You will respond to your classmates’ posts and add something new. The response is broad this week, but I encourage you to discuss your opinions and thoughts. Science isn’t set in stone. The ‘helpers in the nest’ theory is controversial, even among evolutionary biologists, as are many topics in this category. BUT DON’T FORGET TO CITE THEM. (Respond with a 100 Words for Each)
Invasive species can be any kind of living organism not native to an ecosystem that causes harm. This can be to the environment, human health, or the economy. These species typically grow and reproduce quickly and tend to spread aggressively. Now, when I think of an invasive species the first thing that comes to my mind is the iguana. Not entirely sure why, maybe its because they are all over nsu’s campus, but it was interesting to google other invasive species and learn more about them.
I researched the European Green Crab. The European green crabs are considered one of the most widespread invasive marine species on the planet! They began invading Washington state in 1996. The crabs themselves are native to Europe and North Africa. They were first brought to North America in 1817 by being carried in the holds of wooden ships. It is thought that they were spread during their long larval stage which lasts up to 90 days. They would spread via shipping on boats or by drifting on ocean currents. They also frequently move from one area to another by “hitchhiking” on boats, in gear, or in packaged shellfish.
When the green crab population grows too large, they cause various issues. They compete with other shellfish, destroy eelgrass that is an important habitat for Dungeness crabs and salmon, and disturb sediment. They are able to out- compete native species because they live 4-7 years, the eat a wide variety of plants and animals, and the females release 185,000 eggs up to twice a year. It is said that once the European Green Grab establishes a population in a particular area, it is practically impossible to get rid of them. Groups and organizations are working towards limiting their spread and limiting the ensuing damage.
https://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/aquatic/invertebrates/european-green-crab (Links to an external site.)
https://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/species-especes/profiles-profils/europeangreencrab-crabevert-eng.html (Links to an external site.)
Reading about different types of invasive species is interesting especially considering the major changes they cause within an ecosystem. Information regarding the Burmese Python was quite striking. The python originates from southeast Asia and has made a significant impact on the ecosystem of the Everglades in South Florida. There are two speculations about how the burmese python reached the Everglades. Similarly to Professor Kiene’s mention of the pleco and tiger oscar, the Burmese Python likely arrived in South Florida due to exotic pet trade. Many owner’s of the species became overwhelmed by the massive size of this species and likely dumped them into the area. Another theory discussed in article by Janos (2020), explains the increase in burmese pythons dominating the Everglades is due to Hurricane Andrew in 1992 when a large breeding facility was destroyed allowing countless snakes to escape into the wild.
The python has managed to dominate the area because of its ability to camouflage in the muddy marshes, perfect weather conditions for the species in the Everglades, and it’s ability to attack it’s prey of any size by constricting it to death. There has been evidence of pythons consuming prey as small as birds to as large as deer. Research conducted on the Everglades has shown a major decline in specific species who are native to the area. For example, a study conducted between 1997 and 2012 showed racoon, opposum, and bobcat populations in the Everglades dropped to between 99.3 percent and 87.5 percent. Furthermore, the study found that marsh rabbits, cottontail rabbits, and foxes disappeared from the area.
Due to their significant negative impact to the ecosystem, burmese pythons are considered open season in regards to hunting. There is zero restrictions on hunting pythons in the Everglades and in fact it is encouraged and sometimes incentivized. The well-being and survival of the other native species in the area is greatly hindered by the existence of the pythons.
Janos, A. (2020, February 20). How Burmese Pythons took over Florida Everglades. History.com. https://www.history.com/news/burmese-python-invasion-florida-everglades
I did some research on the Black sea. About 20 million years ago, the Black sea flowed into many sea lakes before it became separated. Mountains such as the Pontic, Caucasus, Crimean, and Carpathian’s rose around the area. This out-washed sediments and filled the area. Earth began to shift changing the sea level as well. During the last of the great glaciations, it became a large fresh water lake. This was about 6,500 to 7,500 years ago. Before it became the sea it is today it was a freshwater lake. The rising of the Mediterranean sea pushed a channel through the Bosphorus widening the lake at a rate of a mile a day. The original shoreline was submerged under hundreds of feet of salt water. As of now, the black sea is there to stay. Unless a great geological shift occurs once again it is stable. However, in the past 60 years, it has been reported that the oxygen-rich layer on the top of the Black sea has decreased from 140 meters to 90 meters deep. This is credited to global warming and eutrophication. There has been a 40% decrease in habitability due to his.
It is thought that the Black sea can emerge as the world’s next great energy battleground. The black sea is a frontier between the West and Russia and a meeting point for democracy in the West, Russian military aggression in the North, growing Chinese financial influence in the East, and Middle Eastern instability in the south. It has been found that there may be extreme volumes of gas lying deep below the Black sea, however the exact volumes are currently unknown. Rough estimation predict that there may be more than 2 trillion cubic meters of gas. These reserves could cover Bulgarias demand for more than 30 years.
https://www.britannica.com/place/Black-Sea (Links to an external site.)
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2000/sep/14/internationalnews.archaeology#:~:text=The%20Black%20Sea%20was%20once,the%20volume%20of%20Niagara%20Falls (Links to an external site.).
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160901093155.htm (Links to an external site.)
The Sierra Nevada mountain range is located along the eastern edge of California. It extends more than 250 miles north from the Mojave Desert to the Cascade Range. It is also home to giant sequoia trees and provides amazing views from all the peaks and waterfalls. The mountain range was formed more than 1.39 million years ago. Although this is a huge number, it is considered relatively quick in geology terms for an entire mountain range to form. The reason for the rapid formation of the mountain range is related to a collision of two tectonic plates and massive amounts of magma coming upward from the Earth’s core. Research has proved that the North American plate collided with a plate called the Farallon plate which slowly went under the North American plate and completely going into Earth’s mantle (Chu, 2020). This collision created a chain of volcanoes. When looking at a map of plate tectonics and boundaries, what existed before the Sierra nevada mountain range was the North American plate against the Farrallon plate and the midocean ridge. Those two plates colliding now places the North American Plate next to the Pacific plate. A major fault line known as the San Andreas Fault. Due to the placement of the Sierra Nevada’s being on a major fault line, as the earth’s crusts continue to move, the mountains remain slowly forming. However, erosion also occurs. The Sierra Nevada’s are a relatively young landmark and are expected to be around for a very long time. The mountain range is home to many forest animals such as lodgepole chipmunks, california mountain king snakes, black bear, wolverine, mule deer, and mountain lion. It is also home to many waterfuls, granite domes, and lakes.
Chu, J. (2020, October, 10). Sierra Nevadas formed in a “Geologic Instant”-Geologists raise the speed limit for how fast continental crust can form. SciTechDaily.com. https://scitechdaily.com/sierra-nevadas-formed-in-a-geologic-instant-geologists-raise-the-speed-limit-for-how-fast-continental-crust-can-form/