Incongruence between the distribution of a common coral reef sponge and photosynthesis

Bannister, Raymond, Hoogenboom, Mia, Anthony, Kenneth R. N., Battershill, Chris, Whalan, Stephen, Webster, Nicole, and De Nys, Rocky (2011) Incongruence between the distribution of a common coral reef sponge and photosynthesis. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 423. pp. 95-100.

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Symbiosis between coral reef fauna and microorganisms drives the growth, maintenance and diversity of coral reef habitats. Sponges, a key faunal component of coral reefs, form complex symbiotic relationships with microorganisms which may supply over half of their nutritional requirements through photosynthesis. The habitat distribution of the coral reef sponge Rhopaloeides odorabile correlates with light availability, suggestive of photosynthesis. The present study directly investigated the hypothesis that habitat distribution of R. odorabile is correlated with photosynthesis. Results of photorespirometry trials of 30 ind. exposed to light intensities between 0 and 900 μmol photons m–2 s–1 showed no evidence of photosynthesis. Furthermore, no photopigments were present in these sponges and no cyanobacteria could be detected within the tissue. These results did not vary between sponges collected from nutrient rich inner- and mid-shelf reefs, or from oligotrophic outershelf reefs. These findings demonstrate that R. odorabile is not a phototrophic sponge and that habitat distributions clearly correlated with light can be due to factors other than photosynthesis.

Item ID: 20208
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1616-1599
Keywords: symbiosis, photosynthesis, Porifera, Rhopaloeides odorabile, Great Barrier Reef, cyanobacteria
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2012 06:40
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060203 Ecological Physiology @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0704 Fisheries Sciences > 070401 Aquaculture @ 20%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function @ 30%
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8301 Fisheries - Aquaculture > 830199 Fisheries - Aquaculture not elsewhere classified @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9611 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water > 961104 Physical and Chemical Conditions of Water in Marine Environments @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 20%
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