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Week Eight Discussion Questions

Describe your local ecosystem or an ecosystem that is important to you, including its hierarchy of
interactions and its biodiversity. How is the ecosystem dependent on the biodiversity? Explain one
threat to that biodiversity.
Coral reefs are one of the most significant ecosystems in the world. The Australia’s Great Barrier Reef
is the biggest and most diverse. The largest system on earth composed of various life forms is this
1,200-mile-long connection of islands, which comprise of almost 2800 single reefs. The reef was
formulated through millions of generations of coral polyps that have established the reef layer by
layer of calcium carbonate. Within this calcium carbonate system, they established habitats for
themselves and also other various life forms. Every species developed together with the reef.
There are various distinct communications between life forms on the reef. Competition, predatorprey, mutualism, commensalism, parasitism are all kinds of connections that can be present on reefs
and in other ecosystems.
Competition can be among members of various species or between members of a sole species. This
is when life forms fight with each other for inadequate supplies such as food, shelter, and partners.
This kind of connection is extremely ordinary and is pursued by the predator-prey relationship. The
life forms search for other life forms for food. The mixture of the demands from competition and
predator-prey relationship help steer the species of the reef develop. Prey species improve at
escaping predators and predators possess skills to improve in catching their prey.
Commensalism and mutualism are two same symbiotic relationships. Compared to predation or
parasitism, these kinds of relationship are safe to both species, helping at least one of the species
involved. Through time, commensalism or mutualism species may develop to become more effective
in their supportive relationships. For instance, a host species, similar to sea anemones may develop a
habitat that is more appropriate for the life forms that live with it, like clown fish. In response, its
partner species will be more fruitful and profit its host.
Reef obliteration is the largest danger to the biodiversity of the ecosystem. This comes in the kinds of
leisure activities of humans, unawareness of the implications of touching and troubling the coral,
and pollutants enabling the coral ecosystem uninhabitable.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/survival/coral/
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/features/00/earthpulse/reef/reef1_flash.html

Are all threats to biodiversity caused by humans?
Some of the dangers to biodiversity are due to humans still there are a small number of natural
calamities that sources some primary dangers. For instance, a volcano eruption can eradicate the species
in a given place, however eruptions are not originated from humans. Similar goes for earthquakes, title
waves and other incident that are not caused or controlled by human deeds. There are also examples
when destruction of one species will cause a species that is dependent on it to also be extinguished.
Seldom primary specie is hurt by human species, but other instances it may be an unlucky event like a
viral new disease.
Some of the dangers to biodiversity are initiated by humans and have effects that are more destructible
and long-term than natural harms.
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