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Patterns of abundance and size of Dictyoceratid sponges among neighbouring islands in central Torres Strait, Australia

Patterns of abundance and size of Dictyoceratid sponges among neighbouring islands in central... Distribution and size frequency patterns of sessile organisms such as sponges may vary among and within neighbouring reefs. In the present study, we examined small-scale variation of dictyoceratid sponges (class Demospongiae), commonly found on coral reefs, by surveying six neighbouring islands in central Torres Strait. Each island had four study sites, at least 1 km apart, with each site consisting of three shallow (4 to 6 m) and three deep (10 to 15 m) 20 m 2 transects. For each transect, we recorded the number of each species and measured the size of the more common dictyoceratid sponges. Seven species of dictyoceratid were recorded in central Torres Strait, with only three species, Coscinoderma sp., Dysidea herbacea and Hyrtios erecta , common to all six islands. Abundance patterns generally varied greatly among islands or sites within islands, perhaps resulting from a combination of physical, biological and stochastic factors. More dictyoceratids were found in deeper water; however, abundance across depth for some species varied among islands or sites. Size-frequency distribution patterns also varied greatly among islands and dictyoceratid species, indicating that factors that may promote growth for one species may not necessarily promote growth for a related species. This study shows that patterns of abundance and size of dictyoceratids can vary greatly over small spatial scales, and that patterns are species-specific. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Marine & Freshwater Research CSIRO Publishing

Patterns of abundance and size of Dictyoceratid sponges among neighbouring islands in central Torres Strait, Australia

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Publisher
CSIRO Publishing
Copyright
CSIRO
ISSN
1323-1650
eISSN
1323-1650
DOI
10.1071/MF06104
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Distribution and size frequency patterns of sessile organisms such as sponges may vary among and within neighbouring reefs. In the present study, we examined small-scale variation of dictyoceratid sponges (class Demospongiae), commonly found on coral reefs, by surveying six neighbouring islands in central Torres Strait. Each island had four study sites, at least 1 km apart, with each site consisting of three shallow (4 to 6 m) and three deep (10 to 15 m) 20 m 2 transects. For each transect, we recorded the number of each species and measured the size of the more common dictyoceratid sponges. Seven species of dictyoceratid were recorded in central Torres Strait, with only three species, Coscinoderma sp., Dysidea herbacea and Hyrtios erecta , common to all six islands. Abundance patterns generally varied greatly among islands or sites within islands, perhaps resulting from a combination of physical, biological and stochastic factors. More dictyoceratids were found in deeper water; however, abundance across depth for some species varied among islands or sites. Size-frequency distribution patterns also varied greatly among islands and dictyoceratid species, indicating that factors that may promote growth for one species may not necessarily promote growth for a related species. This study shows that patterns of abundance and size of dictyoceratids can vary greatly over small spatial scales, and that patterns are species-specific.

Journal

Marine & Freshwater ResearchCSIRO Publishing

Published: Feb 16, 2007

Keywords: depth, spatial variation.

References