Biome & Ecosystem

Assessment Description

Pick a biome and ecosystem and create a 500-700 words addressing the following:

  1. Refer to the infographic provided and chose a biome to describe with an example ecosystem.
  2. Provide one example of a keystone species found in the biome/ecosystem.  Why is this keystone species important to the biome/ecosystem?  What defines it as a keystone species?
  3. Provide an example of an invasive species found in the biome/ecosystem.  What are some of the negative impacts this invasive species has on the ecosystem?  What is being done to mitigate impacts?
  4. Provide one example of an endangered species found in the biome/ecosystem.  Briefly discuss the causes of the decline in the species and what is being done to help.

Please include at least 3 academic sources and make sure all sources are cited on the assignment.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide

Answer:

Biome: Temperate Rainforest Ecosystem: Pacific temperate rainforest of the Pacific Northwest

Example of Keystone Species: The Pacific Yew (Taxus brevifolia) is a keystone species in the Pacific temperate rainforest of the Pacific Northwest. This species is an important member of the forest community, providing habitat for a variety of wildlife, including the threatened marbled murrelet, and serving as a source of food for browsing animals such as deer and elk. The Pacific Yew is also a valuable medicinal plant, and its bark is used to make a powerful cancer-fighting drug called Taxol.

What Defines it as a Keystone Species: A keystone species is defined as a species that has a disproportionate impact on its ecosystem relative to its abundance. The Pacific Yew is considered a keystone species because it supports the survival of many other species in the forest, and its removal could cause a significant decline in the biodiversity of the ecosystem.

Example of Invasive Species: The English Ivy (Hedera helix) is an invasive species in the Pacific temperate rainforest of the Pacific Northwest. This species has been introduced to the region from Europe, and has been spreading rapidly, invading native forest understories and displacing native plant species. English Ivy has a negative impact on the ecosystem by reducing biodiversity, altering the composition of plant communities, and altering the structure and function of forest habitats.

Negative Impacts: The English Ivy has a negative impact on the ecosystem by reducing the availability of light, water, and nutrients for native plants, leading to a decline in their growth and survival. This invasive species also affects the food webs of the forest by reducing the availability of food for native herbivores, and altering the habitat for native birds and mammals.

Mitigation Efforts: There are a variety of efforts underway to mitigate the impacts of the English Ivy in the Pacific temperate rainforest of the Pacific Northwest. These efforts include removing invasions, controlling the spread of the plant through physical and chemical means, and restoring native plant communities. There are also ongoing efforts to educate the public about the impacts of invasive species, and to encourage people to participate in efforts to control their spread.

Example of Endangered Species: The Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) is an endangered species in the Pacific temperate rainforest of the Pacific Northwest. This species is a forest-dwelling owl that is found in old-growth forests, and is considered an indicator species for the health of the Pacific temperate rainforest ecosystem.

Causes of Decline: The decline of the Northern Spotted Owl is primarily due to habitat loss, as large areas of old-growth forest have been clearcut for timber production. Additionally, the introduction of the Barred Owl (Strix varia), a closely related species from the eastern United States, has resulted in competition for food and habitat, and has increased the risk of hybridization, which could lead to the loss of the genetic integrity of the Northern Spotted Owl.

Conservation Efforts: There are a variety of efforts underway to help conserve the Northern Spotted Owl in the Pacific temperate rainforest of the Pacific Northwest. These efforts include protecting and restoring old-growth forest habitats, monitoring owl populations and habitat use, and managing the spread of the Barred Owl. Additionally, there are ongoing efforts to educate the public about the importance of protecting the Northern Spotted Owl and the Pacific temperate rainforest ecosystem.

Sources:

  1. Radford, A., C. R. Holmes, and J.W. Lippincott. “Yew: Taxus B
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