Composition and temporal variation of the algal assemblage associated with the haplosclerid sponge Haliclona indistincta (Bowerbank)

Mónica B J Moniz*, Fabio Rindi, Kelly Stephens, Elena Maggi, Patrick Collins, Grace P. McCormack

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Although interactions between seaweeds and sponges have been studied in detail, general information concerning the whole epibiontic algal assemblage associated with a sponge species is virtually non-existent. We present here the first study in which the macroalgal community associated with a sponge, Haliclona indistincta (Bowerbank), was examined in detail. In the period October 2009-September 2010, the seaweed assemblage epibiontic on H. indistincta at a site of the Irish West coast was composed of 66 algal taxa (48 red algae, 7 green algae, 11 brown algae). The red algae Gelidium spinosum and Rhodothamniella floridula were the only epibionts associated with H. indistincta for the whole annual cycle. Most of the algal epibionts were filamentous species, which colonized the surface of the sponge and did not penetrate deeply into it. The algal assemblage was most abundant and species-diverse in the period late winter-spring; multivariate analyses revealed a significant variation of the community on the temporal scale of season and sampling date (weeks to months). The results indicate that the algal communities associated with sponges may be very diverse, showing that this type of assemblage deserves further detailed studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-53
Number of pages4
JournalAquatic Botany
Volume105
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

Keywords

  • Epibiosis
  • Haliclona indistincta
  • Marine algae
  • Sponges
  • Temporal variation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science

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