Effects of Heat and Salinity Stress on the Sponge Cliona Celata

Amber N. Miller, Kevin B. Strychar, Thomas C. Shirley, Klaus Rützler


Ocean temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are predicted to increase by 2ºC by 2050, and over the next 100 years,
global warming is expected to cause additional increases by as much as 2ºC to 4ºC. In this study, pigment
concentrations were used to determine the effects of temperature and salinity stress on the sponge Cliona celata.
Pigments extracted from sponge tissue were analyzed using HPLC; no significant losses in pigments occurred at
temperatures of 18ºC, 25ºC, 31ºC, and 33ºC and practical salinities of 22, 32, and 42, indicating a high threshold
to thermal and salinity stresses. Further, we report for the first time the existence of this species in the jetties of
Texas, representing a new range in habitat. These sponges may become more dominant in reef habitats and may
rapidly colonize new locations as corals worldwide suffer from bleaching.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/ijb.v2n2p3

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