DISTRIBUTION OF SPONGES ON THE LA GUAJIRA CONTINENTAL SHELF, COLOMBIAN CARIBBEAN
During the exploration of the soft calcareous bottoms of the continental shelf of La Guajira Department, 47 different species of sponges were identified in the classes Demospongiae and Calcarea. From bottom trawling carried out throughout the continental shelf on the bathymetric fringes of 10 and 50 m, it was found that the number of species is larger at 50 m depth, mainly in areas to the north and south where sand and mud sediments prevail. However, the patterns are not consistent in all the cases, owing to the low similarities between stations, based on the presence-absence of sponges, indicating a rather heterogeneous faunal composition. The soft bottoms allow the growth of non-sessile and sessile sponges; collected species show massive, incrusting ramified and spherical growth, all loosely attached but agglutinating large substratum fragments to which they hold.
Sponges; Continental shelf; La Guajira; Caribbean; Distribution
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