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The Bluefin Tuna? Who? What? Where?     By Marine Geographer Sara Ferrara

Name of major biome and specific ecosystem The bluefin tuna lives in an oceanic biome, which is divided into separate zones: intertidal, pelagic, abyssal, and benthic.The bluefin tuna lives in the Golf of mexico ecosystem and is part of the pelagic region of the ocean. This region has mostly just surface seaweed and as for animals it consists mostly of fish and some mammals like dolphins and whales, because of the abundant plankton in this region.

Specific geographic location of the ecosystem The bluefin tuna resides in the northern part of the gulf of mexico, this is where they spawn from mid-April and mid-June.

The climate of the ecosystem and six relevant abiotic factors: This region has a cold temperature usually but it is not acurate to give a certain tempeture because this region consists mixing of the


cold

and

warm

ocean

currents

continuouslly.

The currents in this region are an abiotic factor that affect the living organisms because of the change in temperature changes that they bring to the water. Salinity and sunlight affect the region because it determines what organisms can live under these conditions. The organisms depend on this coditions to reach their optimum in this enviorment. There also exsist man made abiotic barriers that stops the organisms from growing to their full potential as a species. These include fishing wich is putting the Bluefin tuna into an endengared species position, the excess of fertilizers used in fields that run to the sea are causing the seaweed and the fish to compete over oxygen, and the constant disasteres of oil spills which affect all organisms living in the gulf of mexico. List of ecosystem producers tiny plants (phytoplankton), animals (zooplankton), marine bacteria (bacterioplankton), red algae (Rhodophyta), green algae (Chlorophyta and others) and brown algae (Phaeophyceae) 
 


The Gulf of Mexico? Sounds exiting! By Gaby De Gyves Ph. D Marine Biology There are hundreds upon hundreds of species of marine organisms that live in the Gulf, here follows a list of most: Marine Mammals: Blue Whale, atlantic spotted dolphin, blainville’s beaked whales, bottlenose dolphin, bryde’s whale, clymene dolphin, Cuvier's Beaked Whale, Dwarf Sperm Whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Fraser's Dolphin, Pantropical Spotted Dolphin, Risso's Dolphin, Rough-toothed Dolphin, Spinner Dolphin (Long-snouted), Striped Dolphin, Gervais' Beaked Whale, Dwarf Sperm Whale, Killer Whale, Melon-headed Whale, Minke Whale, Northern Right Whale, Pygmy Killer Whale, Pygmy Sperm Whale, Sei Whale, Short-finned Pilot Whale, Sowerby's Beaked Whale, Sperm Whale. Herbivores:


West Indian Manatees Omnivores: The kemp’s ridley sea turtle, leatherback sea turtle, loggerhead sea turtle, green sea turtle, hawksbill sea turtle, The Bluefin Tuna

Carnivores: Blacknose shark, Spinner shark, Silky shark, Galapagos shark, Finetooth shark, Bull shark, Blacktip shark, Oceanic whitetip shark, Dusky shark, Sandbar shark, Smalltail shark, Night shark, Grey nurse shark, Great white shark, Roughskin dogfish, Tiger shark, Nurse shark, Bluntnose sixgill shark, Shortfin Mako, Lemon shark.

Now, you may ask, how does this all relate? Where does the incredible Bluefin tuna fit in his specific habitat? Well, this is where it shows its incredibleness. He’s the apex predator!

Tropic Structure of the pelagic relation to the Bluefin Tuna:

region

in


It’s a dog eat dog world‌or fish eat fish? By Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist Arantxa Duran o

Commensalism-Between corals and Basslets: Basslets are a species living in the gulf of mexico that live on coral reefs. Even though the corals are their home, they are not benefitted in any way by the presence of Basslets. (Weaver 2003)

Commensalism between marine algae, seagrass and animals like crabs, pipefish or clams: The seagrass provides a secure attatchment for the algae, due to its flat leaves. Both the algae and the seagrass provide protection for the animals above mention against their predators. (Museum of Earth 2009) o

o

Symbiosis: Between Corals and Algae: Marine algae help corals to grow. The corals provide a habitat for algae cells called zooxanthellae, which photosynthesise and provide energy for the corals. Those corals that have lost the help from the algae cells are bleached and have died because of scarcity of energy. (Museum of Earth 2009)

Role

of matter in the ecosystem Matter plays a very important role in any ecosystem. In a marine ecosystem like the gulf of mexico it can be shelter for an organism, or even food. Matter is presented in the ecosystem in elements like carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur, which cycle in an ecosystem and can never be created nor destroyed. The carbon cycle for instance, helps sea grasses to photosynthesise and make energy for herbivores like the West Indian Manatee to consume. It also provides a shell for all the organisms in the sea, making them stable and healthy. Phosphorus in the other hand helps as a nutrient for rocks in the ocean, which may serve as a home for many species. It is also a nutrient for plants. Nitrogen and Phosphorus in the Gulf of Mexico is particularly abundant, causing the algae, which use it as a mineral from the soil, to reproduce more and reach it’s carrying capacity, which causes them to die and take up most of the oxygen that fishes need to live.


Role

of energy in the ecosystem The gulf of mexico contains immense amounts of oil and natural gases. If fact, it supplies ⅓ of domestic natural gas and ⅛ of oil to the United States. This energy resource serves to power human made industries to create many of the products we buy day by day. The ecosystem also transmits energy through the food web demonstrated above. It starts with the sunlight, which the producers use to make their own energy, then the energy flows through the organisms in the trophic levels, allowing for the animals to reproduce and further sustain the ecosystem.

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill In April 2010, there was a huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It started with a drilling rig that exploded and caught fire. It was later discovered that the “riser” that connected the rig to the well had a leak that was putting around 1000 barrels of oil into the ocean every day. Nevertheless the problem was worse that it looked, “SkyTruth, a small non-profit, analyzed radar and satellite imagery and estimated that the oil was leaking much faster than the original official estimates... to 25,000 barrels/day!” (Graham 2010). People were trying to solve the problem in any way possible, they even considered burning the oil, but the cons exceeded the pros. Rush Limbaugh, a very popular radio talk show host, even made the crazy comment: "’the ocean will take care of this on its own if it was left alone and left out there,’ and that the oil is ‘natural. It's as natural as the ocean water is’" (Graham 2010). Nevertheless, that statement can be discarded considering that the oil spill was a human made disaster, and that it was affecting many organisms in the ecosystem. Relating back to our species, the Bluefin tuna, it was proven that the oil spill affected it like no other. Coincidentally, the spill occurred over the area in which the Bluefin tunas where spawning, ruining the fertilization of the offsprings of the species. Our incompetence caused the species to get out of its optimum of reproduction. Therefore the population of the Bluefin tuna decreased significantly during the disaster, becoming endangered. Several attempts were made to stop the oil spill by trying “to plug the well with pressured drilling mud long enough to be able to seal it [the leak] permanently with cement,” (Graham 2010) but it was a failed attempt. Even humans have been affected by the oil, people working on fixing it were sent home sick and in the Jamaica shore the oil odour was evident, which isn’t healthy. Professionals are currently trying to fix this catastrophe, hoping that the damage isn’t unsolvable.


For further knowledge http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lee-crockett/bluefin-tuna-needyou_b_1612070.html http://www.seashepherd.org/blue-rage/bluefin-facts.html http://people.biology.ufl.edu/osenberg/papers/2011Peterson-Pew.pdf http://www.epa.gov/gmpo/about/facts.html#population http://www.gulfbase.org/facts.php http://marinelife.about.com/od/habitatprofiles/tp/GulfofMexicoMarineLife.ht m http://www.sci.tamucc.edu/tmmsn/29Species/marine.html http://marinebio.org/species.asp?id=321 http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/mammals/cetaceans/beakedwhale_g ervais.htm http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/exhibits/biomes/marine.php#oceans http://w2.ecosur-qroo.mx/cna/corales/Jord%E1nDahlgren%20&%20Rodr%EDguez-Mart%EDnez%202003.PDF http://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/publications/tm/tm126/tm126.pdf http://marinebio.org/species.asp?id=236 http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/standards/criteria/nutrients/gulfof mexico.cfm http://www.museumoftheearth.org/outreach.php?page=s_us_undersiege/s_us_species-marine-life-of-the-gulf-coast/s_us_plankton Graham, M. (2010, June 03). Gulf of mexico oil spill: The what, when and where [updated]PlanetGreen.com, Retrieved from http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tech-transport/gulfofmexico-oilspillwhatwhenwhere-whatyoucando.html United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2012). Gulf of mexico In "Differences in phosphorus and nitrogen delivery to the gulf of mexico from the mississippi river basin" "The gulf of mexico ecosystem, watershed, and economy."2008 Action Plan.""Hypoxia in the gulf of mexico: progress towards the completion of an integrated assessment.". Retrieved from http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/standards/criteria/nutrients/gulfof


mexico.cfm Weaver, D. (2003, Sept 30). The wondrous world of deep reef fishes. Retrieved from http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/03mex/logs/sept30/sept30.htm l Museum of Earth. (2009). Marine algae. Retrieved http://www.museumoftheearth.org/outreach.php?page=s_us_undersiege/s_us_species-marine-life-of-the-gulf-coast/s_us_seaplants/s_us_marine-algae

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The Amazing Bluefin Tuna