Hurricanes, Saba and sponges - Reply

Walt, Jaap JAAP_W at
Tue Sep 19 11:03:00 EDT 1995

Dear Dr. Sheppard: 

Here is some unpublished thought on the regrown of Xestospongia muta.  In 
1983 a salvage operation off Key Largo damaged a large number of these 
sponges.  The towing cables from the tug boats were allowed to drop to the 
bottom.  When the slack was recovered, the cables cut the sponges in half and 
less.   After about five years those that survived (most with 25 percent or more 
of the body left intact) did recover and grow back.   The growth was 
somewhat abnormal so it was possible to detect the individuals that were 
damaged.   Within about ten years,  the recovery was nearly complete; 
meaning that the growth had repaired most of the damage and the sponges 
are about as large as those that were not affected by the tug cables. 

Hope this is of some use.   

Walt Jaap 
FMRI, St. Pete   

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