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Assessing the Impact of Oil/Dispersant on Marine Sponges and their Symbiotic Communities

Implementing Organization

University of Alabama


DWH Project Funding


Known Leveraged Funding


Funding Organization

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)

Funding Program

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative GoMRI Grant Program


Project Category


Project Actions

Environmental Research

Targeted Resources

Human and/or Institutional Capacity

Project Description

Marine sponges are known to filter large quantities of seawater (on the order of 100's to 1000's of liters per day). As sessile organisms, they are likely to demonstrate bioaccumulation of oil and/or dispersant more rapidly than vagile, non-filter-feeding organisms. Additionally, sponges serve as a host for a wide variety of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. In some sponges, up to 40% of the biomass is microbial rather than sponge and they provide habitat to a diverse array of endofaunal associates.


Julie Olson
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