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Pfiesteria piscicida

The focus of this week's In The News is Pfiesteria piscicida, a tiny marine organism that has received wide, national attention related to last year's massive fish kill in the Chesapeake Bay. The nine resources listed provide an overview of Pfiesteria piscicida, from basic biology to environmental, political, and economic impacts. Neither plant nor animal, this protist is a type of dinoflagellate, a group of algae known commonly for causing "red tides." Possessing unusual predatory characteristics, these microorganisms kill their prey (fish) by propelling themselves forward and releasing a toxin that is "1,000 times more powerful than cyanide." Although Chesapeake Bay has historically experienced algae blooms, most--until recently--have been harmless. Agricultural runoff from animal waste and fertilizers have boosted nutrient loads beyond natural levels, which in turn has led to toxic algae blooms. As a result of the increase in Pfiesteria, President Clinton has increased funding for clean water initiatives, and legislation is currently being negotiated to regulate runoff from poultry and hog farms in Maryland.
Alternate Title
In the News: Pfiesteria piscicida
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Date Issued
Date of Scout Publication
March 18th, 1998
Date Of Record Creation
April 3rd, 2003 at 5:23pm
Date Of Record Release
April 3rd, 2003 at 5:23pm
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