Growth Efficiency and Carbon Balance for the Sponge Haliclona oculata

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To obtain more knowledge about carbon requirements for growth by sponges, the growth rate, respiration rate, and clearance rate was measured in situ in Haliclona oculata. We found that only 34% of the particulate carbon pumped through the sponge was used for both respiration and growth. The net growth efficiency, being the ratio of carbon incorporated in biomass and the total carbon used by the sponge for respiration and growth, was found to be 0.099¿±¿0.013. Thus, about 10% of the total used carbon was fixed in biomass, and over 90% was used for generating energy for growth, maintenance, reproduction, and pumping. H. oculata had 2.5 µmol C available for every micromole O2 consumed. A value of 0.75 for respiratory quotient (RQ in micromole CO2 micromole O2-1) was used for H. oculata, which is the average value reported in literature for different marine invertebrates. Thus, carbon was available in excess to meet the respiratory demand. Oxygen was found not to be the limiting factor for growth, since only 3.3% of the oxygen pumped through the sponge body was used. Our results indicate that both oxygen and carbon availability are not limiting. The low growth efficiency agrees with the low growth rates found for the species used in this study
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)340-349
JournalMarine Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • coral-reef sponge
  • halichondria-panicea
  • organic-carbon
  • oxygen-consumption
  • marine sponges
  • kiel bight
  • demospongiae
  • bacteria
  • filtration
  • retention


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