A quantitative study on the sponge spicules present in a series of horizontal core samples, taken at different levels, from a 1.5 m thick living matte within the Posidonia oceanica meadow of Prelo Bay (Eastern Ligurian Sea), has been performed. Sponge spicule amounts were evaluated by microscopical and chemical analyses. From the superficial samples the spicule number decreased until 60–80 cm depth to increase progressively until the deepest studied layer, 140 cm depth. The same results were obtained from the trend of spicule volume and biogenic silica tested by chemical analysis. Among the recognisable spicule types, the most common are oxeas, followed by tylostyles, achantostyles and strongyles. However, oxeas, tylostyles and achantostyles showed the same trend of the entire spicule population, whereas strongyles had an opposite trend with a maximum value at the 80–100 cm depth. According to the hypothesis that the amount of spicules in the sediment is proportional or at least related to the sponge biomass existing in the surrounding area, our data suggest that the sponge assemblage of Prelo Bay should not have been constant in the past 100–200 years. Our hypothesis is that the rapid urban and industrial development that occurred along the Ligurian coast after the Second World War, particularly in the 1960s, had an important impact on the sponge assemblages of the area.

Posidonia oceanica meadows as sponge spicule traps

CAPELLACCI, SAMUELA;PENNA, ANTONELLA;
2012-01-01

Abstract

A quantitative study on the sponge spicules present in a series of horizontal core samples, taken at different levels, from a 1.5 m thick living matte within the Posidonia oceanica meadow of Prelo Bay (Eastern Ligurian Sea), has been performed. Sponge spicule amounts were evaluated by microscopical and chemical analyses. From the superficial samples the spicule number decreased until 60–80 cm depth to increase progressively until the deepest studied layer, 140 cm depth. The same results were obtained from the trend of spicule volume and biogenic silica tested by chemical analysis. Among the recognisable spicule types, the most common are oxeas, followed by tylostyles, achantostyles and strongyles. However, oxeas, tylostyles and achantostyles showed the same trend of the entire spicule population, whereas strongyles had an opposite trend with a maximum value at the 80–100 cm depth. According to the hypothesis that the amount of spicules in the sediment is proportional or at least related to the sponge biomass existing in the surrounding area, our data suggest that the sponge assemblage of Prelo Bay should not have been constant in the past 100–200 years. Our hypothesis is that the rapid urban and industrial development that occurred along the Ligurian coast after the Second World War, particularly in the 1960s, had an important impact on the sponge assemblages of the area.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2509544
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