Open Access

Estimation of desmosponge (Porifera, Demospongiae) larval settlement rates from short-term recruitment rates: Preliminary experiments

  • Sven Zea1
Helgoländer Meeresuntersuchungen46:BF02367100


During a study of the spatial and temporal patterns of desmosponge (Porifera, Demospongiae) recruitment on rocky and coral reef habitats of Santa Marta, Colombian Caribbean Sea, preliminary attempts were made to estimate actual settlement rates from short-term (1 to a few days) recruitment censuses. Short-term recruitment rates on black, acrylic plastic plates attached to open, non-cryptic substratum by anchor screws were low and variable (0–5 recruits/plate in 1–2 days, sets of n=5–10 plates), but reflected the depth and seasonal trends found using mid-term (1 to a few months) censusing intervals. Moreover, mortality of recruits during 1–2 day intervals was low (0–12%). Thus, short-term censusing intervals can be used to estimate actual settlement rates. To be able to make statistical comparisons, however, it is necessary to increase the number of recruits per census by pooling data of n plates per set, and to have more than one set per site or treatment.