You Poured it Where?
A Case Study in Invasive Species
Department of Animal Science
Iowa State University
This "clicker case" focuses on the invasive aquarium strain of Caulerpa taxifolia as a way of introducing students to issues about invasive species. Specifically, students learn to identify some of the traits that make a species potentially invasive and explore how individual decisions can have big impacts on the ecosystem. The case uses a story/handout that sets the stage combined with a New York Times article for further background. Students are then guided through a series of PowerPoint slides (5 MB) in class that provide additional information, prompts for small group discussion, and multiple-choice "clicker questions." The case is suitable for introductory biology and ecology courses.
- Identify traits that enable a species to become invasive.
- Explain how the activities of humans have contributed to the spread of invasive species.
- Describe how a rapid, multifaceted approach is required to limit the spread of invasive species.
KeywordsInvasive species; exotic species; introduced species; algae; caulerpa; Caulerpa taxifolia
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division
Type / MethodsClicker, Interrupted
Subject HeadingsBiology (General) | Ecology | Environmental Science | Botany / Plant Science |