Branching dynamics of two species of arborescent demosponge: the effect of flow regime and bathymetry

Bell, James J.; Barnes, D.K.A. ORCID:; Shaw, C.. 2002 Branching dynamics of two species of arborescent demosponge: the effect of flow regime and bathymetry. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 82 (2). 279-294.

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A series of measurements were taken from 50 random examples of the arborescent sponges Raspailia rainosa and Stelligera stuposa at a number of sites and depths at Lough Hyne, Co. Cork, Ireland. Sites ranged from fast flowing habitats, experiencing little sediment settlement, to the converse where current flow was extremely slight and sediment settlement rates high. Depth intervals at which sponges were measured ranged from 6 to 24 m. Sponges of buth species varied with respect to measurements taken and the growth proportions (ratios of measurements taken). The greatest morphological differences occurred between depth and current extremes. However, at the most sedimented site (24 m) branching complexity of both species actually decreased in opposition to the proposed current models. It is discussed that simple morphologies (such as singly dichotomized sponges) may be better suited to extremely sedimented regimes being more erect than larger, more complex specimens. Other biological factors that may limit branching complexity are considered and emphasis is placed upon the possible inadequacies of community or group level models of morphological adaptation.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Antarctic Science in the Global Context (2000-2005) > Life at the Edge - Stresses and Thresholds
ISSN: 0025-3154
NORA Subject Terms: Marine Sciences
Biology and Microbiology
Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 21 Sep 2011 10:15 +0 (UTC)

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