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Underwater temperature on off-shore coral reefs of the Florida Keys, U.S.A.

March 11, 2022

The USGS Coral Reef Ecosystems Studies project provides science that helps resource managers tasked with the stewardship of coral reef resources. Coral reef organisms are very sensitive to high and low water-temperature extremes. It is critical to precisely know water temperatures experienced by corals and associated plants and animals that live in the dynamic, nearshore environment to document thresholds in temperature tolerance. Here we provide underwater temperature data recorded every fifteen minutes since 2009 at six off-shore coral reefs in the Florida Keys. From northeast to southwest, these sites are Fowey Rocks (Biscayne National Park), Molasses Reef (Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, FKNMS, site terminated in 2013), Crocker Reef (FKNMS, site added in 2013), Sombrero Reef (FKNMS), Pulaski Shoal Light (Dry Tortugas National Park) and Pulaski Shoal West (Dry Tortugas National Park, site added in 2016). Temperatures were recorded with Onset HOBO Water Temp Pro V2 (U22-001) data loggers in duplicate at each site. Loggers were attached to concrete blocks fixed to the reef with stainless-steel rods and epoxy at depths of 13 to 16 feet of seawater. A portion of the dataset included here was interpreted in conjunction with coral and algal calcification rates in Kuffner and others (2013).

Kuffner, I.B., Hickey, T.D., and Morrison J.M., 2013, Calcification rates of the massive coral Siderastrea siderea and crustose coralline algae along the Florida Keys (USA) outer-reef tract: Coral Reefs, 32:987-997, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-013-1047-8.

Note: This data release was versioned on February 09, 2021. Please see the Suggested Citation section for details.