Mudflats In Nudgee Beach

Improved Essays
Biology Essay

Ecology is a biological subdivision that focuses on the relationships between organisms and their physical surroundings [1]. An ecosystem is a particular branch of ecology, comprised of biotic communities and the abiotic factors by which they interact with [2]. An example of an ecosystem with different biotic and abiotic factors is a mangrove forest.

Mangrove forests are extremely fertile and make up some of the most densely-populated and widespread coastal ecosystems in the world [3]. The majority of mangrove ecosystems are accompanied by regions of coastal land called mudflats. Mudflats have little vegetation and may only occur when their shores are protected from waves [4]. The interdependent relationship between mudflats
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An example of an area with both mangrove forests and mudflats is Nudgee Beach.

Nudgee Beach is a suburb in the outer regions of Brisbane, Australia. Located between Kedron Brook and Cabbage Tree Creek, Nudgee Beach is home to a variety of different mangrove species including; the grey mangrove (Avicennia marina), the red mangrove (Rhizophora stylosa), the yellow mangrove (Ceriops tagal) and the river mangrove (Aegiceras corniculatum) [5]. These mangroves contribute greatly to the overall condition of the ecosystem and play a vital role in providing and maintaining species diversity at Nudgee Beach.

The abundance in mangroves at Nudgee Beach provides increased numbers of organisms with habitats and microhabitats that they can accommodate; therefore increasing the overall number of organisms within the entire ecosystem. Each of these organisms must interact with other organisms in order to survive and to find food. The complex feeding relationships between these organisms are divided up into levels that make up the food web [6]. The first level of the food web is made up of autotrophic producers that are
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Many organisms found throughout this ecosystem must adapt to survive symbiotically in relation to these factors. An example of an animal adapted to the variable abiotic factors is the eastern curlew (Numenius madagascariensis). The eastern curlew is a migratory bird whose downward-curved bill allows it access to the muddy depths of Australian mangrove mudflats to probe for crustaceans. Its long legs also enable the exploration of boggy, muddy areas unattainable to other short-legged birds [10]. These physical adaptations allow the eastern curlew to benefit from its environment and increase the length of its migratory visit. Another animal adapted to the abiotic factors of the Nudgee Beach mangrove ecosystem is the common soldier crab (Mictyris longicarpus). The common soldier crab is a small crustacean that typically travels in “armies” of thousands to ensure strength in numbers when feeding. Soldier crabs feed off of particle detritus in the mudflat sediment and retreat back into the sand as the tide rises [11]. With their jointed legs and pointed dactylus, soldier crabs are able to burrow underground and can remain secluded – by creating an air pocket around them – for as long as the tide is high. This

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