Botany Bay Ecosystem

By Alex Raatz 8 Green

Where and what is Botany Bay?

Botany Bay is an open oceanic embayment, located in the Sutherland Shire, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The latitude and longitude of Botany Bay is 33.9930 degrees South and 151.1753 degrees East. The total catchment of the bay is 55 kilometres squared.

In botany bay there are many ecosystems including cliff and rock platforms, seagrass, mangroves, dunes, freshwater streams and parklands. The different ecosystems of Botany Bay is home to many different species of animals and plants.

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Biotic And Abiotic Factors

There are many biotic and abiotic factors that contribute to, and affect the life of plants and animals in Botany Bay.

Biotic - The living components of the ecosystem

  • Insects
  • Amphibians
  • Birds

Abiotic - The non-living factors of an ecosystem

  • The salinity of sea water, estuary water (where fresh water from rivers or creeks meets salt water from the ocean) and fresh water
  • The temperature of the water and the air
  • Humidity of the air

Organisms that live in the Botany Bay Ecosystem

  • Semaphore Crabs - usually founding the mangrove ecosystem
  • Seahorse- usually found in the seagrass ecosystem
  • Strap weed- found in the seagrass ecosystem
  • Sea hare- usually found in the seagrass ecosystem
  • Silver Gull- commonly found on rock platforms and wetlands
  • Pygmy squid- mostly found in the seagrass ecosystem
  • Mud crab- commonly found in the mangrove ecosystem
  • Grey Mangrove Plant - found in the mangrove ecosystem

Human Impact and threats to the Botany Bay ecosystem

Humans can affect the Botany Bay ecosystem in both positive and negative ways. These impacts include protection, dredging and pollution.

Protection: The positive impacts from humans is that parts of the bay is a protected nature reserve (for example Towra Point. This means that wildlife, plants, water and other features of Botany Bay are protected, reserved and managed for conservation, and are less likely to become endangered or extinct.

Dredging: Humans can also impact Botany Bay negatively. The development of the airport runways, which extend into the bay, have impacted immensely on the seagrass wildlife and plant species because of the result of dredging and erosion.

Pollution: Another impact that humans have contributed to is pollution. The city of Botany Bay has been heavily used for industry for many years and the species of the parks, wetlands and different ecosystems have suffered because of this. The leakage of pollutants can enter the water and contaminate it, killing or affecting many species of plants and wildlife.

The Study of Two Organisms from Botany Bay

Semaphore Crab:

Scientific Name: The Semaphore Crab's scientific name is Heloecius cordiformis.

Habitat: This species is found in the mangrove ecosystem. This ecosystem is very humid and very They dig holes deep in the mud and live among the roots of the mangrove trees.

Diet: Semaphore crabs eat small particles of dead plants and animals. They also eat algae and micro-organisms. These crabs are detritivores, which means that they eat detritus (dead organic material in soil).


  • Camouflage- Semaphore Crabs can blend in with mud if it senses it is in danger. This is a structural adaptation and can help the crab when a predator such as a bird or fish is hunting them.
  • Claws grow back- If the claw of a Semaphore Crab is torn off, it can grow back so they do not just have one claw. This is a structural adaptation and would be helpful if the crab got into a fight with another crab and got its claw torn off, then it can grow back.

Sea Hare:

Scientific Name: The scientific name for a Sea Hare is Aplysia dactylomela

Habitat: The Sea Hare is most commonly found in a seagrass ecosystem. The seagrass ecosystem is a perfect habitat for the Sea Hare as the grass is shelter, sources of food and protection from predators.

Diet: Sea Hares usually eat algae, meaning that they are a herbivorous animal.


  • If threatened, Sea Hares realise a purple dye that works as a smoke screen, enabling them to escape from predators. This is a structural adaptation and would be helpful to them if they were being attacked by a predator and needed to escape.
  • The Sea Hare is also not yet endangered because of over production. The Sea Hare lays over a thousand eggs knowing only a few would survive (the others being eaten by a predator). The few that survive contribute to the large population of Sea Hares. This is a behavioural adaptation.

Mangrove Ecosystem Food Web

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I chose to research with this website because of the reliability of it. It is reliable because it is by the Australian Museum, which is a trustworthy and dynamic source because of its scientific information. I also used this website for the research of other organisms.

I chose this source because it was a very informative and very reliable source of research. This is because it explains thoroughly the different types of consumers and producers and where in the food web they belong.

This website is very reliable and informs readers of the impact of humans on Botany Bay and the problems it is facing. The website is by an organisation, meaning it is trustworthy and true information.

By Alex Raatz 8 Green