M u s e u m  C r e a t e d  L e s s o n

La vie marine de l'Arctique

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Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Ontario

En savoir plus sur la vie microscopique dans l'Arctique
Dans le cadre de cette leçon, les élèves se familiariseront avec les écosystèmes marins de l’Arctique. Cette démarche permettra aux élèves de mieux connaître quelques organismes marins, de se familiariser avec la notion d’espèces clés et de mieux comprendre leur rôle dans les écosystèmes marins de l’Arctique.

Cadre et materiel :

- Cette leçon doit couvrir 1 période de classe (niveau 11 et 12).
- Ordinateurs avec accès à Internet peuvent être utilisés pour explorer le site expeditionarctic.ca, qui suit la vie marine en profondeur.
- Un cahier pour écrire observations et réflexions.
Microscopic life
Canadian Museum of Nature
© 2013, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object: Arctic Aquatic Life
Diatoms
A microscopic and oval diatom.
In Arctic coastal waters small organisms, known as diatoms, act as the primary producers for the food web of life. Diatoms are microscopic single-celled organisms. Diatoms provide nutrients and food energy for other larger organisms that marine mammals such as whales and seals rely on for food.

Canadian Museum of Nature




© 2013, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object: Arctic Aquatic Life
A Microscopic Diatom
Watch a microscopic diatom move around.
Michigan Technological University
© Video by Dr. Michael R. Gretz, Michigan Technological University
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Learning Object: Arctic Aquatic Life
Staurosira venter
A microscopic view of Staurosira venter.
Staurosira venter (its scientific name) is a diatom that has evolved to thrive in frigid Arctic freshwaters (water that does not contain salt). Although these life forms are very small, they are one of the most common species found in the Arctic.

Canadian Museum of Nature




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Learning Object: Arctic Aquatic Life
Nitzschia frigida
A microscopic look at Nitzschia frigida.
Nitzschia frigida (its scientific name) is one of the most common and important producers of food that lives in Arctic sea ice. As the sun shines through the ice during the spring months, these tiny organisms live within small channels in the sea ice. Here, they form micro-communities at the bottom of the ice. These micro-colonies supply nutrients and food to many organisms up the food chain.

Canadian Museum of Nature




© 2013, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object: Arctic Aquatic Life
Freshwater diatoms
Watch this video to see freshwater diatoms on the move through a microscope.
Michigan Technological University
© Video by Dr. Michael R. Gretz, Michigan Technological University.
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Learning Object: Arctic Aquatic Life
Thalassiosira nordenskioeldii
A microscopic look at a circular Thalassiosira nordenskioeldii.
Thalassiosira nordenskioeldii (its scientific name) is part of a group of diatoms upon which the entire marine planktonic Arctic food chain relies. These tiny living protists provide nutrients and food energy for other larger organisms that marine mammals such as whales and seals rely on for food.

Canadian Museum of Nature




© 2013, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object: Arctic Aquatic Life
The Single Life
Parafilms
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Learning Object: Arctic Aquatic Life
Algae
A microscopic and circular algae.
Scientists refer to algae as "protists", which are a group of organisms that collect energy from the sun. Blue-green algae, also called cyanobacteria, represent the origin of all organisms that use photosynthesis to produce energy. Today, algae are significant contributors to much of the world's energy.

Canadian Museum of Nature




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Learning Object: Arctic Aquatic Life
Nostoc commune
Green wet algae on the ground.
Nitrogen is a basic building block for all life on Earth. In the Arctic, where nitrogen is not abundant, a blue-green algae known as Nostoc commune (its scientific name) collects and regulates nitrogen that other Arctic plants use to grow. Without blue-green algae like Nostoc commune there would be limited plant growth in the Arctic region.

Canadian Museum of Nature




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Learning Object: Arctic Aquatic Life
Emiliania huxleyi
A microscopic look at Emiliania huxleyi.
Emiliania huxleyi can be found throughout many of the world’s oceans; however, it does not currently grow in the Arctic. This type of algae can be linked to balancing the ocean's chemistry with the Earth's atmosphere.

Canadian Museum of Nature




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Learning Object: Arctic Aquatic Life
Plankton
A microscopic look at plankton.
Dinophysis acuta (its scientific name) is a type of plankton and that feeds many Arctic species, such as shellfish. This type of plankton has the ability to produce toxins which they can pass on to shellfish. Predators that feed on shellfish can ingest these toxins, which can lead to sickness and death.

Canadian Museum of Nature




© 2013, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object: Arctic Aquatic Life
Plankton Life
Parafilms
© Parafilms. Used under the Creative Commons Attribution
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Learning Object: Arctic Aquatic Life
Dinophysis acuta
A microscopic look at Dinophysis acuta.
Dinophysis acuta (its scientific name) is a type of phytoplankton that occurs in low numbers in marine cold Arctic waters. It has the ability to not only collect energy from the sun to create food and oxygen, but also the potential to ingest prey and particulate matter.

Canadian Museum of Nature




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Learning Object: Arctic Aquatic Life
Seaweed and Fucus Distichus
Fucus distichus in a jar full of liquid.
Seaweeds photosynthesize, turning the sun’s energy into food and oxygen and removing carbon dioxide from the surrounding environment. Fucus distichus (its scientific name) is a common brown seaweed found growing on shorelines across the circumpolar Arctic. This type of seaweed can be used as a food source for the Inuit when meat or other plants are not available.

Canadian Museum of Nature




© 2013, Canadian Museum of Nature. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object: Arctic Aquatic Life
Activité suggérée
Demandez aux élèves d'étudier les espèces présentées, puis répondre aux questions suivantes :

Questions précises :
- Quels rôles jouent les organismes aquatiques dans les écosystèmes arctiques?
- Quels types d’organismes étudie-t-on dans cette leçon?
- Comment le climat arctique influent-il sur les organisms aquatiques?
- Comment les organismes aquatiques influencent-ils le reste de l’écosystème Arctique?

Questions d’ordre général :
- Qu’est-ce que j’ai trouvé le plus intéressant?
- Qu’est-ce que j’ai trouvé le plus surprenant?
- Qu’est-ce que j’aimerais approfondir davantage?

Organisez une discussion de classe sur des questions de réflexion.

Learning Objectives

Les étudiants seront :

- Développer une compréhension des organismes marins et des espèces clés de l’Arctique.

- Se familiariser avec le vocabulaire scientifique.