[Coral-List] Xetospongia muta

Julian Sprung julian at tlfusa.com
Wed Apr 30 09:46:33 EDT 2008

Has anyone observed the "stump" grow back upwards to form a new large sponge? It would be interesting to tag them with date records to observe the rate of re-growth, and to tag the loose detached ones to see what % of them are able to re-attach. It would seem that at great depth the chances for them are pretty good. I wonder, also, if the rolling of the detached ones doesn't generate small fragments that also may attach and form new colonies. Since the clean cut at the base seems to be a common observation, perhaps there is a line of scission at the base, like on a lizard's tail.

I remember some years ago diving with Bruce Carlson at Mary Island in the Solomons where, in a deep (70 feet) embayment there is a field of small leather corals (Sarcophyton sp.). Bruce noticed that even a gentle squeeze of the cap would cause it to sever off cleanly, like a cookie popping off into your hand. Clearly this was a reproductive strategy for this species, and in this case it resulted in it dominating the bottom in a region of this bay. While Sarcophyton spp are able to reproduce vegetatively by various means, this was really a unique one!


-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov on behalf of K.Buchan at dorsetcc.gov.uk
Sent: Wed 4/30/2008 5:54 AM
To: glauco150 at aol.com
Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov; coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Xetospongia muta

Following Hurricanes Luis and Marilyn which occurred in quick succession 
during the 1995 season we were assessing damage to the reefs within the 
Saba Marine Park in the Dutch Antilles. On the seamounts approximately 1 
km west of the island there was significant damage to X. muta at depths in 
excess of 150 ft with a number being ?cut down? to their base. Looking 
down on the reef from mid water there was a patchwork of white circular 
areas where sponges had been removed. 



Dr Ken Buchan
Coastal Policy Manager
Environmental Services Directorate
Dorset County Council
County Hall
Dorset DT1 1XJ

T:01305 225132
F: 01305 224875

glauco150 at aol.com 
Sent by: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
27/04/2008 20:04

coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

[Coral-List] Xetospongia muta

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 

I will appreciate any comments or references.

best regards,

Glauco A Rivera
PhD candidate
Univ. of PR-Dept. of Marine Sciences
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