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Type: Journal article
Title: Distribution of a nematocyst-bearing sponge in relation to potential coral donors
Author: Russell, B.
Degnan, B.
Garson, M.
Skilleter, G.
Citation: Coral Reefs, 2003; 22(1):11-16
Publisher: Springer
Issue Date: 2003
ISSN: 0722-4028
Statement of
B. Russell, B. Degnan, M. Garson, G. Skilleter
Abstract: Haliclona sp. 628 (Demospongiae, Haplosclerida, Chalinidae), a sponge found on the reef slope below 5 m depth on the Great Barrier Reef, has two unusual characteristics. It contains a symbiotic dinoflagellate, Symbiodinium sp., similar in structure to the dinoflagellate found within Acropora nobilis (S. microadriaticum), and it contains coral nematocysts randomly distributed between the ectosome and endosome and usually undischarged in intact sponge tissue. Given the unusual occurrence of nematocysts in Haliclona sp. 628, the focus of this study was to determine the distribution of this species of sponge on the reef slope at Heron Island Reef in relation to the distribution of potential coral donors. A combination of line and belt transects was used to estimate the abundance of Haliclona sp. 628 and a co-occurring congener, Haliclona sp. 1031, which does not contain nematocysts, at three widely separated sites on the reef slope at Heron Island Reef. The abundance of different types of substratum (sand, sand-covered coral rubble, dead A. nobilis, live A. nobilis, other live coral, and other dead coral) along the transects and the substratum to which each sponge colony was attached were also recorded. Despite the predominance of live A. nobilis and sand-covered rubble at all sites, between 30 and 55% of Haliclona sp. 628 colonies were attached to dead A. nobilis which comprised less than 8% of the available substratum along any transect. In contrast, Haliclona sp. 1031 was found significantly more frequently on other dead corals and less frequently on live A. nobilis than would be expected based on the availability of the different substrata in the sites. Potential explanations to account for the distribution of Haliclona sp. 628 in relation to potential coral donors are discussed.
Keywords: Haliclona; Sponges; Distribution; Nematocysts; Heron Reef
Description: The original publication is available at
Rights: © Springer-Verlag 2002
RMID: 0020077535
DOI: 10.1007/s00338-002-0271-4
Published version:
Appears in Collections:Earth and Environmental Sciences publications
Environment Institute publications

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