Seasonal microbial and environmental parameters at Crocker Reef, Florida Keys, 2014–2015

Open-File Report 2015-1203
By: , and 



Crocker Reef, located on the outer reef tract of the Florida Keys (fig. 1), was the site of an integrated “reefscape characterization” effort focused on calcification and related biogeochemical processes as part of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coral Reef Ecosystem STudies (CREST) project. It is characterized as a senile or dead reef, with only scattered stony coral colonies and areas of sand and rubble. It was chosen as an end-member for later comparison to sites with a healthy, growing reef framework. The CREST reefscape characterization included two intensive seasonal sampling trips to capture summer (July 8–17, 2014) and winter (January 29–February 5, 2015) conditions. This report presents water column microbial and environmental data collected for use as metadata in future publications examining reef metabolic processes via metagenomes derived from water samples and fine-scale temporal and spatial carbonate chemistry measurements.

Microbial measurements included enumeration of total bacteria, enumeration of virus-like particles, and plate counts of Vibrio spp. colony-forming units (CFU). These measurements were intended to give a sense of any seasonal changes in the total microbial load and to provide an indication of water quality. Additional environmental parameters measured included water temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and pH. Four sites (table 1) were intensively sampled for periods of approximately 48 hours during summer (July 2014) and winter (January–February 2015), during which water samples were collected every 4 hours for analysis, except when prevented by weather conditions.

Suggested Citation

Kellogg, C.A., Yates, K.K., Lawler, S.N., Moore, C.S., and Smiley, N.A., 2015, Seasonal microbial and environmental parameters at Crocker Reef, Florida Keys, 2014–2015: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2015–1203, 12 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • Results and Discussion
  • References Cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Seasonal microbial and environmental parameters at Crocker Reef, Florida Keys, 2014–2015
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2015-1203
DOI 10.3133/ofr20151203
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description Report: iv, 12 p.; Data Release
Country United States
State Florida
Other Geospatial Crocker Reef
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details