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Dense aggregations of a hexactinellid sponge,Pheronema carpenteri, in the Porcupine Seabight (northeast Atlantic Ocean), and possible causes

Elsevier Ltd
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0079-6611(90)90029-2


Abstract Dense aggregations of the hexactinellid sponge, Pheronema carpenteri, were encountered in the Porcupine Seabight at depths between about 1000 and 1300m. In restricted areas within this bathymetric range the sponges attain numerical abundances of more than 1.5m −2 and an estimated biomass of up to 372g m −2 wet weight or about 10g m −2 ash-free dry weight. These recently acquired samples, together with historical data, suggest that Pheronema occurs close to, but not within, regions of the upper continental slope where the bottom topography is expected to result in significant enhancement of the near-bottom tidal current velocities. It is suggested that the sponges may not be able to withstand the enhanced currents, but may nevertheless be dependent upon the resuspended or undeposited organic matter carried to them from these regions of increased tidal energy.

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