scientific article | Mem Queensl Mus
Lehnert H, Fischer H
Sixty species of sponges (23 new) were collected from the deep fore-reef (60-107rn depth) off the North Jamaican Discovery Bay area using trimix diving. Comparison with the shallow water sponge fauna shows only 15% of shallow water sponges extend down to the deep fore-reef and 60% of deep fore-reef sponges are not found in shallow water. Mapping sponge and coral distributions around Discovery Bay to 40m depth revealed a database of 102 sites with a surveyed area of 1659m2. Multivariate analysis of this database recognizes three large scale habitats: Reef-surfaces, lagoon, and undersides of platy corals. Separate analyses of subsets indicate internal differences within habitats. Benthic colonization on reef-surfaces are continuous along depth and inclination gradients, except around river mouths. Within lagoon habitats there are subhabitats: blue hole, Thalassia seagrass-beds, ridges with freshwater outflow and protected (eastern) backreef. Zonation of Jamaican reefs appears to have changed over 34 years in comparision to data of Goreau (1959). D Porifera, distribution patterns, depth zonation, habitat specialisation, Jamaica, coral reefs.
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SCUBA (open-circuit or unspecified)