Rainforest Ecosystems of Texas

By: Hari, Maggie, Aaron, and Kirsten

What is a rainforest and its characteristics?

A rainforest is a biome that is like a forest, but contains a lot of rainfall. The rainforest that we did was a rainforest preserve in Brazoria County Texas. The trees, bushes, and plants grow quickly due to the large amount of humidity, rainfall, and also the temperature is a good 70 to 80 degrees. The rainforest is 1/5 marshland also. In most rain forests there is bound to be a large population of birds.

Food Chain

In this food chain, the animal portrayed as "Top Dog" would be the hawk, which eats the snake. In the tertiary consumer section, we have a snake, to be more specific, a copperhead which is indigenous to these regions, who eats small rodents, such as the secondary consumer, the field mouse. And in the producer slot we have tall grasses and other plant life.

But what is it?

A food chain is a sequence of organisms in a community where each member feeds on the one below it

Energy Pyramid

Tertiary Consumers: The names of the Tertiary Consumers are the eagles, alligators, tigers, snakes, etc. These animals are at the top of the energy pyramid because these animals usually eat the secondary consumers in the pyramid. In the energy pyramid, they only get a mere 0.1% of all of the energy. For example, a snake would eat a mouse which would eat grass. But since eagles (and sometimes other snakes) eat snakes, they would be referred as tertiary consumers.


Secondary Consumers: The Secondary Consumers are snakes, bobcats, ducks, frogs (they eat flies), woodpeckers, spiders, wolves, etc. In the energy pyramid, they come 3rd after primary consumers and producers. These animals eat the consumers that eat plants. For example, a woodpecker pecks the trees and chips off enough bark so they can consume the energy within the various types of bugs they eat. They get 1% of the energy in the pyramid.


Primary Consumers: Some Primary Consumers would be field mice, wild hogs, fish, hummingbirds, flies, caterpillars, deer, raccoons, etc. These animals would be located on the second level of the energy pyramid. Primary Consumers only eat producers, nothing else. They are basically vegetarian. Animals like caterpillars eat the leaves from plants for food while hummingbirds usually feast on berries. These animals get 10% of the energy in the pyramid.


Producers: Different types of Producers are Live Oak Grove Trees, Pecan Trees, Berry Bushes, grass, orchids, shrubs, flowers, moss, Oak Trees, etc. Producers happen to be at the very bottom of the energy pyramid. Since they are at the bottom, they are the ones who receive all of the energy from the sun, 100%. They get their energy by photosynthesis. Producers like trees, grass, flowers, shrubs, moss, berries, and bushes are how the energy pyramid starts, and without these, the rest of the pyramid will eventually fall and go into extinction.

Relationships

The Texas Oakland rainforest has many biotic and abiotic relationships. The most frequently common and obvious relationship is water/rainfall, as that is what determines a rainforest from a forest or tropic. The Texas rainforest has some relationships that aren't very noticeable as rainfall, such as several uncommon animals to the highly dense rainforest environment, such as wolves or bobcats, making them a true rarity. The wolves have moved in from local forests to hunt prey such as the wandering deer or raccoon, and some have made it their permanent home.

Another animal that is very uncommon, is an animal that has adapted to ALL of it's surroundings, including the suburbs, such as the coyote. This ferocious animal is the all too common texas bobcat, that occasionally wanders in to hunt the native forest deer or raccoon. The deer and raccoon have moved in due to the abundance of fruit and grasses due to large rainfall, even though there are many unseen dangers of the oakland rainforest.

One animal in the habitat isn't even from Texas, as it has moved in from the nearby Louisiana swamps. These reptiles are alligators, and have found the dense underbrush good for snatching up unwary passerby's and travelers.

There are predator prey relationships in the oakland rainforest, similar to those of a regular forest, as the both have to track or avoid each other in a forest like environment. The local populations of predators thin out such as bobcat's and wolves, minimize the local prey such as deer and raccoon, reducing the food sources for the predators. In return, the predators starve, giving the prey a Chance to grow back up in size, which then bring's back the predator's, and the cycle repeats.

Food Web

Tertiary Consumers:

Big Snakes (eats other snakes, ducks, spiders {sometimes}, and deer)

Eagles and Hawks (eats snakes, spiders {if big enough}, bobcats, and ducks)

Tigers (eats fish, deer, and wolves)

Alligators (eats fish, deer, snakes, eagles if wounded)


Secondary Consumers:

Snake (gets eaten by other snakes, eagles, hawks, alligators {only a few types of snakes})

Spider (gets eaten by a few snakes, eagles or hawks if big enough)

Wolf (gets eaten by tigers)

Bobcat (gets eaten by wolf, eagle and hawk {sometimes})

Duck (Gets eaten by snake, eagle or hawk)


Primary Consumers:

  • Field mice (gets eaten by snake and bobcat)
  • Caterpillars (gets eaten by spider)
  • Raccoons (gets eaten by bobcat, sometimes snakes, wolves)
  • Bugs (gets eaten by frogs {flies}, woodpeckers, spiders)
  • Fish (gets eaten by ducks and bobcat)
  • Hummingbird (gets eaten by snake, frog {rarely and will cause in frogs death})
  • Deer (gets eaten by snakes and tigers)


Producers:

  • Grass (gets eaten by deer, wild hogs)
  • Leaves (gets eaten by caterpillars)
  • Berries (gets eaten by hummingbird, raccoons, squirrel, field mice, and wild hogs)
  • Fruit Trees (gets eaten by hummingbird, raccoons, field mice, wild hogs, squirrel, flies or bugs if rotten)
  • Algae (gets eaten by certain fish)



Biblography


  • "Texas Rainforest Preserve - Brazoria County Texas." Texas Rainforest Preserve - Brazoria County Texas. N.p., 14 Apr. 2007. Web. 06 Sept. 2013.
  • "Rainforest Biomes." Rainforest Biomes. Blue Planet Biomes, 2013. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.
  • "Fun Rainforest Facts for Kids - Interesting Facts about Tropical & Temperate Rainforests."Fun Rainforest Facts for Kids - Interesting Facts about Tropical & Temperate Rainforests. Science Kids, 13 July 2013. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.
  • "A FOOD WEB WEBSITE FOR KIDS!" WHAT EATS RSS. What Eats, n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.
  • "About Hummingbirds." About Hummingbirds. Hummingbirds, n.d. Web. 09 Sept. 2013.