2014 Student Research Conference:
27th Annual Student Research Conference

The Influence of Predatory Fish on the Distribution of Tedania ignis
Theresa Osborne
Dr. LaRoy Brandt, Faculty Mentor

As aquatic, sessile animals, sponges often times have multiple predators who consume them. The fire sponge, Tedania ignis, is an encrusting sponge found in tropical coral reefs and mangrove systems. We were interested in examining the relationship between T. ignis abundance (measured by number of encrustaceans and total area covered) and the species richness of spongivorous fish in various reef habitats (back reef, patch reef, mangroves, etc.) along the Meso-American barrier reef, off the coast of Belize. T. ignis was found to have a significantly greater density in mangroves than in reef areas. While, spongivorous fish species richness did not. This considered, we found no significant correlation between predator species richness and sponge density. This result does not contradict expectations as the impact that multiple predators may have on a given prey species is dependent upon the interactions between predator species.

Keywords: Marine Biology, Spongivorous fish, Tedania ignis, Belize, Meso American Barrier Reef

Topic(s):Biology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 4-19
Location: GEO - SUB
Time: 3:30

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