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Ecological survey of the Lime Cay Essay

Ecological survey of the Lime Cay Essay

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.


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 animals) that were observed.

Project 2: Echinoderm Distribution

A group of 8 swimmers went into the surrounding sea of the cay with snorkelling gear in order to observe the abundance and distribution of echinoderms in habitats where they were likely to be found. A quadrant was randomly thrown 5 times in each of the different sea habitats. These included the sea grass, sea sand and the rocky habitats. The number of echinoderms in the quadrant for each throw in each habitat was recorded in a table.

Project 3: Mangrove Distribution

Persons walked around the cay and into the mangrove, and identified the different mangrove types, making note of the characteristics of each plant, as well as the ambient conditions and how they could affect the distribution of the mangroves.

Project 4: Rocky Shore Study

A suitable area of the rocky shore was investigated and notes were made on how conditions in this area varied (in terms of temperature and salinity) and how organisms were adapted to live in this environment.

Sugar Trade Essay

Sugar Trade Essay

Many things helped drive the sugar trade.

Demand, slavery, and climate played a major role in the driving of the sugar trade. Demand was greatly increasing throughout the years. The climate of the caribbean islands where cane sugar was grown. Slavery provided “free” work to produce sugar which in turn increased profits for the farmers. In England, sugar was not shipped there until the year 1317. But once the sugar was becoming a popular import, it boomed. Sugar consumption and import grew tremendously from 1700 to 1775.

In 1700, Britain imported 280.7 sugar imports per 1000 cwts and each person consumed 4.6 pounds of sugar annually. These numbers increased by almost as much as 500% of imports and almost 400% of consumption. In 1770, 1,379.2 per 1000 cwts were imported to Britain and each person annually consumed 16.2 pounds of sugar. Sugar consumption equalled nearly 105 of overall food consumed for some families in England in the 1700s.

After 1660, sugar imports exceeded the total imports of ALL the other imports coming into Britain. Slavery was probably the most important factor in the driving of the sugar trade. Slaves could be traded for common items that people on plantations had. This in turn could pretty much provide “free” labor in the production of sugar. If a plantation owner could have enough slaves to run the sugar farm, they could produce more profit and eliminate paid labor. in 1768, at a male slave’s peak price, they cost 41 British pounds. If a plantation owner needed say 100 people to farm and produce sugar, they would be spending roughly 4100 British pounds to have slaves do essentially “free” work then. If a plantation owner owner had to hire 100 workers and had to pay them 1 British pound a day, then in 41 days, they would be spending more money than they would have if they would have bought 100 slaves.

So, slaves essentially paid for themselves in 41 days. After 41 days, production of sugar would be “free” for the plantation owners. Climate was also a key role in the sugar trade. Without the right climate, sugar cane would have to be produced further away therefore increasing the price of the import. Ideal climate for the production of sugar cane was a latitude range of 37 degrees north to 30 degrees south, a temperature range of 68 to 90 degrees, soil type of volcanic or alluvial with sand/silt/clay mix, and an average rainfall of 80 to 90 inches a year.

The climate for the two caribbean islands that Britain received its sugar from was 18 degrees north latitude for Jamaica and 13 degrees north for Barbados, the temperature range for Jamaica was 68 to 86 degrees and 72 to 86 degrees in Barbados, the soil type was clay/silt/sand mix in Jamaica and clay and sand mix in Barbados, and the average rainfall was 77 inches in Jamaica and 60 inches (with considerable variety) in Barbados. The sugar trade was a very booming trade. Many things influenced this trade. We are still experiencing a major usage of sugar in todays world, with many of the same things influencing it, except for slavery. Machines took the place of the slaves.

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Effects of Sugar Revolution – Economic Essay

Effects of Sugar Revolution – Economic Essay

During the seventeenth century the pattern of the Landownership changed from small planters to wealthy individuals and the price of land became extremely high as sugar became more profitable in the Caribbean. Previously tobacco and the other cash crops such as corn were produced by small planters on relatively small plots of land between five and thirty acres. In the year 1645 there were approximately 5000 smallholdings in Barbados that mainly cultivated tobacco, but as the months went by the price of tobacco was gradually falling and ten acres was just not enough.

The smallholders either moved to another island for a fresh start or returned to England. Consequently the availability of the land increased for larger sugar plantations in Barbados and other Caribbean Islands. Sugar could only be grown on economically large estates so the landholdings increased in size and small landholding were grouped together to make a large estate. They were owned by rich planters, a partnership between two planters or a planter who had a significant amount of money for capital.

In Barbados the average holding was 150 acres after the change to sugar. If it was below this amount, then the estate tended not to be profitable. About half of the area was under sugar; a sixth would be for the cattle, another sixth for growing crops such as vegetables and fruits and the remainder for woodland which would be used for timber and firewood. When the sugar revolution was undergo it caused the price of the land to become exceeding high and in some parts of Barbados by as much as thirty times. For instance in 1630 the average price of an acre was three pound (£3). By 1648 when the sugar revolution was almost complete in Barbados, an acre was sold for over thirty pounds (£30).