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The Local Ecosystem Of Mt Keira. Plant Adaptations And Abundance As Well As Human Impacts On The Environment

1273 words - 5 pages

Eucalypt leaves are covered with oil glands. The copious oils produced are an important feature of the genus they help defend it from herbivores because in large amounts they are toxic. It is thought the trees shed very large branches to conserve water during periods of drought.Eucalypts are well adapted for periodic fires, in fact most species are dependent on them for spread and regeneration. They do this via lignotubers, epicormic buds under the bark and from fire-germinated seeds sprouting in the ashes.eucalyptus trees are so well adapted to fire that a conflagration actually causes them to flourish. Soon after a fire dies out, chemical changes triggered by the flames' heat cause epicormic buds under the bark which are fire-germinated so they sprout in the ashes. seeds are spread by fires hot winds that creates new tree colonies far and wide.MORETON BAY FIG (FICUS MACROPHYLLA)It is a rainforest plant and in this environment more often grows in the form of an epiphytic strangler vine than that of a tree. When its seeds land in the branch of a host tree it sends aerial, 'strangler' roots down the host trunk, eventually killing the host and standing alone. This reduces its competition for nutrients and water that is available in the soil.Its roots are surface feeding and it is therefore quite susceptible to the compacting of earth around its trunk, which makes it difficult for other species to germinate. It is water hungry so it will starve other plants of water and nutrients.Characteristically it has extensive aerial roots that descend into to the ground, providing extra support and nourishment. This allows the fig to slowly spread outwards. The largest specimen recorded covered an entire hectare. This allows it to have a greater area to extract and gain nutrients from the ground.RAINFOREST LEECH (CHTONOBDELLA LIMBATA)They all have an anterior (oral) sucker formed from the first six segments of their body, which is used to connect to a host for feeding, and can also release an anesthetic to prevent the host from noticing the leech. They can stay attached by using a combination of mucus and suction (caused by concentric muscles in those six segments) the leech saliva contains a peptide called hirudin, which is a highly effective anticoagulant. The leech needs this to prevent blood clots (which would block its feeding) from forming in the wound created by its mouthparts. The vasodilator causes the blood vessels near the leech to become dilated, and thus provide the leech with a better supply. Leeches are hermaphrodites, they are organisms that have both female and male reproductive organs. They also use clitellums to hold the eggsLEWINS HONEY EATER (MELIPHAGA LEWINI)Have a highly developed brush-tipped tongue frayed and fringed with bristles which soak up liquids readily. The bill is curved which largely reflects the type of flowers they are visiting. The tongue is flicked rapidly and repeatedly into a flower, the upper mandible then compressing...

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