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Ingestion of Microplastics by Coral

Author(s): Alyssa Hoekstra

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QUBES lesson on ingestion of microplastics by coral. Lesson will give environmental background and then use R for hands-on statistical analyses, followed by critical thinking questions.

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Version 1.0 - published on 12 May 2021 doi:10.25334/Q18N-7165 - cite this


This QUBES lesson explores the impact of microplastics on coral. Participants will first get a background on both coral and microplastics, and then the lesson will delve more specifically into how microplastics in the ocean affect coral, specifically ingestion preference. The study “Patterns, dynamics and consequences of microplastic ingestion by the temperate coral, Astrangia poculata”  by Rotjan RD, Sharp KH, Gauthier AE, Yelton R, Lopez EMB, Carilli J, Kagan JC, & Urban-Rich J (2019) is the basis for the lesson, with the data obtained from Dryad. The hands-on portion of the lesson will use select data from this study for analyses in R including plots and a paired permutation test. Participants will then be asked to answer questions about the lesson and use critical thinking to apply what they have learned to explore potential future directions and applications.

Expected completion time is 1 class period (1.5 hours).

Includes: Instructor master lesson PDF, student lesson PDF, powerpoint introduction, R Markdown, data excel spreadsheet, PDFs of 2 key research papers. 

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