North Carolina Science Grade 8
The Water Planet
Millions of fish have died from Pfiesteria piscicida in North Carolina alone. As a natural part of the marine environment, the P. piscicida is classified as a type of algae. Able to obtain energy by photosynthesis, they also obtain some or all of their energy by eating other organisms. However, during their life cycle, some of their 24 forms of development can produce toxins. These toxins are used to disable schools of fish, soften tissue, and cause sores and lesions, thus providing a food source for this microscopic dinoflagellate.
Investigate the dinoflagellate, Pfiesteria piscicida. Study several sources to complete the summary chart below. Then compile the information and world P. piscicida population data to make a visual display and oral news report to your class.
1 class period for research, 1 class period for assembling information, and 1 class period for class presentations.
Manual on Harmful Marine Microalgae, Hallegraeff, G.M., D.M. Anderson, and A.D. Cembella, editors, UNESCO Publishing, 2003.Summary Chart of Pfiesteria piscicida Information:
|Effects on Fish Populations|
|Effects on Human Population|
|Effects on Environment|
|Effects on Local Economy|
Prepare a 3-5 minute news broadcast about P. piscicida, its local and world habitat, life cycle, effects on human populations, fish populations, environmental conditions, and economic impact to present to your peers. Review the rubric below to be sure you have information from each category.
- Dress the part. If you are a newscaster, plan to wear something a professional newscaster might wear.
- Provide a prop. You might want to use a prop such as a hat, mini-microphone, or pointer to enhance your presentation or draw the attention of the audience to your display.
- Display your data. Use color to accentuate your information. You may be able to use an overhead, computer, or other multimedia for your presentation.
- Communicate your information. Speak clearly. Look around the group and make eye contact. You may want to prepare some note cards, but remember not to read the information to your audience.