My Biol 201 web portfolio
Parrotfish, of the family Sarcadiae, are widely protected because they help maintain the delicate balance in coral ecosystems. The parrotfish grazes on various plant matters around the coral reef, preventing overgrowth of algae and sea grasses. While their diet is mainly herbivorous, they also graze on juvenile corals, scarring areas of the coral reefs. This grazing pattern is unique to the Caribbean and IndoPacific ecosystems, and has become the focus of concern in the biological research community. As they chomp at the vegetation with their parrot-like beaks, they leave scars in the calcium substrates on which the organisms live. Tidal exposures in parrotfish habitats reveal deep and numerous scars in algal communities, but are considerably less notable in areas that remain submerged. The shallowest waters are filled with some of the most nutrient rich algal turfs and are being pushed back, deteriorated or destroyed by grazing parrotfish.
The small Asian Shore Crab, or Hemigrapsus Sanguineus, is invasive to the east coast of the United States. it lives alongside Green Shore crabs in rocky, inner tidal areas. This crab is very resiliant even in the toughest of conditions. It can survive in a wide range of temperatures and has a wide, unrestricted diet. These unique characteristics give it an advantage living on the eastern coast, and advantage which may disturb Atlantic inner-tidal ecosystems.