Assessing the Impact of Oil/Dispersant on Marine Sponges and their Symbiotic Communities
University of Alabama
DWH Project Funding
Known Leveraged Funding
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI)
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) Grant Program
Human and/or Institutional Capacity
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.