THE COASTAL SAGE SCRUB Lauren yeretzian - Period 5

California Buckwheat - Found At http://mother-natures-backyard.blogspot.com/2014/06/plant-of-month-june-california.html, 3-29-17

INTRODUCTION

Picture a vast field, speckled with numerous shades of green jauntily placed here and there. Blue skies and lushious clouds line the mountains clearly, for everything in sight is a short shrub or bush. Native flowers and fruit hang low on stubby branches, entiwined together by little birds' nests. The coastal sage scrub is one of California's most diverse indigenous biomes. Its vast amount of plant and animal life works together in harmony, while all odds are against them. Due to a rise in agricultural interest and the ever-growing urban sprawl, less than 10% of natural sage scrubs exist in California, due to the many buildings and farms that cover where its beauty once lay.

ABIOTIC FACTORS ARE THE NONLIVING THINGS IN AN ECOSYSTEM

Abiotic Amongst the Biotic - Taken at My House: Anaheim Hills, California, 2-21-17

ABIOTIC FACTORS

The coastal sage scrub's grandest abiotic factor, its climate, is usually mild and calm. Since it's located near the equator, most plants and animals there live through a "Mediterranean climate" where summers are hot and dry while winters are mild and moist. The coastal sage scrub relies heavily on the rain patterns to water its many crops and feed its thirsty animals. Rain patterns not just from its own area, but all around the world affect everyday life. Due to the current drought in southern California areas, and the already dry lower parts of Mexico, only leaving two options for inhabitants, adapt to die. Plants have become dormant and dried against the sun, leaving them weak and fragile. Animals that once relied on shrub branches to protect or provide their homes look elsewhere for a sturdy shelter. Humans are not the only cause for a decrease in area dominated by the costal sage scrub. The lack of water mixed with the usual high heat challenges its existence.

RAIN AND OTHER TYPES OF WEATHER ARE ABIOTIC FACTORS

Gloomy Leaves -Taken at My House: Anaheim Hills, California, 2-27-17

OTHER IMPORATANT ABIOTIC FACTORS INCLUDE:

ROCKS ARE ABIOTIC FACTORS THAT INTERACT IN AN ECOSYSTEM BY PROVIDING HIDING PLACES FOR NEARBY INSECTS

Sandy Stones - Taken at My House: Anaheim Hills, California, 2-27-17

THE SUN IS AN ABIOTIC FACTOR THAT INTERACTS WITH AN EVOSYSTEM BY PROVIDING THE ENERGY FOR EVERY FOOD WEB

Sunrise - Taken at Newport Beach, California, 7-21-05 - http://stephenhoward.blogspot.com

BIOTIC FACTORS ARE THE LIVING THINGS IN AN ECOSYSTEM AND THEIR PRODUCTS

Plants - Taken at My House: Anaheim Hills, California, 2-27-17

BIOTIC FACTORS

When most people think of living things in our everyday lives, they think of friends, family, pets, or other animals they see at the zoo. However, the list extends far longer than that. Plants, decomposer such as fungi, and even products such as fruit and dead leaves can be considered an abiotic factor! Biotic factors are all around us and interact with our society in some of the most crucial to subtle ways possible. Soil, which contains, the waste, corpses, and litter of numerous plants and animals is used to plant trees and other producers in, which are eaten by consumer for energy. Twigs and larger sticks are used by birds, another abiotic factor, to build nests for their young. That bird, a California thrasher, for example, could be eaten by another biotic factor, a red diamond rattlesnake.

SOIL

Grainy Soil - Taken At My House: Anaheim Hills, California, 2-27-17

CALIFORNIA THRASHER

California Thrasher - Taken at Stanford University, California, 11-13-05 -http://tgreybirds.com/Pages/CaliforniaThrasherp.html

PRODUCERS ARE THE PLANTS IN AN ECOSYSTEM, THEY PHOTOSYNTHESIZE IN ORDER TO CHANGE SUNLIGHT INTO AN EDIBLE FORM OF ENERGY

Bluff California Lilac - Taken at http://www.monrovia.com/plant-catalog/plants/5809/yankee-point-california-lilac/, 2-29-17

PRODUCERS - PLANTS

BLUFF CALIFORNIA LILAC

As energy enters a food web through sunlight, the only organisms able to convert it into a consumable form are producers, or plants. Energy in the form of sunlight is changed into glucose by producers when they photosynthesize and from then on, consumers daring to eat the plant can finally receive energy. The bluff California lilac is no exception when it comes to photosynthesis. Its bright green indicates that it's chloroplasts are very active, and is producing glucose often. Photosynthesis occurs when a plant has gather carbon dioxide, water, and sunlight (captured by its chlorophyll) mix in the chloroplasts to form glucose for itself. Consumers will then be able to eat the remaining energy in this form and will breath in the oxygen that the plant releases as a product during photosynthesis.

OTHER PRODUCERS INCLUDE BUCKWHEAT, SAGE, AND COYOTE BRUSH

CONSUMERS

CONUSMERS ARE ANIMALS, AND THEY EAT BOTH PRODUCERS AND OTHER CONSUMERS

Red Diamond Rattlesnake - Found at https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JLbw4FCW2Go, 3-30-17

RED DIAMOND RATTLESNAKE

A consumer is an animal, it is willing to eat either a producer or other consumer for energy. When it comes to snakes however, most people think that they fall at the top of the food chain, being an omivore. However, in the coastal sage scrub, many other animals are daring such as overhead eagles to enough to eat such a creature, making it a seccondary consumer. The red diamond rattlesnake mostly eats rabbits, ground squirrels, lizards, birds, and other snakes. Like most snakes, it also has venomous fangs that can send anyone to a hospital.

OTHER CONSUMERS INCLUDE

THE ISLAND SCRUB JAY

Island Scrub Jay - Found At https://www.wired.com/2015/03/jay-evolving-weird-way/, 3-30-17

THE ARROYO TOAD

Arroyo Toad - Found At http://www.halcyonenv.com/arto/, 3-30-17

THE SAN DIEGO BANDED GECKO

San Diego Banded Gecko - Found At https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremywrightphotography/32864699345/, 3-30-17

KEEP IN MIND...

CONSUMERS RELY ON PRODUCERS FOR ENERGY IN A FOOD WEB

DECOMPOSERS BREAK DOWN DEAD CONSUMERS AND PRODUCERS INTO NUTRIENTS RELEASED BACK INTO THE SOIL

Ectomycorrhizae Fungi - Found At http://curatrixvisions.com/portfolio/mycorrhizae/, 3-29-17

DECOMPOSERS

ECTOMYCORRHIZAE FUNGI

Fungi come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, but they all are the same thing, decomposers. A decomposer's job is to break down dead producers and consumers into nutrients that fertilize the soil. Ectomycorrhizae fungi work slowly on decomposing other biotic factor by growing on them, branching out into a larger and larger web of mushrooms. Most grow on fallen trees, and with the help of other forces such as erosion and abandoned holes in the wood, the tree will be converted into bunches of nutrients to be used up by new plants, which will be eaten by new consumers.

OTHER EXAMPLES OF DECOMPOSERS INCLUDE

EARTHWORMS
SNAILS
SLUGS
DUE TO THE RECENT DROUGHT, BOTH PLANTS AND ANIMALS HAVE BEEN PUT INTO AN "ADAPT OR DIE" SITUATION

ADAPTATIONS

As we know, the California sagebrush changes its leaf texture and the thickness of its cuticles depending on the time of year. Another important adaptation developed by coastal sage scrub plants are its leaf color and root length. While a typical plant growing in these areas have lighter colored leaves to reflect the beaming sun away from it, its roots are very long to retrieve deep water during long periods without rain. The prickly pear cactus blooms bright flowers that cover little of its pale green surface and its roots extend to deep measurements to receive water to store.

Prickly Pear Cactus - Found At https://pixabay.com/en/spain-catalonia-cacti-cactus-1215778/, 3-30-17

OTHER EXAMPLES OF ADAPTED BIOTIC FACTORS INCLUDE

THE MORNING GLORY - ITS EXCITING FLOWERS' COLORS ATTRACT POLLENATORS ATTENTION

THE CALIFONIA GNATCATCHER - ITS DULL GREY AND BROWN PALLETE, COMBINED WITH ITS SHOCKINGLY SMALL SIZE HELPS IT CAMOFLAGE UNDER ALL THE TWIGS AND PLANTS ON THE FLOOR

BLACK SAGE - ENTERS A DORMANT STAGE DURING DROUGHTS AND APPEARS DARKER AND DRIED UP

THE CALIFORNIA SAGEBRUSH COVERS MOST OF THE SURFACE IN AN AREA DOMINATED BY THE COASTAL SAGE SCRUB

California Sagebrush - Taken at https://www.fallbrooksource.com/gallery/1/b/asteraceae/artemisia%20californica/, 2-28-17

VASCULAR PLANT - BIOTIC FACTOR

CALIFORNIA SAGEBRUSH

The coastal sage scrub is home to an abundant amount of plant life, including its most popular shrub, the California sagebrush. These plants provide food, shelter, and a way to hide from predictors or prey. The California sagebrush houses many quail worldwide, and oaks usually sprout around it, also for support. It also sports a pale green exterior made up of brown twigs and whispy pine-like leaves. The looming drought has led it to adapt, yet again, according to the rain patterns during the year. During the winter and spring, the leaves are long and tender, and growth occurs because there is enough rain during these times. During the summer, however, the leaves become hard and waxier than before, and the plant appears to be very dry, but is actually in a dormant stage, where growth is minimal. The California sagebrush also has a herbaceous stem with vascular tissue to move water and nutrients from one part of itself to another.

OTHER VASCULAR PLANTS INCLUDE

BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO

BLACK SAGE

DEERWEED

CALIFORNIA POPPIES

Entodon Moss - Found At https://www.mountainmoss.com, 3-30-17

MOUNTAIN MOSS - NON-VASCUALR PLANT

Although moss is not very common in a coastal sage scrub environment, it does grow near any source of shade and moisture. It thrives hereunder the branches of nearby shrubs, especially during the moist winters its Mediterranean climate brings. Entodon moss grows little flower-like structures, despite it being a non-vascular plant, and seems to become dormant during hot and dry summers.

MORE EXAMPLES OF NONVASCULAR PLANTS:

CLIMACIUM MOSS - THUIDIUM MOSS - BYROANDERSONIA MOSS

VERTEBRATES HAVE BOTH A BACKBONE AND SKULL

VERTABRATE ANIMAL

COAST HORNED LIZARD

While our most common animals on earth are vertebrates, only three percent of all biotic factors are in this category, and part of Phylum Chordata. Vertebrates are more complex animals, built in with a backbone and skull. They only make up this one Phylum because their number is so little. The coast horned lizard is a vertebrate that is in the iguana family, and its body features many brown banded scales and stripes, so it is easy for it to camouflage under low shrub branches and dirt.

OTHER IMPORTANT VERTEBRATES

KAGAROO RAT, RED DIAMOND RATTLESNAKE, AND CALIFORNIA THRASHER

THE ENDANGERED KANGAROO RAT

Kangaroo Rat - Found At https://www.pinterest.com/pin/394487248588137782/, 3-30-17

INVERIBRATES ARE ANIMALS THAT DO NOT HAVE A BACKBONE

Land Snail On A Twig - Found At https://www.gizmodo.com.au/tags/snails/, 3-30-17

INVERTEBRATES

Most of our world instead consists of invertebrates, rather than our common vertebrates, making up ninety-seven percent of all animals. Invertebrates are animals that do not have a skull or backbone, are less complex, and make up eight different phyla! The land snail, part of Phyla Mollusca has a brown shell and slimy body, helping it hide from larger animals willing to eat it, such as the many bird that the coastal sage scrub houses. Seeing land snails is easy, as long as you visit this Biome during its moister winter months.

OTHER EXAMPLES INCLUDE

EARTHWORMS

FLIESAND ANTS

THE COASTAL SAGE SCRUB HOUSES A VAST LIST OF ORGANISMS, AND MANY OF THESE ARE ENDANGERED ALONG WITH IT

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