For senior Biology students
Freshwater Mussels - Linking Ecology and Evolution
Using biological specimens and PowerPoint to look at an example of possible speciation as it is happening in New Zealand freshwater mussels.
A context for science bridging the topics of genetic variation, speciation, effects of introduced species and environmental change.
DVD ‘Applications of Biotechnological Techniques at Lincoln University’
This DVD has been sent to each Biology department at High Schools throughout NZ. If you do not have a copy please contact Sue:
‘Applications of Biotechnological Techniques at Lincoln University’
to enhance the teaching of NCEA Level 3 Biology, Achievement Standard 90718.
(In this DVD the techniques and some of their applications are described by researchers from Lincoln University and Plant and Food Research. Applications include examples of medical, horticultural, agricultural and environmental areas of research.)
Practical Activity Worksheets
NOTE: Freshwater mussel specimens available if requested.
Freshwater mussels PowerPoint
Freshwater mussels article
Reference to a scientific paper and questions based on this paper to link the ecology to evolution (below).
Linking Ecology and Evolution
Before answering these questions read the Journal article referred to below*
List 4 likely causes for the decline in abundance of kakahi (freshwater mussels).
b) phytoplankton blooms
- Explain why zebra mussels are considered both a pest and a help in North American lakes.
- Name the native fish species abundant in Lake Taupo in pre and early European settlement times.
- Which introduced species has been blamed for the decline of this native species.
- What is a glochidia?
- How is lake clarity connected to kakahi?
- Why are the fish species (introduced as substitute food when the kakahi numbers declined) not accessible to glochidia?
- Discuss co-evolution in this context.
- Discuss how the introduction of kakahi into shallow lakes may not result in improved water quality.
McDowall B. Decline of the Kakahi – identifying cause and effect. Freshwater Ecology, Water and Atmosphere 10(4) 2002.
The Changing Nature of GM Crops