Select an ecosystem in your area (I selected Lake Tillery in Uwharrie Mountains, NC).
Write a 525- to 700-word paper explaining the following:
Identify the ecosystem and its location.
Describe the structure of the ecosystem including important abiotic features and dominant plant and animal species.
Explain some functions and processes of that ecosystem, including one nutrient cycle and one food chain.
Give two examples of species interactions (predation, competition, mutualism, etc.) that occur in your ecosystem.
Identify an invasive species in your ecosystem. Explain its effects on the ecosystem and efforts to control or eradicate it.
SCI/256 Ecosystem Paper: Lake Tillery in Uwharrie Mountains, NC
Each and every one of us makers contact with the ecosystem in our daily lives. Ecosystem surrounds us and is a part and parcel of everything we touch, and everywhere we go. In one or another and knowingly and unknowingly, human activities in a great way influences the earth’s ecosystem with their daily activities. An ecosystem is made up of the living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment and surrounding interacting as a system (Heckman, 2013). Both the living and nonliving organisms in the environment are connected through nutrient cycles and energy flows.
Lake Tillery is one of the best reservoirs that are located between Badin Lake and Blewett Falls Lake at the foot of Uwharrie Mountains. The reservoir is at the heart of Uwharrie Lakes region of North Carolina. It is habited within two counties the Stanly County and Montgomery County of North Carolina. It was constructed by impounding the Pee Dee River.
Some of the important abiotic features around Lake Tillery include light, temperature and wind. The light provides the solar energy necessary to drive the process of photosynthesis one of the major sources of energy of lentic systems. On the other hand, the temperature is an essential factor in the lentic system since the surrounding defines most internal bodies’ temperatures. Moreover, in some occasions, the wind creates turbulent, spiral-formed surface currents circulation. These currents are usually made by the interaction between horizontal surface currents and surface gravity waves. Most of the land around the lake is covered by forest while the area acts as the habitat some rare plants and animals (De Young, 2008). Examples of most dominant fishes in this lake include the heel splitter although shortnose sturgeons were once dominant. Besides, the uwharries were created from an ancient chain of volcanic islands that are widely referred to as monadnocks.
Nutrient – food web processes within the lake are critical determinants of water quality and the external impact loading of nutrients, chemical, and pathogens. Lakes are beautiful elements of the landscape, and people appreciate them for their scenery, wildlife, fish production and boating. These lakes play a very important part in oxygen and thermal stratification. The concentration of dissolved oxygen is a crucial factor in Lake Metabolism, and the dissolved oxygen is very crucial to all aquatic organisms. An example of a nutrient cycle:
Example of a food chain:
Considering that Lake Tillery is a standing water lake, there is an interaction between various aquatic lives where plants, animals, and physical environment interact in the water and on the landmasses. Some of the plants and animals that interact in this ecosystem include algae, crabs, frogs, crayfish and water snakes (De Young, 2008).
Marine invaders can be defined as those animals and plants that are willing and above to move beyond their natural habitats (Heckman, 2013). Examples of these invaders in Lake Tillery include:
The green crab- it is usually carried by ships in ballast water and can move up the stream to lakes from the ocean. It is a predator of some of the shore animals including worms and mollusks, and it has affected shellfish industry. It is used as fish bait, and this helps to reduce their invasion.
Veined Rapa Whelk- it is a large marine snail and is transported in the ballast water of a ship. It is a predator that eats mollusk and shellfish. The snail is fished and sold in some parts of the world as food and this helps to reduce the effects of its invasion.
De Young, C. C. (2008). Human dimensions of the ecosystem approach to fisheries: an overview of context, concepts, tools and methods. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Heckman, C. W. (2013). Rice field ecology in Northeastern Thailand: the effect of wet and dry seasons on a cultivated aquatic ecosystem (Vol. 34). Springer Science & Business Media.