sea grass

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sea grass
2011-10-05 17:00:13
sea grass habitat

sea grass habitat
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  1. Sea Grass Flats PLANTS
    • Plants are submerged most of the time
    • Vascular plants (have xylem and phloem-transport tissues)
    • Not very well developed b/c in water
    • Have flowers, water pollinated
    • Water instead of wind carries pollen from one to another
    • Asexual reproduction by runners (stolons) common
    • Must have light, can't stand freezing, prefer salinity of 25% and up
    • Northern limit in TX is CHRISTMAS BAY, N of FREEport
    • Temp, salinity, mud in water all limit sea grasses
    • Mud-> murky water->limit light->limit photo
    • Grow on mud or sand
    • Rarely grow in surf
    • Usually in calm waters
    • EXCEPTION-pacific coast-Surf Grass Phyllospadix spp.
  2. FOOD CHAIN of Sea grass flats
    • Get more species here that salt flat
    • 3D habitat= MORE BIODIVERSITY
    • Vs 2D habitat of salt/mud flat
    • High primary productivity
    • Water always covers, plants are tough and some even have silica in cells
    • Few direct grazers
    • In order to handle this stuff, org. must have tough jaw and complex digestive system able to break down the long chain carbohydrates
    • Those that can, fart a lot
    • TX-main grazer=GREEN Sea TURTLE
    • Used to be a lot more, but turtle meat was eaten lots and eggs were taken as aphrodisiac
    • Sea turtle were like lawn mowers-kept grasses short and les expansive
    • BLACK BRANT-small goose also eat grass
    • Dark color goose, have triangualr bill and make funny noise
    • More common in NORTH
    • ANACHIS-snails graze on algae blades
    • Common
    • Most sea grass is utilized as detritus
    • Dies, falls to sea floor, waves etc break it into chunks, bacteria etc break it down
    • As detritus is MAJOR food source for offshore marine life
    • For commerical shrimp etc
    • Worms, shrimps etc depend on sea grass detritus
    • In philipine island, make baskets etc
  3. Stotons and roots
    • Bind to sediment
    • Inhibits burrowing
    • Will some things burrowing in between roots
    • Won't find deep burrowers
  4. ANIMALS of sea grasses
    • Will have small things in it
    • Supposedly sephalacarid
    • 1mm long-looks like worm-WIGGLE WIGGLE not scoot or scurry
    • Among sea grasses shrimps, whelks, crabs, small fishes hide
    • Shrimp Palaemonetes common
    • Scallop Aequipecten are common
    • Can swim backwards-escape mechanism =don't care where going
    • Blue eyes, open shell with lots of sensors
    • Hundreds of blue eyes
    • Tentacles
    • Rest on surface of mud
    • GREAT nursery-lots of baby anything live In it
    • Attracts big fish
    • Don't get one washed up on beach
    • Ruppia
    • Tolerant of lower temperatures
    • Goes north
    • "Widgeon grass"
    • Runner has leaves coming off it all over place
    • Grows further upstream but washes into red fish bay
    • Good food for ducks
    • Cymodocea
    • Manatee grass, blunt tips
    • Diplanthera
    • Shoal grass, sharp tips
    • Halophila
    • Sea clover, looks like marijuana
    • Thalassia
    • Turtle grass
    • Large flat blades
    • Look like sea grass
    • Tend to move very little just hang near sea grass
    • Pipefish
    • Colored like-inhales copepods etc that come to close
    • Related to sea horse
    • Males are baby carriers
    • Length of hand
    • Tozeuma aka ARROW SHRIMP
    • Slender long rostrum
    • Hippolyte
    • Short rostrum
    • Sexually dimorphix
    • Males have pincers and are short and stubby
    • Barely longer than dime
    • When knocked, both shrimp act like sea grass-just float
  7. MANGROVES-not sea grass
    • Small trees or shrubs
    • Can form mangrove swamp
    • Don't tolerate freezing=> won't get swamp due to snap freeze
    • -SOUTH FLORIDA/ CENTRAL AMERICA etc where get swamps
    • 2 species in TX
    • Avincennia Black Mangrove
    • Shrub=short
    • Has extensions of roots
    • Pneumatophores
    • Thought to be gas exchange
    • Rhizophora RED MANGROVE
    • No root extensions
    • Prop root
    • Can be tree
    • Oysters, tunicates etc on prop root
    • 3 dimensional habitat, attachment place on roots
    • Hiding place for fishes, feeding places for crabs, shrimps and fishes
    • 12 species in tropics
  8. Animals in mangroves
    • In large mangrove swamps, can get big predators ex American crocodile
    • Should you go to tropics and pacific may get SALT water CROCODILES=DANGEROUS big predator
    • Sharks also found there-found here
    • Tropical areas-can get other animals
    • Snakes, monkeys, tigers etc in some area ie India
    • High tide can get through on canoe
    • Low tide must hack through roots
    • HIGH Primary productivity mostly DETRITUS
    • Help c protect against hurricanes etc
    • Good fishing
    • Some marine animals bore into roots-shimpworm(mollusk), some isopods
    • Some semi terrestrial crabs-run around roots and go on land-can get big enough to puncture tire
  9. REPRODUCTION of mangroves
    • Have flowers, insect pollination
    • Viviparous seedling
    • Seed fertilized on plant, develops root before it drops off
    • Float, root in sediment elsewhere
    • Get eaten by sea turtles