Ningaloo Reef Case Study

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Ningaloo Reef Marine Ecosystem

1. Identify ten organisms from your chosen ecosystem and draw a food web to show trophic interactions between them. Within this food web, you must include and label a decomposer.

Ten organisms that live in the Ningaloo Reef include the bottlenose dolphin, loggerhead turtle, tiger shark, whale shark, Southern Calamari squid, jellyfish, zooplankton, dugong, phytoplankton and seagrass. The decomposer in this food web is bacteria, which works to further break down the dead organic matter in the bodies of plant and animal organisms.

Producer (Sea grass, phytoplankton): Makes its own food through photosynthesis and stores its energy
Primary Consumer: Obtains food and energy by eating organisms (zooplankton)
2. From your ecosystem, identify and describe an example of
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A mutualistic relationship: The Manta Ray and Remora Fish
The Remora Fish uses the Manta Ray as a form of transport by attaching them to their stomach. While doing so, they eat away at the small crustacean parasites (Copepods) and the epidermal tissue on the Manta Ray’s skin. Thus, the Manta Ray also benefits as the Remora Fish cleans away its bacteria. As both of these organisms benefit from either one’s services, their relationship is mutualistic.
b. A commensal relationship: Sea cucumber and Pearl Fish
The pearl fish uses the sea cucumber to as protection to hide from other predators. It enters through the Sea cucumber’s anus, and once it’s covered, will spend most of the day hidden inside. When it is safer to roam at night, the Pearl Fish comes out to eat small Crustaceans. When the sea cucumber opens its anus for respiration, the pearl fish swims back inside to seek shelter again. This is a commensal relationship as the pearl fish benefits by gaining a place to seek protection, while the sea cucumber is unaffected by the relationship.

c. A parasitic relationship: Isopod (Cymothoa exigua) and

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