[Coral-List] Florida's giant barrel sponges are TWO species, one is overtaking the other.

Pawlik, Joseph pawlikj at uncw.edu
Thu Apr 1 13:28:29 UTC 2021

Hi all,

>From the iMESA lab at UNCW: Giant barrel sponges on Florida's Conch Reef consist of two cryptic species, as determined by molecular genetics and microbiome differentiation. Even more surprising, the two haplotypes growing side-by-side are on the opposite ends (are the most divergent) of a network of cryptic species that span the tropics. This means that visually indistinguishable barrel sponges growing side-by-side on Conch Reef are more distantly related than they are to barrel sponges on reefs in the Indo-Pacific!

Evans, J.S., López-Legentil, S, Pawlik, J.R., Turnbull, I.G., Erwin, P.M.  2021. Molecular detection and microbiome differentiation of two cryptic lineages of giant barrel sponges from Conch Reef, Florida Keys. Coral Reefs, DOI: 10.1007/s00338-021-02089-8

A 'ShareIt initiative' link for all to view: https://rdcu.be/chNlU<https://nam12.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Frdcu.be%2FchNlU&data=04%7C01%7Cpawlikj%40uncw.edu%7C807b3335633a4f149e0f08d8f45269d1%7C2213678197534c75af2868a078871ebf%7C1%7C0%7C637527982084259673%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=6KOtGkWIEBH4NOsEgslhfUmSgPMlLkQ2ddFupZ4zI5c%3D&reserved=0>

In a previous paper, it was demonstrated that only one of these cryptic species is responsible for the greatest amount of recent recruitment to Conch Reef, and is taking over the population from the older and larger cryptic species.

Deignan, L.K, Pawlik, J.R., López-Legentil, S. 2018. Evidence for shifting genetic structure among Caribbean giant barrel sponges in the Florida Keys. Marine Biology 165:106  DOI: 10.1007/s00227-018-3355-6

As Caribbean reefs change to become more dominated by barrel sponges, genetic techniques need to be used to further document population shifts among cryptic species.

See the PDF link below, if needed.



Joseph R. Pawlik

Frank Hawkins Kenan Distinguished Professor of Marine Biology

Dept. of Biology and Marine Biology

UNCW Center for Marine Science

5600 Marvin K Moss Lane

Wilmington, NC  28409

Office:(910)962-2377; Cell:(910)232-3579

Website: http://people.uncw.edu/pawlikj/index.html

PDFs: http://people.uncw.edu/pawlikj/pubs2.html

Video Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/skndiver011


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