[Coral-List] Strange Xestospongia muta damage

Kristen Hoss kristenhoss at yahoo.com
Wed Apr 30 07:54:05 EDT 2008

  Are you referring to the cable drag that occurred and sawed off 27 acres of reef a while back?  What you are describing is exactly what happened during a dredging project off the coast of Pompano Beach, FL and many of the sites were repaired. However, the severed sponges did not fare as well as the corals and much of the restoration on those sponges failed. That left behind what you are describing.
  -Kristen Hoss
  Vone Research

Thomas Goreau <goreau at bestweb.net> wrote:
  Estimado Glauco,

Several years ago in Broward County local divers began noticing 
Xestospongia muta that looked as if they had been cut off flat near 
the bottom as if cut with razor wire. It was so common that local 
divers thought someone was stealing their big sponges, unlikely as 
that seems. I saw them myself with Dan Clark, and there was no 
jagged edge as would happen with a knife cut, anchor dragging, or 
turtle chomping, but luckily almost all were healing. I've taken 
samples of diseased Xestospongia in the past for microbial analysis, 
and know how hard it is to cut a small piece out of them, even of 
necrotic tissue, so we were baffled. Luckily there was a short 
intense episode of this damage, and it does not seem to have 
recurred. Who, why, or when are mysterious, but at least we know where.


Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
Global Coral Reef Alliance
37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
goreau at bestweb.net

Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2008 15:04:06 -0400
From: glauco150 at aol.com
Subject: [Coral-List] Xetospongia muta
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Message-ID: <8CA76B0998FBB32-BAC-4281 at mblk-d30.sysops.aol.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

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

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