Dissolved inorganic nutrient enrichment does not affect sponge growth or condition

Ramsby, Blake D., Heishman, Joshua, Hoogenboom, Mia O., Whalan, Steve, and Webster, Nicole S. (2020) Dissolved inorganic nutrient enrichment does not affect sponge growth or condition. Marine Ecology - Progress Series, 634. pp. 77-88.

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View at Publisher Website: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13184


Changing land use and an increasing human population have led to increased terrestrial runoff, which delivers nutrients, pesticides, and heavy metals into aquatic ecosystems. Elevated nutrient levels can adversely affect nearshore corals by reducing the amount of light reaching the benthos, exacerbating coral disease and bleaching, as well as stimulating algal growth, but the effects on other reef taxa are poorly understood. We investigated the effects of dissolved inorganic nutrient enrichment and changes in irradiance on the growth and condition of 5 common Great Barrier Reef sponges: 4 sponges with photosynthetic symbionts and 1 lacking photosynthetic symbionts. Concentrations of up to 7 mu M total dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) did not significantly affect the growth, condition, or chl a content of any sponge species after 10 wk exposure. However, 2 species lost >20% volume across all nutrient treatments, suggesting that aquarium conditions may have been suboptimal for these species. Irradiance (80 vs. 160 mu mol quanta m(-2) s(-1)) did not affect 4 of the 5 sponge species; however, higher irradiance resulted in higher organic content and chl a levels in the bioeroding sponge Cliona orientalis, the only studied species that associates with the photosynthetic dinoflagellate Symbiodinium, suggesting that sponge-Symbiodinium associations may be more sensitive to irradiance levels than sponge-Cyanobacteria associations. While elevated nutrient levels are exacerbating the decline of reef-building corals, exposure to the average DIN levels within flood plumes that reach inshore reefs appears to have negligible effects on reef sponges.

Item ID: 62844
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0171-8630
Keywords: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Light, Pollution
Copyright Information: © Inter-Research 2020. Articles not published with Open Access will become freely accessible to all users 5 years after publication)
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2020 07:31
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 40%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3109 Zoology > 310912 Comparative physiology @ 20%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring @ 40%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 40%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960903 Coastal and Estuarine Water Management @ 30%
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