Silica content and spicular size variation during an annual cycle in Chondrilla nucula Schmidt (Porifera, Demospongiae) in the Ligurian Sea
Giorgio Bavestrello, Michela Bonito, Michele Sarà

A year-long study of a population of Chondrilla nucula from the Portofino Promontory (Ligurian Sea) revealed cyclic variations in the sponge's silica content, with two peaks in April and October and a sharp decrease during June-July. These variations were accompanied by changes in spicule (aster) size, particularly during the summer months. Spicule shape also varied in the summer, as small asters with reduced rays often developed smooth outgrowths. This phenomenon appears to be associated with environmental conditions and the life cycle of the species.

Keywords: Siliceous spicules, silica, morphometry, annual cycle, environmental parameters, reproduction, Demospongiae.
Contents of this volume Sci. Mar. 57(4) : 421-425 Back PDF
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