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Mangrove-sponge associations: a possible role for tannins
Hunting, E.R.; van der Geest, H.G.; Krieg, A.J.; van Mierlo, M.B.L.; Van Soest, R.W.M. (2010). Mangrove-sponge associations: a possible role for tannins. Aquat. Ecol. 44(4): 679-684.
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588; e-ISSN 1573-5125, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

    Animal products > Sponges
    Population functions > Recruitment
Author keywords
    Substrate selection; Sponges; Tannins; Polyphenols; Mangroves;Recruitment

Authors  Top 
  • Hunting, E.R.
  • van der Geest, H.G.
  • Krieg, A.J.
  • van Mierlo, M.B.L.
  • Van Soest, R.W.M., more

    A positive correlation between sponge coverage and tannin concentrations in prop roots of Rhizophora mangle L. has previously been reported. However, the ecological role of tannins within the mangrove sponge association remains speculative. This study investigated whether tannins play a role in sponge recruitment and assessed tannin and polyphenol production in R. mangle roots in response to sponge colonization. We demonstrated in a field experiment using artificial substrates with different tannin concentrations that tannins are positively involved in larval recruitment of the sponge Tedania ignis and that roots significantly enhanced tannin and polyphenolic content in response to natural and experimental sponge fouling. Differential recruitment in response to tannins may have been the result of a behavioral response in sponge larvae. It is also possible that tannins affected the structure of the fouling microbial biofilm on the artificial substrate, or tannins affected the post-settlement dynamics of sponge recruits. Elevations in concentrations of tannins and polyphenolic compounds upon coverage with sponges, combined with differential recruitment of T. ignis in response to differences in tannin concentrations, may indicate a positive feedback in recruitment. This may in part explain the typical heterogeneity in sponge coverage and community composition among roots.

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