Cryptic biodiversity inhabiting coral reef sponges

George, Anita, Abdo, Dave, Abdul Wahab, Muhammad Azmi, Ekins, Merrick, Hooper, John, and Whalan, Steve (2023) Cryptic biodiversity inhabiting coral reef sponges. Marine Ecology, 44 (2). e12747.

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Sponges host a wide range of cryptic biodiversity both internally and externally. This study quantified the biodiversity inhabiting, or associated with, three morphologically distinct coral reef sponges. Coelocarteria singaporensis, Coscinoderma mathewsi and Ircinia microconulosa were collected from fringing reefs at Orpheus Island, central Great Barrier Reef, across monsoonal seasons (wet and dry) and diurnal periods (morning, afternoon and night for C. singaporensis) to quantify Sponge Associated Biota (SAB). A total of 8489 SAB was sorted from 77 sponges. Twenty-six taxa, across 3 kingdoms and 12 phyla were recorded. Sponge-associated biota was dominated by Mollusca in all three sponge hosts (range ~ 46%–50%) but taxa were found from a number of other phyla including, Arthropoda, Annelida, Echinodermata, Cnidaria, Foraminifera and Nemertea. There was no effect of season on abundances of SAB within the three species of sponge, but there was a significant effect associated with sponge host species, driven by a higher number of SAB in C. singaporensis and I. microconulosa. The diurnal patterns of SAB within C. singaporensis showed consistent abundances of mobile invertebrate groups with molluscs, echinoderms and arthropods dominating these samples. This study also highlights the ecological role and contribution of SAB in the reef ecosystems.

Item ID: 79732
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1439-0485
Copyright Information: © 2023 Wiley-VCH GmbH. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2023 07:11
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310302 Community ecology (excl. invasive species ecology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180503 Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in marine environments @ 100%
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