The Botany Bay Ecosystem

By Lucas O'Sullivan

Location of Botany Bay

Botany Bay is an open oceanic embayment. It is located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 13 km south of the Sydney Central Business district. It is located near silver beach on the Kurnell Peninsula Headland.

Biotic and Abiotic Factors of Botany Bay

Biotic Factors:

  • Plants
  • Animals
  • Bacteria
  • Fungi
Abiotic Factors:
  • Soil
  • Sunlight
  • Temperature
  • Salt concentration

Organisms that Live Within the Botany Bay Ecosystem


  • Seaweed
  • Algae
  • Grazing Snails and Limpets
  • Soldier Crab
  • Strap-Weed
  • Southern Pygmy Leather-jacket
  • Red Mud Crab
  • Sea Anemones
  • Grey Mangrove

Human Impacts on Botany Bay

Activity 1- Impact of the oil refinery of water quality and marine life

Kurnell has a storage facility and refinery for petroleum. There are many metals in petroleum which impact marine life. For example, lead, arsenic, nickel, cobalt, and chromium. Lead impacts marine life by making the enzymes needed to carry out photosynthesis not function. Arsenic impacts marine life by making the plants reduce by 50% in growth. Nickel impacts marine life because it also reduces growth and causes r. Cobalt affects marine life by increasing the mortality rate. Chromium also reduces the growth of marine life.

Activity 2- Impact of the groynes on water currents and marine life

Groynes affect the water currents. This negatively affects marine life because the water currents that transport nutrients, are prevented to reach the shore which stops the nutrients getting to the marine life.

Activity 3- Impact of dredging on marine life

Dredging deepens the sea floor which allows larger ships to go into shallower areas. this removes any vegetables on the sea floor which means primary consumers have no food. this affects the whole food chain.

Organism 1: Southern Pygmy Leatherjacket

Scientific name

Brachaluteres jacksonianus


Habitat

The Southern Pygmy Leather-jacket can be found in a range of habitats including shallow sea grass beds and areas of kelp in coastal bays.


Diet

The Southern Pygmy Leather-jacket can eat small crabs and shrimp and can even pick off epiphytes off sea grass.


Adaptations


  • Hides in sea grass- this is how it avoids predators.
  • Uses dorsal and anal fins when swimming slowly between blades of sea grass, and caudal fin when swimming fast to escape predators - this is to conserve energy.

Organism 2 - Soldier Crab

Scientific name

Mictyris longicarpus


Habitat

Soldier Crabs live on the east coast of Australia. They can be found on sandy flats and in estuaries, beaches and inter-tidal mangroves


Diet

Soldier Crabs eat small particles of dead plants and animals.


Adaptations


  • Soldier crabs are air breathers- this allows them to live and feed on land while also going into the water.
  • They move and feed in large groups and also burrow into sand when they are threatened. They use this technique to keep them safe and escape predators.
  • They are sensitive to overhead shadows because flying birds are a major predator. This allows them to escape into their burrows before the predators try to attack them.
  • They have a tough carapace like most crustaceans. This keeps them protected and acts like armour.
  • A good adaptation is that they have igloo type burrows meaning they trap air inside so they can breathe. This makes them able to burrow under water at high tide.

Food Webs

  1. Seaweed (Producer), eaten by Small Fish (Primary Consumer/Herbivore), eaten by Shark (Secondary Consumer/Carnivore), eaten by Whale (Tertiary Consumer/Top Carnivore).
  2. Algae (Producer), eaten by Zooplankton (Primary Consumer/Herbivore), eaten by Small Fish (Secondary Consumer/Carnivore), eaten by Squid (Tertiary Consumer/Top Carnivore).
  3. Algae (Producer), eaten by Grazing Snails and Limpets (Primary Consumer/Herbivore), eaten by Crab (Secondary Consumer/Carnivore), eaten by Seagull (Tertiary Consumer/Top Carnivore).
  4. Mangrove (Producer), eaten by Detritus (Primary Consumer/Herbivore), eaten by Soldier Crab (Secondary Consumer/Carnivore), eaten by Small Fish (Tertiary Consumer/Top Carnivore).
  5. Strap-Weed (Producer), eaten by Small Fish (Primary Consumer/Herbivore), eaten by Larger Fish (Secondary Consumer/Carnivore), eaten by Tuna (Tertiary Consumer/Top Carnivore).
  6. Plankton (Producer), eaten by Shrimp (Primary Consumer/Herbivore) eaten by Southern Pygmy Leather-jacket (Secondary Consumer/Carnivore), eaten by Lionfish (Tertiary Consumer/Top Carnivore).
  7. Seaweed (Producer), eaten by Limpet (Primary Consumer/Herbivore), eaten by Red Mud Crab (Secondary Consumer/Carnivore), eaten by Seagull (Tertiary Consumer/Top Carnivore).
  8. Sea Anemones (Producer), eaten by Sea Turtle (Primary Consumer/Herbivore), eaten by Large Fish (Secondary Consumer/Carnivore), eaten by Killer Whale (Tertiary Consumer/Top Carnivore).

Reliable Resources

The way I made sure my research resources were reliable was by firstly looking for websites that contained the information I needed. To make sure this information was reliable; I went onto a few other websites and checked if the information there was the same. Since it was the same, then I made my research reliable. I also cross-referenced my information.

Bibliographies

The Kurnell Peninsula - Botany Bay National Park. 2016. The Kurnell Peninsula - Botany Bay National Park. [ONLINE] Available at:http://ssec.org.au/our_environment/our_bioregion/kurnell/environment/botany_bay_np.htm. [Accessed 07 September 2016].

Rocky shore (Department of Environment and Heritage Protection). 2016. Rocky shore (Department of Environment and Heritage Protection). [ONLINE] Available at:https://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/coastal/ecology/marine-habitats/rocky_shore.html. [Accessed 09 September 2016].

Southern Pygmy Leatherjacket, Brachaluteres jacksonianus (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824) - Australian Museum. 2016. Southern Pygmy Leatherjacket, Brachaluteres jacksonianus (Quoy & Gaimard, 1824) - Australian Museum. [ONLINE] Available at: http://australianmuseum.net.au/southern-pygmy-leatherjacket-brachaluteres-jacksonianus. [Accessed 09 September 2016].

Mangroves as Habitat. 2014. Mangroves as Habitat. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.bmrg.org.au/files/9914/0721/9486/MarvellousMangoveAustralia_2_MangrovesAsHabitat.pdf. [Accessed 9 September 2016].

What are 5 adaptations of a Soldier Crab? | Yahoo Answers. 2016. What are 5 adaptations of a Soldier Crab? | Yahoo Answers. [ONLINE] Available at: https://au.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20140516223331AA9JPmT. [Accessed 10 September 2016].

prezi.com. 2016. Human Impacts on Botany Bay by Loizos Loizou on Prezi. [ONLINE] Available at:https://prezi.com/ttowas3pxirn/human-impacts-on-botany-bay/. [Accessed 10 September 2016].