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Year 11 Biology: 8.

2 A Local Ecosystem
Notes
ANH NGUYEN
Unit 1: The distribution, diversity and numbers of plants and
animals found in ecosystems are determined by biotic and abiotic
factors
1.2.1 Compare the abiotic characteristics of aquatic and
terrestrial environments
The environment includes living and non-living things in our surroundings.
The environment can be divided into 2 Groups:

1.2.2 Identify the factors determining the distribution and


abundance of a species in each environment

Abiotic factors affecting distribution and abundance:


-

Light
Strength of wind
Rainfall
Temperature variations
Topography
Tides, currents and waves
Water (amount, salinity, pH)
Substrate
Space and shelter
Oxygen

Biotic factors affecting distributing and abundance:


-

Availability of food
Number of competitors
Number of mates available
Number of predators
Number and variety of disease causing organisms

1.2.3 Describe the roles of photosynthesis and respiration in


ecosystems
Photosynthesis is a process by which plant cells capture light energy from
the sun, combine it with carbon dioxide and water, to make oxygen and
glucose. The process occurs in two steps. The first is the light dependent

stage which finds water being split into atoms of hydrogen and oxygen.
This stage requires light energy to occur. The second stage is the light
independent stage, or the carbon fixation stage. Here, hydrogen and
carbon dioxide combine using energy to form glucose and oxygen.
Photosynthesis is an important process in an ecosystem because it
provides energy for other species. The plants photosynthesise by
obtaining energy from the sun. Species such as herbivores and omnivores
obtain their energy by eating the plants. Carnivores and omnivores obtain
their energy by consuming meat = those species that consume plants. So,
there is a link between light energy and all species in an ecosystem.
Cellular respiration is the most efficient way for cells to harvest energy
stored in food, which is a catabolic pathway for the production of
adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP, a high energy molecule, is expended
by working cells.
Respiration involves a series of chemical reactions. It is a controlled
process, occurring as a sequence of about 50 different reactions, each one
catalysed by a different enzyme. Energy is released in small amounts. The
chemical energy held in the bonds of complex molecules, such as sugar, is
released when the bonds are broken. The energy is transferred to the
energy carrier molecule ATP.
ATP is produced at several points along the way. The process begins in the
cytoplasm, but most ATP comes from the steps that occur in a cellular
organelle called a mitochondrion.
1.2.4 Identify uses of energy by organisms
The energy released by respiration can be used by organisms by:
-

Energy released as heat and used to maintain body temperature.


This is especially important for endotherms (warm-blooded animals).
If humans get cold, muscles will start to shiver this is their way of
increasing activity, respiring at a higher rate and releasing heat for
the body.
Energy in the form of heat is needed by the body for chemical
reactions as enzymes in the body require an optimum temperature
for maximum efficiency. At low temperatures, the random
movement of molecules decreases, reducing their chance of
bumping into each other and hence having a reaction.
Causing synthesis of complex molecules from simple compounds
(e.g. the formation of polysaccharides from simple sugars, the
formation of polypeptides and proteins from amino acids, or the
formation of fats from fatty acids and glycerol.)
Used by cells for growth, repair of damaged or old cells, or for active
transport of materials across cell membranes.

1.2.5 Identify the general equation for aerobic cellular respiration


and outline this as a summary of a chain of biochemical reactions.
All living things need energy to remain alive
Respiration is the breakdown of glucose with oxygen to release energy
Carbon dioxide and water are produced as waste products
Glucose + Oxygen

Carbon Dioxide + Water + Energy

Aerobic means requiring oxygen


The energy is held in the glucose bonds; when they are broken, energy is
released.
Respiration involves around 50 different reactions, each catalysed by a
different
enzyme
ATP:
-

Adenosine triphosphate (one adenosine attached to three phosphate


groups)
This is the energy carrier is all cells
The energy produced by respiration is kept in these molecules
The energy is stored in the phosphate bonds
energy
ADP (adenosine diphosphate) + P (phosphate)
ATP

For every glucose molecule, 38 ATP molecules are produced


ADP + P + Glucose + Oxygen
38ADP + 38P + C6H12O6 + 6O2

Carbon dioxide + Water + ATP


6CO2 + 6H2O + 38ATP

There are 2 stages in Respiration:


-

Glycolysis:
Occurs in cytoplasm
Splits the 6-carbon glucose into two 3-carbon molecules (pyruvate C3)
2 ATP molecules are gained
Does NOT require oxygen
Krebs Cycle:
Occurs in the mitochondria
Pyruvate is broken down into water and CO2
36 ATP molecules are gained
Oxygen is required

1.3.1 Process and analyse information obtained from a variety of


sampling studies to justify the use of different sampling

techniques to make population estimates when total counts


cannot be performed

Unit 2: Each local aquatic or terrestrial ecosystem is unique


2.2.1 Examine trends in population estimates for some plant and
animal species within an ecosystem

The size of a population of predators is determined by the number of prey


available to them. In a simple relationship in which a predator feeds on
only one type of prey, an increase in the prey population means that more
food is available, and the predator population therefore also increases.
This causes the prey population to decrease, in turn resulting in a
decrease in the predator population. If members of the remaining prey
population cannot escape, they may all be eaten, and so die off. This will
also result in the demise of the predator species. In situations where at
least some prey can escape, however, equilibrium between the two
species is reached. In cases where a predator population feeds on more
than one type of prey, the predator may consume a larger proportion of a
certain species if numbers of the other prey species have decreased.
2.2.2 Outline factors that affect numbers in predator and prey
populations in the area studied
Both predator and prey have major impact on each others distribution
and abundance, and each can cause the others population to rise and fall
in fairly regular patterns.
Notice that:
-

Predator abundance is always lower than prey.


The peaks and troughs of the predators population always occur
AFTER those of the prey species.

What happens:
1. The numbers of the prey species increase because of its breeding cycle,
or seasonal increase in available food.
2. This provides more food for predators, who survive in greater numbers
and reproduce more successfully.
3. As predator numbers increase, more prey gets eaten and so the prey
population decreases.
4. As prey numbers decline, less predators can survive, and breeding is
less successful predator numbers decline.
Each organisms abundance affects the others abundance.
2.2.3 Identify examples of allelopathy, parasitism, mutualism and
commensalism in an ecosystem and the role of organisms in each
type of relationship
Allelopathy:
-

This is the production by a plant of specific chemicals (allelochemicals) which inhibit the growth of other plants around it

The example studied was the Casuarina. Its leaves contain allelochemicals, so as they dropped to the floor, they released the
chemicals, preventing the growth of other plants in the area

Parasitism:
-

This is a relationship between two organisms where one benefits at


the expense of the other organism
The example studied was the pimple wasp. It lays its eggs on the
leaves of the mangrove. The larvae eat through the leave when they
hatch and the leaf is damaged

Mutualism:
-

A relationship between two organisms where both of them benefit


The example studied was lichen. This consists of a fungus and an
alga joined together. The fungi provide structure and the alga
provides food

Commensalism:
-

A relationship between 2 organisms where only one benefits, and


the other get no harm and no benefit
The example studied is the golden orb-weaving spider and the
dewdrop spider. The weaving spider makes a web, and catches its
prey with it. It leaves scraps behind. The dewdrop spider eats the
leftovers.

2.2.4 Describe the role of decomposers in ecosystems


Decomposers are the rubbish cleaners of the ecosystems
They feed on the left overs of other organisms, dead organisms and
decaying organisms and their wastes.
They enable the materials of decomposition available to plants
They keep the biomass in circulation.
2.2.5 Explain trophic interactions between organisms in an
ecosystem using food chains, food webs and pyramids of biomass
and energy
Trophic interactions are feeding relationships between organisms
A FOOD CHAIN represents the flow of energy from one living thing to the
next
Food chains start with producers (plants), which are eaten by herbivores,
which are eaten by carnivores.
The first consumer is the organism that eats the first other organism. It
is usually a herbivore

FOOD WEBS are a complex set of interacting food chains within an


ecosystem
Ecosystems are composed of food webs, not just food chains.
At every step of a food chain, energy is lost
It is lost as heat, and wastes
This is represented in an energy pyramid, as the lowest level is the
biggest, and the levels shrink as they go up
At every step of the food chain, biomass (mass of organisms) is lost
Biomass is lost as undigested material and wastes
This is also shown in a biomass pyramid
Biomass pyramids and energy pyramids are usually similar in
ecosystems
2.2.6 Define the term adaptation and discuss the problems
associated with inferring characteristics of organisms as
adaptations for living in a particular habitat
An adaptation is any feature or characteristic which helps the organism
survive in its environment.
When studying organisms and relating the chances of survival to body
structure, physiology and behaviour, ecologists are always wary of
inferring every characteristic as a particular adaptation for a particular
habitat. Just because a plant or animal is found in a location does not
mean it has special adaptations to that environment. For example, many
desert plants can grow in areas with higher rainfall and milder
temperature changes; for instance, old man salt bush can be planted in
gardens, although it is usually displaced by other species unless humans
give assistance.
2.2.7 Identify some adaptations of living things to factors in their
environment
2.2.8 Identify and describe in detail adaptations of a plant and an
animal from the local ecosystem
Structural adaptations are those concerned with the anatomy of the
organism the size, shape or appearance of its body or part of its body.
For example, the many mammals which can survive desert conditions,
such as the bilby and the red kangaroo, have large ears. This structure
increases the surface-to-volume ratio of the animal and the
capillaries in the ear can easily lose heat and help cool the animal. In
plants, leaf size is a structural adaptation to the amount of sunlight
available. For example, in the lower levels in a rainforest the plants have

very large leaves to capture as much light as possible, while in deserts


the leaf size is much smaller to reduce absorption of radiant heat
energy and restrict water loss.
Physiological adaptations are those involved with the internal functioning
of the bodys metabolism. After the birth of a red kangaroo, the joey
crawls up the mothers fur, into her pouch and immediately attaches itself
to a nipple. While it is in the pouch the sucking stimulus prevents the
reoccurrence of the mothers fertility cycle. This is a physiological
adaptation to prevent the birth of offspring when the mother is unable to
look after it. Many plants become dormant through winter, e.g. deciduous
trees like the oak, birch, chestnut and maple which were introduced into
Australia by settlers who wanted gardens like they had back home.
Dormancy is a physiological adaptation, changing the trees metabolism
to survive the harsh winter conditions.
Behavioural adaptations are those concerned with how an organism
behaves- how it moves around or acts. To avoid the heat of the midday
sun, the red kangaroo will dig a shallow bed into the cooler layers of
the soil, in the shade of whatever plants available and rest until the cooler
hours of the day when it will look for feeding grasses. Bilbies dig spiral
holes approximately 1-2 metres deep. The burrows provide protection
against the suns heat and the nocturnal bilbies will avoid the hot daytime
sun by staying in their burrows, only emerging at night to forage for food.
Since plants do not move around life animals, they have fewer
behavioural adaptations. The flower of sunflowers will follow the
movement of the sun across the sky during the day.
2.2.9 Describe and explain the short-term and long-term
consequences on the ecosystem of species competing for
resources
Competition in ecosystems is the struggle between organisms for the
same resource
Competition can be between members of the same species or between
members of different species.
In the short-term, competition reduces the chance of survival and
restricts the abundance of all competitors
In the long-term, one of the competitors will eventually be more
successful and drive out or significantly reduce the numbers of other
competitors
2.2.10 Identify the impact of humans in the ecosystem studied
In Homebush Bay, significant industrialisation and urbanisation has
drastically changed the natural environment

The bay has been almost destroyed, and the wetlands have been almost
totally removed from the bay
Sedimentation of the river has also been done
Dredging the bay for land reclamation has also been done by humans.
-

Loss of habitat
Pollution
Acid rain
Pesticides contamination (harms amphibians due to their permeable
skin)
Eutrophication
Introduction of alien species that out-compete native species

2.3.1 Undertake a field study of a local ecosystem.


2.3.2 Gather information from first-hand and secondary sources
to construct food chains and food webs to illustrate the
relationships between member species in an ecosystem

2.3.3 Process and analyse information and present a report of the


investigation of an ecosystem in which the purpose is introduced,
the method described and the results shown graphically and use
available evidence to discuss their relevance
Below is a copy of the assessment task for 2.3.1-2.3.3.

MARK RECEIVED: 39/40


Biology Assessment Task- By Anh Nguyen

Wooglemai Report
On Wednesday 18th May 2016, Year 11 Biology students went on an excursion to
Wooglemai Environmental Education Centre to investigate and apply their
studies first hand in the bushland. Below is a report of their findings.
Wooglemai Environmental Education Centre is located on the edge of the Nattai
National Park (a part of the greater blue Mountains World heritage area)
approximately 7km south of the township of Oakdale and 480 metres above sea
level.
Grid references for the site are 34 08 09s S and 150 30 01s E.
(wooglemaieec.com)
1. Description of the area
Summarise the information collected in Task 1 and Task 3 (abiotic
features)
TASK 1- PLANT COMMUNITY
1) The table below is completed using random samples and replication
through the Quadrat Sampling Technique to determine the average value
of tree height and their foliage (leaf) cover. In order to fill out this table, it
is required to look for the biggest or tallest trees in the marked area.
Variable
Height of tallest
Stratum (mature
trees)
% of projected foliage
cover

Readin
g1
13m

Reading
2
11m

Readin
g3
10m

Reading
4
14m

Averag
e
12m

40%

50%

40%

30%

40%

Name the plant community within and around the Quadrat area by using the
averages for the two variables in the table. Based on the Structural Form of
Australian Vegetation (www.anbg.gov.au) below:

It is determined that the plant community within and around the Quadrat area is
mild-dense open forest.
2) Measure canopy cover (top of the trees) and ground cover (living plant
materials that are less than 1m tall, such as shrubs, herbs, grasses)
Method: Throw a rag randomly towards a canopy. If it covers the canopy, place a
tick, if it does not cover any canopy, place a cross in the table.
Variabl
e
%
Canop
y
Cover
%
Groun
d
Cover

50
%

10

Percenta
ge
70%

(Only need 1 number)

TASK 3- SOIL TESTING


Method:
1. Find a spot in the quadrat where there will be no disturbance to vegetation
or where no disturbance is evident.
2. Perform soil tests/ observations listed below.
Texture (using your hands or fingers to feel the texture)
Sand- mostly larger mineral particles that do not stick together well. Will not
produce a mass that sticks together.
Colour A1 layer (using a colour chart)
Sandy light brown
Colour A2 layer (colour chart)
Brown with grey tones

Indicative depth of Topsoil (use a ruler to dig to see the layers, only to
the bottom of A1)
5.5cm
Drainage (excellent, good, fair, poor. Using a saturation test of excess
rain in the area) i.e. if the water drains in less than 30 seconds, its
excellent
Poor
Ph (following the Barium sulphate method and using a universal
indicator. A soil test kit is given, place soil sample on kit, add 6 drops of
indicator and barium sulphate power)
Yellow (acidic)- PH 6
Soil temperature (using a digital soil thermometer, place a probe into
the soil and read the temperature)
19.1 C
Topography (shape of the land, its slope)
Hill-like
Slope (using field protractor app or inclinometer)
11
Aspect (take a compass bearing along one of the 20m sides of the
quadrat to check aspect)
Compass bearing/direction 280 degrees South downslope.
Summarise the information collected in Task 4 and 5 (biotic features)
TASK 4- MEASURING ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS
Method:
1. Perform the atmospheric tests (below) using the appropriate equipment
2. Compare your findings to the long term data for this location
Abiotic
factors

Light
Digital
light
meter/
Lux

Temperatur
e
Digital
thermomete
r/

Relative
Humidity
Hygrometer
/
RH%

Wind Speed
Anemomete
r/
m/s

Wind
Direction
Compass/
bearing

C
Readin
g1
Readin
g2
Readin
g3
Readin

17 000

17.5

41

0.01

94 000

20.4

38

0.1

NW

57 000

18.9

78

0.1

SW

27 000

20.3

32

0.1

g4
Mean
48 750
19.275
47.25
0.0775
Range
77 000
2.9
46
0.09
Record the time of year of these readings. Why is this relevant?
Readings were collected on 18/5/2016. This is relevant because of seasonal
variation from summer to winter. Abiotic conditions change during the changes in
seasons.
How do abiotic factors affect biotic factors?
-

Light- natural light plays an important role in plants lives as it is utilized


for the process of photosynthesis. Plants act as a food source for primary
consumers and transfers energy to animals. UV light is used by some
insects to distinguish between flowers. Birds also rely on UV light that is
reflected off trees to orientate themselves in a certain direction. (Bright
Hub- Gupta, Atula 2010)
Based on the table above, the range of Lux is only 77 000, with an
average Lux of 48 750. This indicates a low light intensity, with plenty of
shade in the Wooglemai study location, as expected in an open forest
environment.

Temperature- the average temperature recorded is 19 degrees Celsius,


indicating the relative average temperature in the Wooglemai area during
May. Animals body temperature fluctuates in different seasonal
conditions, and many survive well in moderate temperature ranges.
(Gupta, Atula 2010) Thus, during May where the range of temperature
vary only slightly, it is expected that biotic factors of the Wooglemai area
survive well under these conditions.
Humidity- humidity of the air will determine the amount of water an
organism loses. In areas with high humidity, organisms lose more water
compared to areas with low humidity, where animals have adaptations to
help them retain as much water as possible. (Skwirk) Based on the table,
the average relative humidity of the area is 47%, a little low considering
the cool temperature at the time. This means that animals would want to
retain more water in their body, thus their urine may be of a darker colour
and droppings are dry and condensed and darker in colour. (See wallaby
droppings in task 5 below)

Conclusion: In a rainforest-like environment, temperature and humidity


fluctuations are much less, light levels are reduced and air movement is
minimal. This perfectly illustrates the abiotic conditions of Wooglemais openforest environment.

TASK 5- MONITORING FAUNA


Method:
1. Within your quadrat area, examine the canopy, tree trunks, shrub layer,
leaf litter and soil surface for the presence of animal life. Signs of animal
life include droppings, foot prints, spider webs or chewed up leaves.
2. Carefully capture and observe any small animals. Release animals
unharmed after observation.
3. Record any structures, markings, movement or sounds caused by animals.
4. Complete table below as a record.
Name of animal (if

Numbers

Comments/observations

known)

found

Ant holes
Worm

Abundant
1

Spider
Droppings of wallaby

1
3

(e.g. where found, feeding


relationships)
Found near plants
Grey in colour, found in the corner of a
tree
Found in a spider web on a tree
Dark brown in colour
Pellets under plants and trees

Assess the impact of abiotic factors on the Feathertail Glider


(Acrobatyes pygmaeus) living in this area
The Feathertail Glider, also known as Pygmy Glider or Flying Mouse, is only
around 6-8cm in length and light grey in colour. Like other gliding mammals, the
Feathertail glider has a patagium stretching between the fore and hind legs. Its
tail is flattened with short fur, with a fringe of stiff hairs resembling a feather
along the edge. No other Australian mammal has a feather-like tail.
The Feathertail Glider is found within both wet and dry sclerophyll forest at
altitudes above 350m. It has a preference for forest where the average tree
height is below 25 metres, where the forest canopy is broken and there is
substantial understorey of shrubs (and where ground cover exceeds 30%). It
inhabits areas where flowering and fruiting plants can provide a continuous yearround food supply and Eucalypt species yield high amount of sap which is a
reliable food source.
This is a nocturnal species. Other than Eucalypts, it also likes Acacia and Banksia
trees. Adults may also hunt for moths, beetles, caterpillars etc.
Table of abiotic factors that affect the Feathertail Glider:

Abiotic factor
Soil

Impact on the Feathertail Glider


Acacia plants grow best in soil with a pH of 6.5, which
corresponds to Task 3s soil ph. of 6. Typically, soil used
to grow acacias is from around a variety of plants that
have produced nitrogen nodules including the roots with
nodules adhering. (Nicholson, Ron) This indicates that the
Wooglemai area has a soil suitable for acacias to grow,
and this contributes to one of many food sources of the
Feathertail Glider.

Light

Feathertail Gliders are nocturnal animals; they are most


active during the night. This means they are not directly
dependent on sunlight to search for food or to move
about. However, light can affect the plant species they
rely on as a food source. One of which is the Banksia,
where Gliders tend to eat tree sap from. For Banksias, a
balance must be achieved between having sufficient light
available for photosynthesis to occur. Too much light can
lead to an undesirable rise in temperature to the point
where leaves become pale and bleached through greater
nitrogen use. (McLean, Russell)

Temperature

Feathertail gliders do not hibernate as such, but are


capable of entering torpor during cold weather at any
time of the year. Torpor can last for several days, during
which time the animal's body temperature can drop to as
low as 2 C and oxygen consumption reduces to just 1%
of normal oxygen intake. Torpid gliders curl into a ball,
wrapping their tail around themselves and folding their
ears flat, and often huddling together with up to four
other individuals to reduce heat loss and conserve
energy. (Wikipedia)

Water
(availability of
water)

As the humidity level in the area is 47%RH, which is


relatively low, plants and animals must adapt by
preventing excess loss of water.
In the case of the Feathertail Glider, they only come out
at night, where heat from sunlight do not stimulate water
release through sweat glands. Other physical adaptations
include thicker urine, ensuring that little water is released
as well as having drier, more firm droppings.
For eucalypt trees in the Wooglemai area, their leaves
are small and thin to loose little water and keep itself
from becoming dried out. Also, thin leaves are equivalent
to a smaller surface area, thus capturing less amount of
sunlight on the leaves, ensuring less water evaporation.

Topography
(altitude, slopes
and elevation)

Gliders prefer tree heights to be below 25m, and ground


cover exceeds 30%. From previous data, the average tree
height of the area is 12m, and the ground cover is at

50%. The topography of the area is hill-like, with a slope


of 11 degrees. This allows enough altitude for eucalypts
to grow as older eucalypts do not block out sunlight from
seedlings, resulting in more food sources for the
Feathertail to thrive.
Climate

During dry climates, eucalypts may produce dried sap in


a dark red or black colour. During these times the
Feathertail Glider may look for an alternate source of
food, such as hunting invertebrates along with their
young.

2. Quadrat study and plant abundance


Include the data from task 2b + Use this data to estimate population
density of Banksia spinulosa
TASK 2B- ESTIMATING ABUNDANCE OF A PLANT SPECIES
Method:
1. Count the abundance of the plant species Banksia spinulosa within your
marked quadrat
2. Complete the table below by adding similar data from other groups
Quadrat
1
2
3
4
5
number
Number
4
5
8
10
10
of plants
Total size
200m2
200m2
200m2
200m2
200m2
of sample
areas
(1000m2)
3. Calculate the overall abundance of the nominated plant in your overall
sample areas by determining the total number of plants in the table.
Overall abundance= 4+5+8+10+10 = 37 plants

4. Calculate the population density (in plants per square metre) by using the
formula below.
Population density= Abundance in sample areas/ Total size of sample areas
Population density of Banksia spinulosa = 37/1000m2 = 0.037 per square
metre
3. Transect study
Use the class data provided to create a graph that shows how the
distribution of the six species of plants changes along this transect

Suggest reasons for the changes observed


A gradual change in the distribution of species across a habitat is called
zonation. It can happen because of a gradual change in an abiotic factor. Below
are the factors that contribute to this change (prezi.com):
Temperature: In most eukaryotic green plants, the optimal temperature of
metabolism ranges between 0~50 C. In more extreme temperatures, there
are less species of plants that are adapted to survive. This is because the higher
the altitude, the lower the temperature becomes, and so plant abundance will
thin out. This is evident in the graph as the further the distance (assuming it is

the distance up higher ground), the fewer the plants. This pattern remains the
same across most of the six plant species.
Water level: Usually land with higher water amount tends to have more
vegetation. As illustrated in the graph, the further the distance, the fewer the
plants. This is because as land height increases, the lower the water level as it is
concentrated in lower dips in the land. However, water dependency varies
between each species as different organisms require different amounts of water
to survive. Thus, this explains why Calicoma Serratifola has somewhat increased
in number at 250m and 300m.
Soil ph: pH 7 is the optimal pH for plant growth, but some species are capable
of surviving in lower or higher pH. One of the factors that affect soil ph is
precipitation, and the change in precipitation depends on altitude: while the top
of the mountain may receive abundant rainfall, mountains often remain dry on
the down-wind side. (Reference.com) And as precipitation increases, leaching of
Ca and Mg increases, allowing the pH to decrease. (eLibrary) This means that the
higher the altitude, the more chances that soil ph would decrease, causing it to
become more acidic. This may explain why there are less trees that grow at
higher altitudes, according to the graph.
Mineral nutrients: including salts, usually occur at low levels as nutrients are
released into the soil by decay of matter. This closely links with ph level, as it
affects the activity of bacteria that decomposes dead matter in the soil.
4. Adaptations
Choose one plant and one animal from this ecosystem and conduct
further research.
Describe the adaptation of each.
Use research to create a food chain for each species.
Animal/ Plant chosen
Eucalyptus trees
(Source of research:
bioweb.uwlax.edu)

Adaptations
As there is low humidity,
Eucalypt trees in
Wooglemai have small
and thin leaves to loose
little water and keep
itself from becoming
dried out. Also, thin
leaves are equivalent to
a smaller surface area,
thus capturing less
amount of sunlight on
the leaves, ensuring less
water evaporation.
As the Wooglemai
climate can become
quite dry, especially in
summer, and is prone to
bushfires, Eucalyptus

Food chain
Eucalyptus

Koala

Dingo
Wild Owl
tail Eagle

Wedge-

Swamp Wallabies
(Source: Pamela Melrose
2016)

possess a number of
adaptations which allow
them to survive these
blazes, including thick,
tough bark to protect the
vulnerable heartwood
layers beneath.
Concealed under this
natural armour, many
Eucalyptus species have
a reserve of leaf buds.
The extreme heat of the
fire activates chemical
reactions in these buds,
causing a new set of
leaves to grow after the
fire.
The leaves are also
covered with a waxy
surface to help keep
some beetles from
getting a foothold, and
the oils in the leaves are
toxic to many predators
(with a well-known
exception being the
koala).
Swamp Wallabies inhabit
thick undergrowth in
forests and woodlands,
or shelter during the day
in thick grass or ferns,
emerging at night to
feed. It lives throughout
Australia, including NSW.
They prefer to browse on
bushes rather than
graze on grasses, so
they have large and
sturdy teeth that help
them chew through
tough bushes. Their
fourth premolar helps
them to cut into the
shrubs.
They use their tail for
support and balance as
they jump.
Also, their grey brown
colour is an excellent

Grasses, shrubs and


ferns

Swamp wallabies

Foxes

Dingoes

camouflage for the


Australian swamp bush.
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