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Free Content Coral Reef Project—Papers in Memory of Dr. Thomas F. Goreau. 9.

The Ecology of Some Jamaican Excavating Sponges

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The ecology of coral-dwelling sponges from the reefs of Discovery Bay on the north coast of Jamaica is discussed with particular emphasis on the distribution, vertical range, and abundance of excavating sponges inhabiting species of the genus Acropora. Although colonies of A. cervicornis and A. palmata, typically possessing large areas of dead base, both appear to be extremely favorable substrates for excavating sponges, A. prolifera, with short, compact branches that are usually completely covered with living tissue, is not normally subject to attack by excavating sponges. Of the nine species found to inhabit A. cervicornis, only one is apparently restricted to this coral; the other eight occur in a wide variety of substrates from 0-52 meters in depth. None of the three species collected from A. palmata were restricted to this coral.

The possession of symbiotic algae by three species of coral-dwelling sponges is associated with substrate and habitat preferences.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1973-06-01

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