Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Limnology and Oceanography
Endemic freshwater demosponges in the littoral zone of Lake Baikal, Russia, dominate the benthic biomass, covering 44% of the benthos. We measured in situ sponge abundance and,orating and calculated sponge-mediated Fluxes of picoplankton (plankton <2 mu m) for two common species, Baikalospongia intermedia and Baikalospongia bacillifera. By means of dual-beam how cytometry, we found retention efficiencies ranging from 58 to 99% for four types of picoplankton: heterotrophic bacteria, Synechococcus-type cyanobacteria, autotrophic picoplankton with one chloroplast, and autotrophic picoplankton with two chloroplasts. By using a general model for organism-mediated fluxes, we conservatively estimate that through active suspension feeding, sponges are a sink for 1.97 g C d(-1) m(-1), mostly from procaryotic cell types. Furthermore, grazing by these extensive sponge communities can create a layer of picoplankton-depleted water overlying the benthic community in this unique lake.
Pile, AJ; Patterson, Mark R.; Savarese, M.; Chernykh, V I.; and Fialkov, V A., Trophic effects of sponge feeding within Lake Baikal's littoral zone .2. Sponge abundance, diet, feeding efficiency, and carbon flux (1997). Limnology and Oceanography, 42(1), 178-184.