Estimates of sponge consumption rates on an Indo-Pacific reef

Mortimer, Charlotte and Dunn, Matthew and Haris, Abdul and Jompa, Jamaluddin and Bell, James (2021) Estimates of sponge consumption rates on an Indo-Pacific reef.

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Abstract (Abstrak)

Determining predator diets is essential for understanding the strength of top-down processes and how they cascade through food webs. This is especially important for sponges, key members of benthic communities, whose dominance has increased in recent years on some coral reefs. However, the diversity of spongivorous fishes and the sponges they consume are relatively unknown. Here, we estimated sponge consumption by spongivorous fishes in the Wakatobi Marine National Park, Indonesia. We deployed cameras to identify fish biting at the dominant reef sponge Xestospongia spp. and then used gut content analysis and fish abundance estimates to quantify sponge consumption. In total, 33 species from 10 families of reef fish were identified taking bites from Xestospongia spp.; however, the 2 most prolific sponge-grazers, Ctenochaetus binotatus and Chaetodon kleinii, had no sponge in their guts, showing that for some fish, bites on sponge surfaces are not reliable evidence of sponge consumption. Gut contents indicated that Pygoplites diacanthus was an obligate spongivore, while Pomacanthus imperator, P. xanthometo- pon, Zanclus cornutus and Siganus punctatus regularly consumed sponges. Sponge consumption by these 5 spongivores was estimated at 46.6 ± 18.3 g sponge 1000 m−2 d−1. Mole cular approaches developed to sequence the 18S gene for sponges consumed by angelfishes led to the successful amplification of 14 consumed sponges representing 6 orders of Porifera. We provide the first esti- mate of sponge consumption in the Indo-Pacific and are the first to successfully sequence partially digested sponges from fish stomachs, identifying several sponges previously unknown to be con- sumed by spongivores.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: V Naval Science > VM Naval architecture. Shipbuilding. Marine engineering
Depositing User: - Andi Anna
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2021 01:26
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2021 01:26

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