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Biological patterns and processes of glass sponge reefs

  • Author / Creator
    Chu, Jackson Wing Four
  • The glass sponge reefs of western Canada are modern analogues to ancient reefs and are unique habitats requiring conservation. However, the patterns and processes of the glass sponges have not been empirically studied. Here, I characterized the biology of the glass sponges in their reefs. I examined the community structure of the sponges at 3 reefs in the Strait of Georgia (SOG), their role in silica cycling, and the stable isotopes (δ13C and δ15N) of the reef forming sponge Aphrocallistes vastus. Sponges are spatially structured in patches which localize the abundance of other animals. Long term dissolution of spicules is negligible and thus a reef can be considered a silica sink. Lastly, isotope compositions can differentiate populations of A. vastus and depleted carbon signatures at 2 reefs suggest a terrestrial component in their diet. My work represents the biological baseline of 3 glass sponge reefs in the SOG.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2010-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3Z95J
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Biological Sciences
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Leys, Sally (Biological Sciences)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Roland, Jens (Biological Sciences)
    • Leighton, Lindsey (Earth & Atmospheric Sciences)
    • Vinebrooke, Rolf (Biological Sciences)