Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August 4, 2010 : Giant Barrel Sponge

Giant Barrel Sponge

The Caribbean barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta, is a large and common member of the coral reef communities at depths greater than 10 m, and has been called the “redwood of the deep”. 

Despite its prominence, high biomass and importance to habitat complexity and reef health, very little is know about the basic biology of this massive sponge, including rates of mortality and recruitment, reproduction, growth and age.  Like reef corals, this sponge is subject to bleaching and subsequent mortality.

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