Bioeroding sponge Cliona sp. South Brother
- Sheets of bioeroding sponges are a common sight in many areas, especially on offshore banks and, in some cases, around the Three Brothers islands. These are sheets of encrusting sponge, deep red to black in colour. These are of the genus Cliona, and they bore deeply into the limestone rock and coral skeletons where most of their biomass resides. They are very important occupiers of space on a reef and, as a result, have a major influence on bioerosion of the reef. Usually their abundance is in balance with those of constructing organisms such as corals, but if they become too abundant net bioerosion will occur. Here the sponge is abundant but the reef over-all also has a very high coral cover and appears to be maintaining its elevation.
- Anne Sheppard
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