Term of Award
Master of Science in Biology (M.S.)
Document Type and Release Option
Thesis (open access)
Copyright Statement / License for Reuse
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Department of Biology
Daniel F. Gleason
Committee Member 1
Bruce A. Schulte
Committee Member 2
Risa A. Cohen
Sessile organisms employing inducible defenses may receive protection from consumers while simultaneously minimizing the metabolic costs of maintaining these defenses. To investigate if reef sponges in the South Atlantic Bight employ inducible chemical defenses, I tested two predictions with Ircinia campana, I. felix, and Aplysina fulva. First, concentrations of antipredator compounds should covary with the abundance of sponge predators. Second, higher compound concentrations should be more effective at deterring predators. Secondary metabolite concentrations in two (I. campana and I. felix) of the sponge species showed temporal variation, which is consistent with the inducible defense hypothesis. Interestingly, higher concentrations of these compounds did not deter feeding by fish or urchins. In contrast, A. fulva, showed no significant temporal variation in the concentration of secondary metabolites, but had deterrent effects on fish predators even at low concentrations. Combined, these results do not support an antipredator strategy based on inducible chemical defenses.
Sarmiento, Leslie Vanesa, "Inducible Chemical Defenses in Temperate Reef Sponges of the South Atlantic Bight, U.S.A." (2008). Electronic Theses & Dissertations. 691.