Desert Vs. Reef

Ecosystem Comparison Project


By. Megan, Vanessa, Greta, and Brealyn


PAP Biology

Let the comparisons begin!

Biotic Factors of a Desert

  • The dominant plants are desert grasses, cacti, Yucca plants, prickly pears, and turpentine bush.

  • The most common animals are rabbits and snakes.

  • Some of the animals found in a desert are ostriches, roadrunners, meerkats, caracals, Texas-horned lizards, black widows, scorpions, desert toads, hawks, and foxes.

Biotic Factors of a Reef

  • Different Coral species

  • Sea grasses

  • Many different fish species

  • Predator fish species

  • Eels

  • Bacteria

  • Moss and Fungi

Determinants of Desert Carrying Capacity

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Symbiotic Relationships in the Desert

  1. Mutualism-Bees pollinate the cacti and depend on it for food.
  2. Parasitism-Fleas living on the bodies of coyotes and camels.
  3. Commensalism- The dung beetle depends on others for food and the animals don't care and are not harmed.

Symbiotic Relationships in the Reefs

  1. Mutualism-Clown fish live in anemones and attract food to them.
  2. Parasitism-Sea spider and table coral.
  3. Commensalism- Barnacles living on whales.

Limiting Factors in the Desert

  • Water is scarce.
  • Food can also be hard to find because of the lack of water.
  • It is very hot on the desert during the day and extremely cold during the night.

Limiting Factors in Reefs

  • Climate changes affect reefs a lot and can even kill them.
  • Pollution from boats and things can get caught in reefs.
  • Over fishing can kill reefs because if they are no fish then reefs die.
  • Reefs can also get diseases.