The program investigates recent research which shows that as carbon dioxide levels increase in the atmosphere some of the food crops will respond by becoming less nutritious and produce more toxins. Explanations for this response are presented by examining changes to photosynthesis under these conditions. Implications for third world countries are explored including the effect on a staple food of many groups, which is the cassava plant.
Assumed prior learning
Suggestions for using this resource
- to introduce and build an engaging context for students to learn about and integrate interactions between the Earth's spheres, climate change and photosynthesis
- by students in a unit about climate change to develop a flow diagram or series of cause and effect statements to summarise the findings of the research and then to predict possible consequences for first world and third world peoples of a significant increase of carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere.
- by students to inform a discussion on what actions need to be taken in response to these findings and provide the background information for them to write a letter, to an appropriate organization or community member about this issue.
- as a model of a controlled investigation to assist students identify key features of this type of investigation
- as a source to discuss the findings and their implications, critique the methodology of the investigation and whether these findings would apply to all plants in all ecosystems, then identify what further research needs to be done in this area.
- as a resource for students researching the work of a scientific team
Dr Ros Gleadow — Monash University
Cassava Cyanide Diseases and Neurolathyrism Network
Eduardo Mondlane University Mozambique