ECOLOGY




This is the Ecosystem Project, and our imaginary ecosystem: Perfect World. Hopefully, after reading through our project you can notice all the relationships between the organisms present in the tropical rain forest. Here is our Ecosystem outline, and our EIR.
Ecosystem: PerfectWorld
Here is the powerpoint of our ecosystem:

PRODUCER: SPIKED MAIDEN PLANT

i. Range: Scattered throughout the tropical rain forest in PerfectWorld
ii. Population Size: Large
iii. Reproduction: Self pollination, flowers around summer and beginning of fall
iv. Nutrition:
A) Autotroph
B) Eaten by Hunter Frog (seeds), Dinosaurs (outer layer), Giant Spider (outer layer)
v. Sensitivity: Needs proper amounts of sunlight, adept minerals in soil, and the spikes must be fortified by nutrients, to ensure that the Northern Spiked plant’s defense mechanisms are functional. Once, an organism comes in contact with the Northern Spiked plant, the spikes of this plant inverts to the outside, and the creature will be harmed. This is so the plant can defend itself.
vi. Human use: Medicinal soups and various foods (roots), roofing material (stem), explosive demolition (seeds). The seeds are explosive, and it takes a numerous amount of these seeds to cause harm in a small-designated radius around these plants. However, this explosion from the seeds is only triggered when the seeds are forcibly opened. Only the Hunter Frog has an interior stomach capable to withstand the explosion from the seeds, and still obtain essential nutrients towards its survival. The premature seed within the explosive seed after the explosion is planted into the ground. However, it is planted in the radius of the explosion, which makes it vulnerable to consumers.
vii. Climate: High temperatures, warm and sunny autumns, foggy environment, and high humidity.
viii. Surface: Lives on the forest floor, and some elevated areas.


PRODUCER: ARMORED TREE
i. Range: Scattered throughout the tropical rain forest.
ii. Population size: Large
iii. Reproduction: Pollinated with the help of the wind. This tree contains branches that are hollow, and contain seeds inside of then. During the winter, the branches fall off, and expose the seeds to the environment. The seeds are carried by the winds to other locations in the rain forest, and may successfully be planted into the ground. If the seed is not successful in being planted into the soil properly, it will most likely be consumed.
iv. Nutrition:
A) Autotroph
B) Eaten by Hunter Frog (seeds)
v. Sensitivity: High velocity winds propelling the seeds, which can possibly damage the seeds. However, it may also successfully plant the seeds into the ground, to promote growth. These trees are sensitive to low light, and therefore they extend out from the canopy. They need as much sunlight as possible within their given area, and many minerals and nutrients from the soil.
vi. Human Use: Music flutes (branches), Armor, weapons, shields, material for houses (Bark), Herbs (leaves), Paint, Pigments (roots). The roots are crushed, and produce various pigments, which can be utilized in painting. The color of the pigments in the roots depends on the level of minerals and nutrients provided to the Armored Tree. This allows many various colored pigments.
vii. Climate: High temperatures, warm and sunny summers, cool autumn
viii. Surface: Around the rain forest, trees extend through the canopy layer, which allows them to obtain the most sunlight.


CONSUMER: HUNTER FROG

i. Range: Scattered throughout the rain forest, especially in dense, foggy areas.
ii. Population Size: Moderate
iii. Reproduction: Males fertilize the eggs produced by the females, externally. Other aspects are low birthrate, no extensive caring for young. These hunter frogs produce few young, but are able to keep their populations leveled, due to a decrease in the death rate. They are adapted to escaping quickly from their predators, and are very agile.
iv. Nutrition
A) The seeds from the Spiked Maiden Plant (Expandable stomach to consume the explosive seeds, the stomach is capable to withstand the blast). Also the Hunter Frogs consume seeds from the hollow branches of the Armored Tree, other plants and their seeds. They are able to consume the seeds from the Armored Tree, due to their long tongues, which can fit into the hollow branches.
B) Are eaten by Dinosaurs, Giant Spiders. The Hunter Frogs are agile, but populations are kept relatively constant due to these predators. Dinosaurs and Giant Spiders prefer Hunter frogs better than other small organisms, and plants.
v. Sensitivity: High levels of toxicity, sudden temperature changes, and eggs are sensitive to temperature extremes; adult frogs are extremely agile, while younger frogs are prone to predation (The development of the legs end around the first year).
vi. Human Use: Long tongue is utilized in foods and cooking, eggs (delicacy), and other parts are inedible. Utilized for dissection for studying the anatomy of these creatures, whose anatomy is similar to several other species in PerfectWorld.
vii. Climate: Warm and moist areas, areas with plenty of water.
viii. Surface: Amphibious, lives near water.


CONSUMER: PRIMARAPTOR

i. Range: Scattered throughout the outskirts of the rain forest.
ii. Population Size: Moderate
iii. Reproduction: Internal fertilization, extensive care for the young, the male and female usually tend to stay together, along with the young to obtain prey faster. These primaraptors fight in packs, which allows them to take down bigger animals, which can give them enough food to survive an extended duration of time.
iv. Nutrition
A) Hunter Frog, seeds from the Armored Tree, and the outer layer from the Spiked Maiden plant. These dinosaurs fight in packs, and are able to take down the Hunter Frog, and other medium sized organisms. The primaraptors have a sharp hind nail, which is capable of eviscerating their prey. Their snouts are long, which are able to reach into hollow areas containing sources of food.
B) Are eaten by Giant Spider (by trapping it into their webs, or through poison). These dinosaurs are able to avoid danger, however the giant spiders cover a vast range, which overlaps the regions where the primaraptors reside. Thus, the giant spiders prey on the dinosaurs.
v. Sensitivity: Loud sounds in the environment, salinity changes (in areas near water)
vi. Human Use: Writing utensils, weapons (claws), skin (clothing), decorations, necklaces, trinkets (teeth), and soup (tail).
vii. Climate: cool winters, warm and sunny summers.
viii. Surface: Land, no capability of swimming



CONSUMER: GIANT SPIDER

i. Range: Centered around moist areas, and dark caves
ii. Population Size: Small
iii. Reproduction: Sexual Reproduction, Females lay eggs in batches wrapped in silken egg sacs. This sac is placed in a safe area, usually a cave. The offspring receive care and assistance.
iv. Nutrition:
A) Hunter Frog, seeds from the Armored Tree, outer layer from the Spiked Maiden plant, and primaraptors. These spiders capture their prey by utilizing strong webs to capture them, and utilize poisons to kill them. They allow the offspring to obtain nourishment by feeding on the prey. It consumes almost any organism, which falls prey to the sticky web. It is able to consume its prey quickly with the usage of the poison, and spider web.
B) Top level predator
v. Sensitivity: Light, fire, Amount of Spiked plants (The giant spiders need the stem from these plants to produce a strong spider web, to ensure the entrapment of prey).
vi. Human Use: Expensive style clothing (web), medicinal uses (poison)
vii. Climate Cool summers, and moderate winters.
viii. Surface: Forest floor, top of the trees.




DECOMPOSER: LAS PLAGAS
i. Range: Soil throughout the rain forest.
ii. Population Size: Large
iii. Reproduction: Asexual Reproduction, hermaphroditic, no care of young.
iv. Nutrition
A) Eats dead organic matter
B) Eats anything and everything, when it is dead.
v. Sensitivity: Sensitivity to temperature changes, light, and high levels of nutrients and minerals in soil can adversely affect the Las Plagas.
vi. Human use: It is possible to train these parasites to decompose the Hunter frogs, and primaraptors, and utilize the nutrients derived from these processes of decomposition, to aid in farming. It is possible to use these nutrients elsewhere in areas of farming, to improve farming methods on PerfectWorld.
vii. Climate: Warm temperatures, and moist environments
viii. Surface: Flat ground, under rocks, forest floor, and soil.


EIR:

ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE:
A gravid (pregnant) Blood Anaconda is introduced into the rain forest. The Anaconda consumes giant spiders, and hunter frogs. Due to its inconsistency and size, reproduction is rare. Anacondas will consume all the high levels of toxicity contained within the bodies of the other consumers, which will adversely affect other organisms in the rain forest. As the saliva of the python and blood drips from the mouth, it has a high level of toxicity. This can cause a paralysis effect, which can allow the anaconda to quickly swallow its prey. Plants will also be damaged by the saliva, which can even kill the plants, or other organisms in the path of the anacondas.

IMPACT ON SPECIES:
Extinct: There is a possibility that the Hunter frog, and Giant Spider species may become extinct, but it would not be evident over a small time period. However, these animals will certainly be endangered, which arises the possibility of extinction in the near future.

Endangered:
Hunter Frogs: They are constantly being consumed by these newly introduced species.

Giant Spider: They are constantly being consumed by the newly introduced Blood Anacondas. This will lower their populations, and endanger them.

Threatened:
Primaraptors: These dinosaurs will lose their food source concerning Hunter frogs, even though the primaraptors can consume other small organisms. They lose several food sources previously available to them.

Spiked Maiden Plant: These plants will be threatened due to the saliva and blood of the Anaconda dripping from its mouth, which has the potential of harming these plants. Also the wide radius of these snakes can potentially crush all plants, and organisms underneath its weight. Therefore, these plants will be constantly crushed, and its protective scales can withstand the explosive seeds as well. Thus, these plants will become threatened, through the introduction of this new species.

No Change:

Las Plagas: There will be plenty of dead organisms for the Plagas to eat. The decomposers will face no change from the introduction of these species.


Increased:

Armored Tree: Since the forest has fewer predators, predators do not consume the seeds contained in the hollow branches readily. These seeds will be consumed less, and thus there are chances of an increased amount of Armored trees in the near future.

Blood Anacondas: Despite its size, the forest is full of food, which allows more reproductive opportunities. Therefore, once reproduction would occur, there are fewer predators, that can harm the offspring. Thus, these blood anacondas will certainly increase, because all the factors in the environment are in their favor.

MITIGATION:

Prevent entry of the Blood Anaconda:
Prevent, or at least delay entry of this dangerous creature. Recommended practices include:
It is possible to utilize land mines, which will upset the rain forest, as an attempt to destroy the anacondas. These land mines will destroy the habitat of the rain forest, which is something, which should be put into consideration. Most likely, this will tend to be a last resort method to try to exterminate these invasive species, from committing further harm to the rain forest. Anacondas should be attracted to the outskirts of the forest, through baiting methods. This will potentially minimize the damage, which the rainforest will face from the land mines.

Population control for the Blood Anacondas:
If entry is not preventable, then other methods must be devised to limit the population of Blood Anacondas. For example:

Destroy eggs: It is essential to destroy the eggs of the Blood Anaconda to prevent the population of these dangerous species from increasing. By destroying the eggs, only the surviving Anacondas would live in the rain forest. Through the use of traps, and weapons it is possible to eliminate those anacondas as well. This can greatly limit the population, or possible destroy these invasive species from the rain forest.

Traps, Weapons: It is possible to kill the Blood Anacondas by utilizing various traps to keep them contained in an specific area, before they can be eradicated by humans. Various weapons utilized by humans can also aid in trying to destroy these anacondas. This would depend solely on the population of the Blood Anacondas. If the population is out of control, this method of population control may be inefficient.