Influence of size and spatial competition on the bioactivity of coral reef sponges

Luter, Heidi M., and Duckworth, Alan R. (2010) Influence of size and spatial competition on the bioactivity of coral reef sponges. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 38 (2). pp. 146-153.

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Sponges biosynthesize a wealth of secondary metabolites, many with novel structures and strong biological activity. Such compounds may serve multiple ecological roles including anti-predation, anti-fouling functionalities and are implicated in border defense or attack during spatial competition. Relative size of benthic organisms may also play an important role in competitive interactions. To determine if a relationship exists between individual size and bioactive metabolite production in the context of spatial competition, we examined three sponge species with different morphologies: the massive Coscinoderma matthewsi, the club-shaped branching Hyrtios erecta, and the fan-shaped Ianthella basta. Extracts from sponges of various sizes and competitive environments were examined using a cell based bioassay as a proxy of bioactivity. For I. basta, sponge size was correlated with bioactivity; the largest individuals generally being the most bioactive. In contrast, there was no correlation between size and bioactivity for either C. matthewsi or H. erecta. Bioactivity of sponges in this study were however highly variable among individuals, regardless of levels of competition. The prevalence of encroaching organisms was not correlated with sponge size for any of the three sponge species, suggesting that potential bioactivity is not influenced by surrounding competition.

Item ID: 16888
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-2925
Keywords: coral reefs, spatial competition, size, sponge, bioactivity
Date Deposited: 10 May 2011 06:26
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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