[Coral-List] Xetospongia muta

G.P. Schmahl george.schmahl at noaa.gov
Tue Apr 29 11:49:08 EDT 2008

Glauco - I have made similar observations of X. muta on several occasions: 

    * off Elliott Key, FL (Pacific Reef, Biscayne National Park) after
      hurricane Andrew (1992) in 60-70 feet
    * off the lower Florida Keys (Western Sambo reef among others) after
      hurricane Georges (1998) in 70-80 feet
    * at the Flower Garden Banks (NW Gulf of Mexico) after hurricane
      Rita (2005) in 70-100 feet

It appears that even though this sponge seems extremely "tough", it is 
actually quite susceptible to breakage from wave action, even at depth. 

A PDF on the impacts of hurricane Rita on the Flower Garden Banks is 
available for download at:


This document has some photos of before/after impacts to a large 
Xestospongia muta.

GP Schmahl

glauco150 at aol.com wrote:

>Dear listers:
>During a recent dive?(75-80 ft deep) in the north coast of Puerto Rico I found out?numerous Xetospongia muta totally or partially broken.??Some sponges broke flush to the substrate, others broke in different angle when compared to the next standing; there was not a clear break pattern.??On March 20-22, Puerto Rico and the USVI coasts received the impact of a powerful cold front?which produced 30-plus feet breaking waves causing significant coastal erosion.? Could it be possble that soft or weak areas of large high profile?X. muta did not resisted?such continuous?high energy swell/surge?
>I will appreciate any comments or references.
>best regards,
>Glauco A Rivera
>PhD candidate
>Univ. of PR-Dept. of Marine Sciences
>Coral-List mailing list
>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov


George (G.P.) Schmahl

Sanctuary Superintendent

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

4700 Avenue U, Building 216

Galveston, TX   77551

(409) 621-5151 ext. 102

(409) 621-1316 (fax)

george.schmahl at noaa.gov


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