ATP is vital for many different processes in both animals and plants. Bioluminescence is the biochemical emission of light by living organisms, such as fireflies and deep-sea animals. Bioluminescence occurs through a chemical reaction that produces light energy within the organism. The process of bioluminescence requires ATP to power the chemical reaction. What would happen if ATP was no longer available to these organisms that use bioluminescence to hunt prey? What do you think this would change in the ocean? Would these fish survive without bioluminescence? Think about if you had a limited amount of ATP available, would you be able to function as normal?

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The bioluminescence that some species use to hunt prey is an adaptation that increases the organism's overall fitness. Without the ability to generate that light to attract prey, the species will have a much more difficult time obtaining its energy needs for survival and eventual reproduction. If the species is no longer surviving long enough to reproduce, the end result could quite possibly be the extinction of the entire species. That would be bad, but no species exists that does not have an impact on other organisms. Whatever species we are talking about, it exists at some trophic level.

All species are parts of the food chain, and are likely parts of a larger food web. If one organism goes missing, chances are that the predator species that depended on the bioluminescent organism will suffer as well. When a food source goes missing, it affects all of the organisms on higher trophic levels. You would likely see population declines in all organisms further along in the food web. That is not the only food web consequence either. Organisms that served as the prey species no longer have a predator to worry about. Consequently, their population numbers will bloom. This may sound like a good thing, but that population bloom will eventually use up its own food source as a result of the overpopulation. Large numbers of the overpopulated species will then begin starving to death until a new environmental equilibrium is reached.

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