Friday, September 7, 2007

Ecosystem - Coral Reefs

Question Time:What is your favourite seafood? Name them.

Link your answer to introduce the first Naked Fact!

Naked Facts:

NF#1: City under the sea!
a) Coral reefs are homes/shelter to nearly one quarter of all known marine species. They include over 4000 species of fish, 700 species of coral and thousands of other forms of plants and animal life.
b) Seafood like groupers, snappers, grunts, wrasses and many more will be gone if coral reefs disappear. Now we won't want that, right?

More information about Corals, click here.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Ecosystem - Mangroves

Naked Facts:

NF#1: Read them from here !
Great and important facts! Do read them.

NF#2: Seagrasses need the mangroves.
a) Mangroves can slow down the speed of water from inland, therefore causing fine silt to settle around the mangrove forests.
b) But if these fine silt reach the waters, they will cloud the water, block the sunlight and the seagrasses will not be able to make food (photosynthesize) and flourish.

NF#3: No durians with mangroves?Read more about this here.
Did you know?
It is believed that the earliest species of mangroves came from the Southeast Asian region.
There are more mangrove species in this region than anywhere else in the world.

Too much information
NF#4: Pollution Controller
a) Mangroves help to control some forms of pollution, including excess amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous, petroleum products, and halogenated compounds from reaching the seas. Mangroves stop these contaminants from polluting the ocean waters through a process called rhizofiltration. But the over-existence of these pollutants can kill the mangrove trees.
b) Rhizofiltration is the filtering of water through a mass of roots to remove toxic substances or excess nutrients.

For more reading on the importance of mangroves, you may click here.

Related Links:
1. Mangrove Climbers
2. Bushes in the mangroves

Ecosystem - Coastal Forest of Chek Jawa

Naked Facts:

Interactive Question:
Question: Now let's observe, can you find any differences between the coastal forest and mangrove forest?

Possible Answers:
1) The mangrove forest is sometimes submerged in seawater while the coastal forest is not submerged in water.
2) The roots of the mangrove trees have weird roots (you can talk more about them at the mangrove forest) while the trees at the coastal forests do not.

NF#1: Source of Nutrient AKA Food for marine life at the shore
a) When it rains, nutrients from the soil, fallen leaves etc and minerals from the rocks are washed down the slopes of the coastal forest
b) These are in fact considered ‘food’ for many marine flora and fauna living in the inter-tidal zone.

NF#2: Natural wind buffer
a) Imagine a natural wall which is steep and built up of rocks and vegetation.

b) It helps to lessen the impact of strong winds from storms, hurricanes etc.

NF#3: Place to find
rare and unique plants + jungle fowl
a) The plants you find at coastal forests can be given the titles of ‘survivors’,
as they are constantly exposed to strong dry winds, salt sprays, the hot temperature.
b) Due to development, we do not have a lot of places left in Singapore with coastal forests now, think Labrador Park, Sentosa and Chek Jawa.
Native Jungle fowls are also known to live the coastal forest of Chek Jawa.
d) Some rare/unique plants found at the coastal forest include the Seashore Nutmeg, Pong pong tree and Delek air tree etc. Read more about them here.

More reading:
To read on showy and interesting plants found at the Coastal forest, click here.

Simple Drawing on coastal forest ecosystem, worth a look!