Phytoplankton and the Oil Spill

L to R: Diatom Ditylum brightwelli, dinoflagellate Heterocapsa triquetra (Images/LSU) and a dramatic example of a red tide event (Image/NOAA).

L to R: Diatom Ditylum brightwelli, dinoflagellate Heterocapsa triquetra (Images/LSU) and a dramatic example of a red tide event (Image/NOAA).

The Deepwater Horizon disaster exposed countless plants and animals to harmful crude oil. Though less visible, phytoplankton were also impacted. Scientists from Louisiana State University are investigating what effects the toxic components of crude oil may have on phytoplankton by studying two common species of the Gulf of Mexico.

Classroom Activity: Phytoplankton
What is a phytoplankton bloom? Why do they happen? In this activity students will learn about phytoplankton, blooms, why they can be dangerous and how human activity may play a role in the frequency of blooms.

LINK – Phytoplankton and the Oil Spill

Phytoplankton and the Oil Spill – PDF 1.5MB