Initial Publication Date: August 12, 2008

Finding Coral's Ideal Environment


Image courtesy of NOAA.

Corals, like other living animals, require a particular range of environmental conditions to survive. During this lab, you will examine temperature, depth, and ocean chemistry data to discover coral reefs' favored environments. You may notice the dates on some of the maps used in this investigation are over a decade old. Some of the data on the maps have changed, but in order to help you understand the favored environments for corals, we've used these as "baseline" maps, which you can refer back to as you continue through the future labs in this module.

After completing this investigation, you should be able to:

  • identify the geographic locations most favorable for coral reefs; and
  • describe the range of environmental conditions in which coral reefs thrive and survive.

Keeping Track of What You Learn

Throughout these labs, you will find two kinds of questions.
  • Checking In questions are intended to keep you engaged and focused on key concepts and to allow you to periodically check if the material is making sense. These questions are often accompanied by hints or answers to let you know if you are on the right track.
  • Stop and Think questions are intended to help your teacher assess your understanding of the key concepts and skills you should be learning from the lab activities and readings.
Your teacher will let you know which answers you should record and turn in.