South Texas Ecosystem Essay

968 words - 4 pages

In south Texas there are several types of ecosystems one of those ecosystems are the dunes. South Texas dunes are found along the Texas coastline and the general abiotic conditions are sandy soil, high salt content, some fresh water, flooding in the occasion of severe storms and moisture from rain and waves. Sea Oats and Bitter Pancum are two types of plants that dominate the South Texas dunes. Bitter Pancum adaptation for living in this type of ecosystem is that they are tolerant to high salinity. Sea Oats are less tolerant to high salt but their adaptation is to grow rapidly. Some common animal species that live in the dunes are crabs, which are tolerant to high salt water, gulls, and terns feed on crabs and other species around the dunes. Dunes play a vital role in our first line of defense from flooding and storms by providing a protective barrier. Dunes also play an important role in our economy because they attract tourist to visit the local beaches in the South Texas coastline. Human activities pose a threat to dunes because they accelerate the natural damage that is happening as well destroying vegetative cover and help the development of breaches.
A second type of ecosystem in South Texas is the Seagrass beds. South Texas Seagrass beds are found along the coast in shallow saline waters and the general abiotic conditions are shallow saline waters, precipitation, soft muddy substrate, and temperature. Turtlegrass and Manateegrass are the two types of dominant plants in South Texas Seagrass beds. Manateegrass and Turtlegrass are dominant because of low rainfall that flows to the bay high evaporation as well their tolerance to salt. Some common animal species that live in the Seagrass beds are fish, sea turtles, shellfish, and waterfowl. Their adaptation to live in that ecosystem is that Seagrass beds provide as a direct food source, habitat, and nursery area. The ecological importance of Seagrass beds is that they play vital role as producers as well nursery ground for many species. The economic importance of Seagrass beds is that they attract tourism, recreation industry, and fishing. Human activities pose a threat to Seagrass beds because of boating, stepping on the seagrass, which damage the root system, dredging, pollution and construction practices.
Mangrove Forest is another type of ecosystem in South Texas. Mangrove Forests are found along the coast in salty waters and the general abiotic conditions are high salinity flooded soils, low wave energy, high temperatures, and muddy soils. Black Mangrove and Buttonwood are the dominant plant species in South Texas Mangrove Forest ecosystem. Buttonwood is adapted to this ecosystem because it resides inland where there is less salty conditions. Black Mangrove is adapted to sandy salty clay soil and requires protection from wave action and they are sensitive to cold weather. Some common animal species that live in Mangrove Forests are many species of fish, crabs, mollusks, and birds....

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