landscape of south Florida
1. Describe how the landscape of south Florida is related to glaciation.
The land of South Florida is related to glaciation because of its adaptation to the ‘glacial period’ which occurred seventeen thousand years ago. This period brought about a “warming trend” and resulted in masses of ice melting and turning into water. The changes within these stages resulted in climate changes within these periods and are called “interglacial periods” where the atmosphere warms up and the sea level rises (due to melting ice).
2. Describe and explain the various human impacts on the Everglades.
During the early 20th century, Dredging and Draining had an impact on the Everglades and were caused by humans. This is the removal of waterways (and their contents) to expand fertile land for farming and planting. The removal of these waterways was done without any formal research and ultimately resulted in the loss of habitat. The loss of habitat ranged from birds not being able to wade or feed off the water so they migrate to a different territory to other species being introduced to the new terrain. New species and the loss of others affected population control which disrupted the ecosystem. Another impact that humans have had on the Everglades is the near extinction of certain animals. One, in particular, is the Florida Panther. Giving an approximation, the article suggests there are less than one hundred of these panthers living in the wilderness of South Florida today. Since the early 1800s Florida panthers were hunted regularly. Smart humans sort out bounty hunters to search for and kill Florida Panthers seeing them as a threat to other animals (including humans). The extinction of these mammals will lead to the breakdown of the habitat which can include the loss of forest, grassland, and wetlands. This also decreases the survival rate for other animals that are a part of this same ecosystem.
3. Describe the various types of habitats present in the Everglades.
• Pinelands is rocky and made up of limestone. This is a dry habitat that is dominated by pine forest and found on higher ground.
• Coastal Lowlands located on the coasts of Florida is the most expansive landform on Florida’s surface. This area has recurring floods, tropical storms, and hurricanes.
• Freshwater Slough is a habitat that remains wet even in the dry seasons. The Florida Everglades have two and they are the primary routes for and maintain an ongoing current.
1. Is it an herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore?
I chose the Giant Panda and they are considered carnivores (because of their relation to bears and digestive system) but they follow a vegan diet.
2. At what trophic level(s) does it feed (might take some estimation for certain prey items)? Giant Pandas are high on the tropic level because there are not many animals that eat them when they become full grown.
3. What issues are affecting the survival of this organism and our human activities specifically impacting this organism? The issues facing their survival are the warming temperatures that affect their food source, bamboo. The warmer climate threatens their food source (bamboo) which is available to pandas in their normal habitat. There are different species of bamboo that can grow under colder temperatures where they are protected from climate change, but pandas would not be able to survive in such climates.
4. What are some solutions that can enhance the preservation of the species?
For mankind to reconsider developing awe-inspiring tourist attractions as revenue generators and instead preserve the livelihood and/or natural surroundings for the species that live in them.
HERRON, SEAN THOR. “Climate Change Not The Only Threat To Giant Pandas, Study Says | Carbon Brief.” Carbon Brief. N.p., 2018. Web. 31 Oct. 2019.
Nichols, Sue, Cameron, Layne,. “Climate Change Threatens Giant Pandas’ Bamboo Buffet – And Survival.” MSUToday. N.p., 2012. Web. 31 Oct. 2019.
“Wild Pandas Get A Boost.” World Wildlife Fund. N.p., 2017. Web. 31 Oct. 2019.
Student post 2)
Based on what we already know about the long history of global climate cycles, it stands to reason that there were many episodes of fluctuating sea levels. The reasons for the rise and fall of levels is a process called glaciation. According to The Canadian Encyclopedia, glaction is the “formation, movement and recession of glaciers.” This process is what impacted what we see as the coast of Florida (Geology).
There appears to be a few different ways that humans have impacted the Everglades and their existing ecosystems. The Nature and Science page directs you to pages about the ways that has occurred. One way has been the introduction of non native species that are in conflict with the indigenous plants and animals.
There are many specific types of habitats in the Everglades but for simplicities sake we can break it down to none scientific terms. The nps.gov gives a few easy ways to think about them broadly such as; low and wet, high and dry and water.
West Indian Manatee
On the nps.gov website it describes the manatee as “primarily herbivorous.” I think this may change their trophic level from being a primary consumer to being the the occasional secondary consumer. I know from personal experience that one thing that is impacting the level of manatees is the use of boats in areas they are found in. They are struck and either ignored or unable to be helped. It is very sad to see such an interesting animal suffering. Since its impossible to prohibit use of the entire ocean, it is reasonable to make some shallow areas off limits to motorized travel, protected breeding and harsher penalties for poaching.
A side note this animal is listed as both threatened and endangered depending on which page you are looking at.
The Canadian Encyclopedia. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/glaciation
Finding Home: Everglades Habitats. https://www.nps.gov/ever/learn/education/upload/findinghome2.pdf
Animals. Mammals. https://www.nps.gov/ever/learn/nature/mammals.htm
Environmental Factors. https://www.nps.gov/ever/learn/nature/environmentalfactors.htm