IMIS | Flanders Marine Institute
 

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research

IMIS

Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ]basket (0): add | show Print this page

How a collaborative integrated taxonomic effort has trained new spongiologists and improved knowledge of Martinique Island (French Antilles, eastern Caribbean Sea) marine biodiversity
Perez, T.; Diáz, M.C.; Ruiz, C.; Cóndor-Luján, B.; Klautau, M.; Hajdu, E.; Lôbo-Hajdu, G.; Zea, S.; Pomponi, S.A.; Thacker, R.W.; Carteron, S.; Tollu, G.; Pouget-Cuvelier, A.; Thélamon, P.; Marechal, J.-P.; Thomas, O.P.; Ereskovsky, A.V.; Vacelet, J.; Boury-Esnault, N. (2017). How a collaborative integrated taxonomic effort has trained new spongiologists and improved knowledge of Martinique Island (French Antilles, eastern Caribbean Sea) marine biodiversity. PLoS One 12(3): e0173859. hdl.handle.net/10.1371/journal.pone.0173859
In: PLoS One. Public Library of Science: San Francisco. ISSN 1932-6203; e-ISSN 1932-6203, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Authors  Top 
  • Perez, T., more
  • Diáz, M.C.
  • Ruiz, C.
  • Cóndor-Luján, B.
  • Klautau, M.
  • Hajdu, E.
  • Lôbo-Hajdu, G.
  • Zea, S.
  • Pomponi, S.A.
  • Thacker, R.W.
  • Carteron, S.
  • Tollu, G.
  • Pouget-Cuvelier, A.
  • Thélamon, P.
  • Marechal, J.-P.
  • Thomas, O.P.
  • Ereskovsky, A.V.
  • Vacelet, J., more
  • Boury-Esnault, N., more

Abstract
    Although sponges are important components of benthic ecosystems of the Caribbean Sea, their diversity remained poorly investigated in the Lesser Antilles. By organizing a training course in Martinique, we wanted both to promote taxonomy and to provide a first inventory of the sponge diversity on this island. The course was like a naturalist expedition, with a field laboratory and a classroom nearby. Early-career scientists and environmental managers were trained in sponge taxonomy. We gathered unpublished data and conducted an inventory at 13 coastal sites. We explored only shallow water habitats (0–30 m), such as mangroves, reefs or rocky bottoms and underwater caves. According to this study, the sponge fauna of Martinique is currently represented by a minimum of 191 species, 134 of which we could assign species names. One third of the remaining non-identified sponge species we consider to be new to science. Martinique appears very remarkable because of its littoral marine fauna harboring sponge aggregations with high biomass and species diversity dominating over coral species. In mangroves, sponges cover about 10% of the surface of subtidal roots. Several submarine caves are true reservoirs of hidden and insufficiently described sponge diversity. Thanks to this new collaborative effort, the Eastern Caribbean has gained a significant increase of knowledge, with sponge diversity of this area potentially representing 40% of the total in the Caribbean Sea. We thus demonstrated the importance of developing exploratory and educational research in areas historically devoid of biodiversity inventories and systematics studies. Finally, we believe in the necessity to consider not only the number of species but their distribution in space to evaluate their putative contribution to ecosystem services and our willingness to preserve them.

All data in the Integrated Marine Information System (IMIS) is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy Top | Authors