had the highest temperatures ever recorded at this time.
  • Mass Coral Bleaching

    Mass Coral Bleaching
    Another mass bleaching event happened in 2002 where 60% of the coral was affected. Two periods of hot weather resulting in higher surface temperatures is what made the coral bleaching happen. This is the largest coral bleaching event on record
  • Pioneer Species

    Pioneer Species
    Plants- Microalgae there are over 600 species of microalgae recorded in the Great Barrier Reef. The different forms of Microalgae include turf algae, fleshy macroalgae and crustose coralline algae. Microalgae also cover many non-reef areas like the lagoon floor. Between 2005 and 2007 there was an increase in macroalgal cover in the Fitzroy area, partly because of Coral bleaching event that happened in 2006.
  • Pioneer Species Cont.

    Pioneer Species  Cont.
    In 2010 and 2011 declines in cover happened because of storm events and associated flooding of the Fitzroy river. To the disturbance of cyclone Yasi in 2011 there was a reduction in algal cover on inshore reefs in the central part of the Great Barrier Reef. Since 2011, cover of macroalgal increased again possible because of loss of coral cover from flooding created additional space of the growth of more macroalgal.
  • Carrying Capacities

    Carrying Capacities
    According to the Australian Government Great Barrier Marine Park Authority in December 2013, the visitation to the entire Marine Park was 2.09 million visitor days. In tourism carrying capacities does not have an exact number it is the decision 0of the park manager to decide when it gets to carrying capacity.
  • Food Chain

    Food Chain
    Interspecies Interactions:
    1. Commensalism- one organism benefits and the other is not affected.
    2. Mutualism- both organisms benefit from the assoociation.
    3. Parasitism- one organism benefits at the expense of the other.
    4. Predation- one organism benefits at the expense of the other.
    5. Competition- both organisms have the same needs or requirements.