Decline in Mesozoic reef-building sponges explained by silicon limitation

  title={Decline in Mesozoic reef-building sponges explained by silicon limitation},
  author={Manuel Maldonado and M. Carmen. Carmona and Mar{\'i}a Jes{\'u}s {\'U}riz and Antonio Cruzado},
Several unrelated clades of siliceous sponges proliferated on the shelves of the Jurassic Tethys Sea, becoming prominent builders in reefs and near-shore mounds. Many of these builders are characterized by massive, rock-like skeletons made of spicules with a characteristic terminal hypersilicification. Such hypertrophied spicules are generically known as desmas, irrespective of their phylogenetic origin. Desma-bearing sponges virtually disappeared from reefs and other neritic environments… 

Antarctic sponge spicule mats shape macrobenthic diversity and act as a silicon trap

Spicule beds were not necessarily correlated with a diverse fauna, which was shown by a comparison of sponge spicule cover and macrobenthic and megabenthic abundance and biodiversity, and local maximum densities of adult sponges were found where spicules cover was highest.

Utilizing sponge spicules in taxonomic, ecological and environmental reconstructions: a review

The silicon isotope compositions in spicules are being increasingly often used to estimate the level of silicic acid in the marine settings throughout the geological history, which enables to reconstruct the past silica cycle and ocean circulation.


Past occurrences of large sponge faunas, for example, show that general pattern of their depth distribution is the same today as it was in the past, but it seems however, that some groups of sponges with solid silica skeleton, such as lithistids and hexactinellids with fused skeleton, inhabited in the geological past shallower environments than today.

Protistan Skeletons: A Geologic History of Evolution and Constraint

The tests and scales formed by protists may be the epitome of lightweight bioconstructions in nature. Skeletal biomineralization is widespread among eukaryotes, but both predominant mineralogy and

Lithistid Demosponges of Deep-Water Origin in Marine Caves of the North-Eastern Mediterranean Sea

Desmas-bearing demosponges known as lithistids have heavily silicified skeleton and occur typically in bathyal environments of warm and tropical areas but may be found in certain shallow marine

Les comunitats bentòniques antàrtiques: el resultat d'una llarga història

The high Antarctic benthos is unusual in a number of ways, notably in the depth of the shelf, the dominance of suspension feeders and the development of complex three-dimensional biogenic structures

Hydrothermal waters enriched in silica promote the development of a sponge community in North Sulawesi (Indonesia)

This hypothesis is in agreement with the evidence that the spicules of the sponge specimens living around the hot springs have a thickness about double that of conspecific specimens present on the coral reefs at least 300 m away.

Recycling resources: silica of diatom frustules as a source for spicule building in Antarctic siliceous demosponges

A multi-analytical approach to investigate the processing of diatom silica and whether it is reconverted into sponge silica suggests that the reutilization of di Atom silica by sponges is a common feature among Antarctic spongees, which should be further investigated in other latitudes and in other silicifiers.



Secular change in chert distribution: a reflection of evolving biological participation in the silica cycle.

In the modern oceans, the removal of dissolved silica from sea water is principally a biological process carried out by diatoms, with lesser contributions from radiolaria, silicoflagellates, and

Form and Distribution of Silica in Sponges

In a number of lines of demosponges and hexactinellids there is a tendency toward the deposition of secondary deposits of silica on the basic spicule forms with the resulting formation of rigid skeletal frameworks composed of fused or interlocking spicules.

Silica, diatoms, and Cenozoic radiolarian evolution

Siliceous plankton have been an important component of the oceanic silica cycle since the evolution of Radiolaria during late Precambrian or early Paleozoic time. Diatoms did not enter the cycle

Fossil and Recent Sponges

Aspects of Sponge Biology and Morphometric and Biochemical Differences Between Sympatric Populations of the Clathria "Spicata" Species Complex (Demospongiae: Poecilosclerida: Microcionidae) from Northern Australia are reviewed.

Lithistid Sponges from the Norfolk Rise. Recent and Mesozoic Genera

Numerous genera have been erected for Recent sponges which bear desmas, and various attempts have been made to somehow relate these taxa to the paleontological classification; this classification is

Phylogeny and classification of lithistid sponges (porifera: Demospongiae): a preliminary assessment using ribosomal DNA sequence comparisons.

Molecular data, morphology, and paleontology confirm recent hypothesis of polyphyly for lithistid sponges, and Parsimony and neighbor-joining analysis of partial 18S rDNA sequences derived from amplified genomic rDNA of lithistids and other demosponges suggest that tetracladinid and dicranocladinids lithistIDS are monophyletic and closely related to choristid demospongees.

Introduction to marine micropaleontology

Marine micropaleontology: an introduction (W.A. Berggren). Calcareous Microfossils. Foraminifera (A. Boersma). Calcareous nannoplankton (B.U. Haq). Ostracodes (V. Pokomy). Pteropods (Y. Herman).

Production and dissolution of biogenic silica in the ocean: Revised global estimates, comparison with regional data and relationship to biogenic sedimentation

We estimate the global rate of biogenic silica production in the ocean to be between 200 and 280 × 1012 mol Si yr−1. The upper limit is derived from information on the primary productivity of the