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Experiment #: 2
Date: October 5, 2012
Topic:  Ecology
Aim: To conduct a complete an ecological survey of the Lime Cay including a study of the: 1. Man’s Impact on the Environment
2. Echinoderm Distribution
3. Mangrove Distribution
4. Rocky Shore Habitat
Background Information:
Lime Cay, the man islet of the Port Royal Cays, located 17 degrees north and 76 degrees west, is one of the many cays in Jamaica. By definition, a cay is a small low elevated sandy island formed on the surface of a coral reef. These types of islands are usually found in the Caribbean Sea, Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Ocean. Also they are circular in shape. A cay is home to many different species due to the formation of habitats such as the rocky shore habitat. A cay is formed when the current of the ocean transport lose sediments across the surface of a reef to a depositional node, which is where two currents converge and the sediment load is released. Layers of deposited sediment gradually build up on the reef surface resulting in a low island forming on this reef. Cays provide a variety of habitats ranging from marine to terrestrial. Hence, Cays are important protectors of the biodiversity of our planet. Cays provide several habitats for its organisms such as rocky shores, sea grass beds, sand bed, coral beds and inner terrestrial land. Prominent organisms that occupy the marine and the coastal habitats include echinoderms, crabs, fishes etc. The terrestrial portion of Cay is usually dominated by various Mangrove species.

Method:
A trip was made to Lime Cay to carry out a comprehensive ecological study of Lime Cay. It was done in 4 parts: Project 1: The Impact of Man on the Environment
Persons walked along the cay and waded in the water to find evidence of the presence of man to determine the ways in which he affects the habitat. Evidence of the presence of animals was also investigated and a possible food web was made based on the animals (or evidence of...
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