Discussions / responses | Environmental science homework help

Part 1 Instructions

Visit, at minimum, the following websites for the Florida Everglades:

After viewing the websites for the Florida Everglades, answer the questions below in your own words. It is unacceptable to copy and paste text from the site, and evidence of such will result in a zero for the assignment. Provide complete yet concise answer to each of the following questions.

  1. Describe how the landscape of south Florida is related to glaciation.
  2. Describe and explain the various human impacts on the Everglades.
  3. Describe the various types of habitats present in the Everglades.

Part 2 Instructions

After viewing the websites for the Florida Everglades and any other website you have researched, answer the questions below for ONE of the organisms Which is found in the Everglades and is on the following endangered list.  Visit the World Wild Life link to view a list of endangered species:

https://www.worldwildlife.org/species

Cite your sources. Once you have made your initial post, critique the solutions presented by at least two of your classmates with whom you disagree.

[Be sure to put Your Animal Name as the subject of this discussion message].

Questions:

  1. Is it an herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore?
  2. At what trophic level(s) does it feed (might take some estimation for certain prey items)?
  3. What issues are affecting the survival of this organism and our human activities specifically impacting this organism?
  4. What are some solutions that can enhance preservation of the species?

ALWAYS cite all your sources in MLA or APA format and respond to at least TWOclassmates (see discussion grading rubric).

3 paragraphs for discussion 

—————————————————————————————————-

Student responses

4 sentences

1.Describe how the landscape of south Florida is related to glaciation.

               Glaciation is essentially the process of the Earth being covered with a huge mass of ice. More than 20,000 years ago, in the area now considered to be the Everglades was constantly going through the process of glaciation. As pieces land would emerge, the pieces of ice would come to rest on top of the land mass. About 17,000 years ago, Florida began to heat up and developed the hot and humid climate that we all know today. The intense rains that are associated with this climate brought along flooding, and the flooding turned into massive rivers, lakes, and swamps.

Describe and explain the various human impacts on the Everglades.

               Humans can be extremely rough on an environment. Years of over hunting and other careless behaviors have led to many animals being added onto the endangered species list and the depletion of the natural landscape. However, Humans can take steps to go about easing the effects they have on the environment. In 1947, the Everglades National Park was dedicated not just for its visual appeal to humans, but also for its environmental necessity to help protect the rich environment of the Everglades.

Describe the various types of habitats present in the Everglades.

               Nine distinct habitats have been discovered within the Florida Everglades. The Hardwood Hammock is an elevated space, densely packed with hardwoods and other massive trees. The Pinelands possess exposed limestone and very tall pine trees. The Mangrove Forest is home to many salt-tolerant trees that thrive in the environmental conditions of the Everglades. The Costal Lowlands is an area of prairie land that is prone to flooding and has many small shrubs scattered around. A Freshwater Slough is a low-lying area of that that allows water to run through it. The Freshwater Marl Prairie boarder many of the deeper sloughs within the Everglades. The Freshwater Marl Prairie boarders areas of marshy water and allow for slow seepage of the overflowing channels. The Marine and Estuarine refer the bodies of water within the Everglades. The Cypress is a deciduous conifer that has the ability to survive in sitting water. It obviously thrives in the Everglades.

Part 2 Instructions

Florida Panther

  1. Is it an herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore?

Florida panthers are total carnivores. They rely on meat to survive.

  1. At what trophic level(s) does it feed (might take some estimation for certain prey items)?

The Florida Panther is a level 4 tertiary consumer. This means that it gets its energy by hunting primary and secondary producers.

  1. What issues are affecting the survival of this organism and our human activities specifically impacting this organism?

In the 1800s, a bounty on panthers was put into place by the government as a way to decrease the over abundant population. Because they were given an incentive, the hunters had depleted the Florida Panther population by the mid-1950s. Today, the Panthers face obstacles such as traffic accidents, inbreeding, disease, and other environmental factors.

  1. What are some solutions that can enhance preservation of the species?

On the everyday level, people could be more cautious while driving and doing other outdoor activities. Outdoor cleanups could also help to aid in the trash litter and the toxic environment in which they live. Environmentalist are working towards ways that will help to increase the Florida Panther population. One thing that they have done is introduce the Texas Panther into the environment. This gives the Florida Panthers additional mates so that the levels of inbreeding will be decreased.

Bibliography: 

1. “Born From A Changing Climate.” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 20 Aug. 2015, www.nps.gov/ever/learn/nature/ccintroseverborn.htm.

2. “Florida Panther: Species Profile.” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 17 Oct. 2017, www.nps.gov/ever/learn/nature/floridapanther.htm.

3. “Natural Features & Ecosystems.” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 28 July 2015, www.nps.gov/ever/learn/nature/naturalfeaturesandecosystems.htm.

2.Part 1

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.   

Part 2

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

Geology.  https://www.nps.gov/ever/learn/nature/environmentalfactors.htm

Animals. Mammals. https://www.nps.gov/ever/learn/nature/mammals.htm

Environmental Factors. https://www.nps.gov/ever/learn/nature/environmentalfactors.htm

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