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Swimming Upstream Without a Ladder: Dams and Pipes and River Shrimp Movements

This article is from Issue Tropical - Vol. 3 No. 1.

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Tropical streams provide many benefits to people and animals. For river shrimp that spend part of their life in the mountain streams, the streams provide a place to reproduce and develop. River shrimp are important to the streams as well. Tropical streams also provide people with the fresh
water they need for drinking, cooking, and washing. To provide water for people, small dams are often built in tropical streams. The scientists in this study want to know how to protect shrimp in areas where people take water from streams.

Welcome to the Tropical edition

Note to Educators

Education Standards Correlations


Meet the scientists that contributed to this article:

"Science Topics" covered in this article:
  • Life Science
  • People and Science
  • Technology and Science

"Environmental Topics" covered in this article:
  • Fish and Aquatic Species (Educators)
  • Fish and Other Aquatic Species (Students)
  • Rivers, Lakes, Streams (Students)
  • Water (Educators)

Regions covered in this article:
  • Southern

"Thinking About Science Themes" covered in this article:
Although scientists sometimes work alone, they usually do their research with other scientists. Even if they live in different areas of the Nation or the world, they find ways to work together. In this study, scientists from the University of Georgia worked together with a Forest Service scientist in Puerto Rico to study a special kind of shrimp. In your classroom, you sometimes work with other students. When you do this, you are like a scientist who works with other scientists. Can you name two reasons why it is a good idea to work with others when you are learning something new?
Specific "Thinking About Science" Themes:
  • Characteristics of Scientists
  • The Scientific Process

"Thinking About Environmental Themes" covered in this article:
Many animal species spend part of their life in one location and part of it in another place. When that happens, the animal is said to be migratory. Animals usually migrate to a place more favorable for reproduction. People often think of birds when they think of migratory animals. In this study, the migratory animal is a river shrimp. When it is in its larval stage, the shrimp larvae drift from streams in high tropical mountains to areas near the coast. There they grow beyond the larval stage. When they are ready to become adults and reproduce, the juvenile shrimp swim back upstream to where they were born. When the juveniles encounter barriers such as waterfalls, they crawl over them to continue their upstream journey. When they get upstream, they grow into adult shrimp and reproduce. Their offspring drift back downstream with the current, and the cycle begins again.
Specific "Thinking About the Environment" Themes:
  • Ecosystems
  • Migration

NSE Standards covered in this article:
  • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry (A)
  • Abilities of technological design (E)
  • Populations and ecosystems (C)
  • Regulation and behavior (C)
  • Reproduction and heredity (C)
  • Risks and benefits (F)
  • Science and technology in society (F)
  • Science as a human endeavor (G)
  • Understandings about science and technology (E)

Science Benchmarks covered in this article:
  • Habits of Mind: Communication Skils
  • Habits of Mind: Critical-Response Skills
  • Historic Perspectives: Explaining the Diversity of Life
  • Human Society: Social Trade-Offs
  • The Living Environment: Diversity of Life
  • The Living Environment: Heredity
  • The Living Environment: Interdependence of Life
  • The Nature of Science: Scientific Inquiry
  • The Nature of Science: The Scientific Enterprise
  • The Nature of Technology: Issues in Technology
  • The Nature of Technology: Technology and Science
  • The Physical Setting: The Earth