In situ determination of Si, N, and P utilization by the demosponge Tethya citrina: A benthicchamber approach


Sponges consume dissolved silicon (DSi) to build their skeletons. Few studies have attempted to quantify DSi utilization by these organisms and all available determinations come from laboratory measurements. Here we measured DSi consumption rates of the sponge Tethya citrina in its natural habitat, conducting 24h incubations in benthic chambers. Sponges consumed DSi at an average rate of 0.046 +/- 0.018 mu mol h(-1) mL(-1) when DSi availability in its habitat was 8.3 +/- 1.8 mu M. Such DSi consumption rates significantly matched the values predicted by a kinetic model elsewhere developed previously for this species through laboratory incubations. These results support the use of laboratory incubations as a suitable approach to learn about DSi consumption. During the field incubations, utilization of other dissolved inorganic nutrients by this low-microbial-abundance (LMA) sponge was also measured. The sponges were net sources of ammonium (-0.043 +/- 0.031 mu mol h(-1) mL(-1)), nitrate (-0.063 +/- 0.031 mu mol h(-1) mL(-1)), nitrite (-0.007 +/- 0.003 mu mol h(-1) mL(-1)), and phosphate (-0.004 +/- 0.005 mu mol h(-1) mL(-1)), in agreement with the general pattern in other LMA species. The detected effluxes were among the lowest reported for sponges, which agreed with the low respiration rates characterizing this species (0.35 +/- 0.11 mu mol-O-2 h(-1) mL(-1)). Despite relatively low flux, the dense population of T. citrina modifies the availability of dissolved inorganic nutrients in the demersal water of its habitat, contributing up to 14% of nitrate and nitrite stocks. Through these effects, the bottom layer contacting the benthic communities where siliceous LMA sponges abound can be partially depleted in DSi, but can benefit from inputs of N and P dissolved inorganic nutrients that are critical to primary producers

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ArchiMer - Institutional Archive of Ifremer

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oai:archimer.ifremer.fr:71664Last time updated on 2/10/2020

This paper was published in ArchiMer - Institutional Archive of Ifremer.

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