Brendan T. Byrne State Forest is a state forest situated in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. It the second largest forest in the state.
Structure of Ecosystem
Climatic Factors: the forest is situated in the central part of New Jersey. The climate is humid subtropical. It receives approximately 2500 hours of sunshine every year. The summer here is humid and hot. The temperature varies between 28-31°C. The average rate of precipitation is 43-51 inches.
Edaphic Factors: the forest is characterized by wet flinty soil. The forest is situated on flat terrain with several hills.
The biotic components are autotrophs, consumers, and decomposers.
The wet soil in the forest create the ideal conditions for the growth of pines and wild blueberries.
This forest in characterized by a great variety of wildlife which includes herbivores, carnivores, and tertiary consumers (the quarterly consumers are absent as the place is frequently visited by tourists).
The Herbivores include raccoon, white-tailed deer, pileated woodpecker, wild turkey, eastern cottontail, ruffed grouse, gray squirrel, and pine barrens treefrog. These animals feed on plants and small insects.
The carnivores are the category of animals that feed on the first group – herbivores. The carnivores of Brendan T. Byrne State Forest are red fox, marten, hawk, great horned owl, and snakes (especially timber rattlesnake)
The third group is tertiary consumers – the animals that feed on the carnivores. These are a black bear, bobcat, coyote, etc.
Functions and Processes of Ecosystem
After death, many animals leave an effect after they die, such as extensive modifications of habitat to a wetland by beavers. Their components can be recycled and then reused by their descendants or species that live under the divergent selective regime. The example of a nutrient cycle is the earthworm that alters the soil environment, contributing mineral nutrients to the forest soil. The same effect can be achieved when any other animal dies, including deer, squirrel, or owls.
The soil stimulates the growth of trees, bushes, and grass which is nutrition for the hare. Hare is nutrition for foxes and great horned owl. The fox can be eaten by a bobcat.
The ecosystem receives enough sunlight that stimulates the vigor growth of flora. Multiple plants, including conifer (pines), bushes, and grass ultimately become the habitat for fauna. Animals also use plants for their nutrition (hares, squirrels, birds, etc.) The herbivores become the food for carnivores, which are foxes, snakes, owls, etc. Carnivores, in turn, are the source of energy for the tertiary consumers which are a bobcat, coyote, bear, etc.
Examples of Animal Interaction
Hawks and owls are known to compete for food and live in constant rivalry. Both birds have similar size, identical needs, and feeding habits. Te birds belong to the same category – predatory animals. They compete for nutrition and places to build their nests.
The example of predation is the relationships between the foxes and birds that build nests on the ground. Fox steals eggs, thus depriving the birds of descendants.
The Invasive Species
The invasive species in Brendan T. Byrne State Forest is a mosquito. The wet climate is an ideal condition for breeding of mosquito. It is an insect that feeds on the blood of other animals. It is the shiniest example of invasive species in New Jersey forest. Mosquito does not make any impact on the ecosystem. Nonetheless, some of its species (Anopheles mosquito) is dangerous for humans as it spreads infections that frequently become the cause of death. Evidently, Brendan T. Byrne State Forest is a shiny example of an ecosystem in New Jersey. Regardless of human interaction, it manages to perform and develop.
- Costanza, R. (2006). The value of New Jersey’s ecosystem services and natural capital. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.
- The concept of the Ecosystem. (2016). The University of Michigan.