CORAL CAM LESSON PLANS
CREATED BY THE
TEACHER ADVISORY GROUP

Coral Cam Web Site

How Does Location on the Bermuda Reef Affect Life Forms and Diversity?                                                    Amy Pearson

OBJECTIVE: To see the relationship between the physical (abiotic) components of an
                            ecosystem to the life forms (biotic) in a given environment..

AGE GROUP:   Appropriate for ages 10 and older

BACKGROUND

A great activity to do if you visit Bermuda is to snorkle at different locations on and around the island to view coral, fish, and other life forms.  You will notice that location greatly affects types and amounts of coral and other organisms.

  • Hard corals do best with little sedimentation and strong surf to bring in nutrients-sediments that sit on top of the coral block its ability to receive light and suffocate the polyps.
  • Soft corals can survive better with strong surf to allow nutrients to bathe branches and permit increased zooplankton capture.
  • Reef fish that are coralivores thrive in areas with abundant coral populations.

MATERIALS

1. Download and print for each student the materials:(you will Adobe Acrobat reader to do this)
  a, Map of Bermuda  with the 4 locations marked, 
  b. The Bermuda  Platform  sheet
2. Print a copy of these directions and data for each student to use. 

PROCEDURE

1. Using the data in Table 1 below, match each site numbered 1-4 (names are also given) with the description you believe best fits it.  Use the background information as well as the sections on coral and fish on http://www.coexploration.org/bbsr/coral to help you. 

2. After you have made your matches, write a few sentences to explain each of your choices using information you have learned.

For the Teacher :
Matches: A=North Rock, B= Horseshoe Bay, C=Tynes Bay, D=Gurnett Rock

Students may work in pairs or small groups and discuss the data and come up with a group conclusion, that they all agree to sign their names to. 

Table 1

Site

Depth in feet

Wave action

Coral Coverage

Sediment ation

%Hard

%Soft

Fish

A

10 to 100

Strong

~60%

Low

70

30

wrasse,porgy,grunt Surgeonfish,parrotfish Damselfish,sgt.major jack,Wahoo tuna,trumpetfish

B

5 to 30

Medium

minimal

High

85

15

wrasse, porgy,grunt Sgt.major,damselfish  Parrotfish,surgeonfish

C

5 to 20

Low

minimal

High

80

20

wrasse,porgy,grunt Sgt.Major,damselfish Parrotfish, surgeonfish

D

20 to 90

Strong

~60%

Low

60

40

wrasse,porgy,grunt Parrotfish, surgeonfish Wahoo, tuna, jack Trumpetfish

BBSR and TCOE Coral Web Site Team 1999      http://www.coexploration.org/bbsr/coral
Funded by a grant from the Goldman Foundation