|Antarctic Porifera database from the Spanish benthic expeditions|In: ZooKeys. Pensoft: Sofia. ISSN 1313-2989, more
Porifera; Antarctic; Deep-Sea; Biodiversity; BENTART; AntarcticPeninsula; Bellingshausen Sea; Sponges; Benthic fauna
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The information about the sponges in this dataset is derived from the samples collected during five Spanish Antarctic expeditions: Bentart 94, Bentart 95, Gebrap 96, Ciemar 99/00 and Bentart 2003. Samples were collected in the Antarctic Peninsula and Bellingshausen Sea at depths ranging from 4 to 2044 m using various sampling gears. The Antarctic Porifera database from the Spanish benthic expeditions is unique as it provides information for an under-explored region of the Southern Ocean (Bellingshausen Sea). It fills an information gap on Antarctic deep-sea sponges, for which there were previously very few data. This phylum is an important part of the Antarctic biota and plays a key role in the structure of the Antarctic marine benthic community due to its considerable diversity and predominance in different areas. It is often a dominant component of Southern Ocean benthic communities. The quality of the data was controlled very thoroughly with GPS systems onboard the R/V Hesperides and by checking the data against the World Porifera Database (which is part of the World Register of Marine Species, WoRMS). The data are therefore fit for completing checklists, inclusion in biodiversity pattern analysis and niche modelling. The authors can be contacted if any additional information is needed before carrying out detailed biodiversity or biogeographic studies. The dataset currently contains 767 occurrence data items that have been checked for systematic reliability. This database is not yet complete and the collection is growing. Specimens are stored in the author's collection at the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) in the city of Gijon (Spain). The data are available in GBIF.