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Sponge epibionts on ecosystem-engineering ascidians: The case of Microcosmus sabatieri

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ΤίτλοςSponge epibionts on ecosystem-engineering ascidians: The case of Microcosmus sabatieri
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsVoultsiadou, E., Kyrodimou M., Antoniadou C., & Vafidis D..
JournalEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Volume86
Pagination598-606
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number02727714
Λέξεις κλειδιάabundance, Aegean Sea, Ascidia, Ascidiacea, biomass, commercial species, epibiont, epibiosis, epifauna, Mediterranean, Mediterranean Sea, Microcosmus, population density, population distribution, Porifera, species diversity, species richness, sponge, sublittoral, taxonomy, Tunicata, Urochordata
Abstract

The study of epibionts on habitat engineering ascidians is of increasing interest because changes in the population structure of the latter may affect associated communities, especially in the case of commercially exploited species. The solitary ascidian Microcosmus sabatieri lives on rocky cliffs in the Eastern Mediterranean and is harvested in certain Aegean areas. Its hard, wrinkled tunic is usually fouled by various epibionts both sessile and motile. Sponges are an important component of this complex and their biomass may be higher than that of the ascidian itself, strongly affecting diversity and abundance of the motile epifauna. The aim of this study was to examine in detail the structure of the epibiotic sponge assemblage on ascidians collected from their main fishing grounds in the South Aegean Sea. A rich (41

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