Coral Reefs, Symbionts, and Climate Change
Dr. Amy Apprill, WHOI Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department - Coral, Symbionts, and Ecosystem Health
Dr. Konrad Hughen, WHOI Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department - Coral Records of Environmental and Climate Change
Date: May 2018
NOAA Lesson Plans
- Coral Cores: Ocean Timelines Lesson Plan
- NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program.
- Visit the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program education resources which include the 3-d printer file for a 3-d coral polyp, curricula on ocean acidification, etc.
- NOAA is a partner in the “Coral Reefs: 2018 International Year of the Reef”.
- “Highlight corals in your classroom during this International Year of the Reef” website. This has resources including: lesson plans from Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary off the Coast of Texas, a coral reef satellite and bleaching tutorial, and lesson plans on deep coral communities: sentinels of a changing ocean. Background material includes webinars on reef research and a virtual field trip to an underwater reef.
- Deep Coral Communities: Sentinels of a Changing Ocean Lesson Plan
- NOAA’s Climate.gov site with maps, data, and tools on how to teach climate literacy.
- What is “Proxy” Data? This is a brief, succinct overview of how paleoclimatology uses proxy data.
- Picture Climate: How we can learn from corals.
- Access their data set.
Data-using activities and lessons
- Coral Bleaching: A White Hot Problem. Assess coral bleaching using water temperature data from the NOAA National Data Buoy Center.
- Satellites and Bleaching
- NOAA Data in the classroom. Students use real-time ocean data to explore environmental problems like coral bleaching, ocean acidification, and water quality.
- This NOAA website has a lesson that allows students to access data on selected coral reefs and manipulate these data to characterize these reefs.
- Students will use authentic satellite data to determine when the sea surface temperature meets the criteria to induce coral bleaching.
- Paleoclimate reconstruction activity using lake varves as a proxy.
- Coral Bleaching Activity
Other Lesson Plans
- Coral reef ecology curriculum in accordance with NGSS.
- Coral Snapshots: Biodiversity in Marine Protected Areas. This lesson allows students to recognize the major components of a coral reef, look at indices used to characterize biodiversity, and evaluate the use of quadrat sampling when surveying a coral reef.
- Pipeline to the Coral Reefs. This lesson has students defining and describing internal waves and explaining their influence on coastal upwelling. Students will be able to analyze and discuss the effect of high nutrient concentrations caused by upwelling on the overall condition of Florida coral reefs.
- Are you concentrating? With this lesson, the students explain the importance of concentration gradients and flow velocity to the nutrition of reef-building corals.
- This slideshow provides marine examples of symbiotic associations in which the host receives s substantial nutritional boost from its symbiont.
- Corals and Climate. This is a nice overview article.
- The Coral Reef Ecosystem Lesson – Students examine a coral reef ecosystem to learn about its living and non-living parts and how they interact.
Background and Resources
- WHOI Senior Scientist Konrad Hughen’s web page
- WHOI Associate Scientist Amy Apprill’s web page
- Oceanus interactive on carbon dioxide, shell building, and ocean acidification
- “In the Gardens of the Queen: joint U.S.–Cuban expedition explores pristine Cuban coral reefs.” 2017 Oceanus magazine article on a US-Cuban joint expedition to explore the “Gardens of the Queen” coral reef where Amy Apprill led the U.S. Contingent.
- “A double whammy for corals, global warming and local weather combine to cause massive bleaching.” 2017 Oceanus magazine article on global warming and corals.
- “Coral’s indispensable bacterial buddies: like humans, corals may be superorganisms.” 2013 Oceanus magazine article on Amy Apprill’s symbiosis research.
- “A quest for resilient reefs: corals are threatened by the ocean’s changing chemistry.” 2013 Oceanus magazine article on the effects of ocean chemistry on corals.
- “The Once and Future Corals: Research on the Reefs.” 2010 This Oceanus audio slideshow features Konrad Hughen.
- “Dead corals do tell tales: growing a little each day, coral skeletons keep a daily archive of past ocean temperatures.” 2007 Oceanus magazine article.
- “The coral-climate connection: the skeletons of corals on the seafloor preserve records of how ocean circulation has changed.” 2006 Oceanus magazine article.
- Oceanus interactive on carbon dioxide, shell building, and ocean acidification.
- Ocean acidification background material.
- Infographic on how climate change affects coral reefs
- This page contains video and images of coral.
Deeper Exploration: Konrad Hughen and Amy Apprill/ Papers in Scientific Journals
- Bryan, S.P., Hughen, K.A., Karnauskas, K.B., Farrar, J.T., Increased Southwest Asian Summer Monsoon intensity and decreased variability over the past 250 years, Science (submitted)
- Ramos, R.D., Goodkin, N.F., Siringan, F.P., Hughen, K., Diploastrea heliopora Sr/Ca and δ18O records from northeast Luzon, Philippines: an assessment of interspecies coral proxy calibrations and climate controls of sea surface temperature and salinity, Paleoceanography (in press).
- Becker C, Hughen K, Mincer TJ, Ossolinski J, Weber L, Apprill A. 2017. Impact of prawn framing effluent on coral reef water nutrients and microorganisms. Aquaculture Environmental Interactions. 9:331-346.
- Apprill, A. 2017. Marine animal microbiomes: toward understanding host-microbiome interactions in a changing ocean. Frontiers in Marine Science. 4:222.
8:45 --Meet on Quissett Campus in the Clark Lobby for the shuttle to the WHOI Ocean Science Discovery Center
9-9:15 --Arrive WHOI Discovery Center
Breakfast: pastries, coffee, tea, juice, water
9:15-9:30 --Introduction to WHOI, Woods Hole Sea Grant, and Discovery Center
9:30-10:45 -- “Coral, Symbionts, and Ecosystem Health” by Dr. Amy Apprill, Associate Scientist, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department
10:45 – Noon --“Coral Records of Environmental and Climate Change” by Konrad Hughen, Senior Scientist, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department
Noon – 1:20 --LUNCH, in the Discovery Center or outside (includes some time to explore the Discovery Center or walk in Woods Hole)
1:20 --Meet at the shuttle for a ride back to Clark Lab on Quissett Campus
1:30 -- Split into 2 groups, and proceed to afternoon sessions
1:45 – 2:15 --Afternoon session I. Dr. Hughen's lab - Teachers will see samples running, look at corals and cores, and drill some themselves. Core lab – Ellen Roosen will tour them around the lab.
2:15 – 2:30 --Groups will swap locations
2:30 – 3 --Afternoon session II. Dr. Hughen's lab - Teachers will see samples running, look at corals and cores, and drill some themselves. Core lab – Ellen Roosen will tour them around the lab.