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Book Chapter

Reef Biota

Published:
January 01, 1977

Abstract

Abstract As many as 500 species of sponges are estimated to occur in Caribbean reef habitats down to a depth of 120 m. Fully 90% of these belong to the Class Demospongiae,the rest are species of the Classes Calcarea and Sclerospongiae. The scarcity of siliceous sponge spicules in reef sediments may be related to the slow growth rate of many reef sponges as well as the rapid dissolution of spicules in the unsaturated waters above reefs. Excavating sponges of three families play a role in the erosional remodeling of reefs, and the particles excavated from calcareous skeletons and rocks by these sponges may make up as much as 30% of the sediments of reef environments. The massive aragonitic skeletons of sclerosponges contribute to the primary framework of the deep forereef and help strengthen and build out the walls of caves, tunnels, and crevices in shallower reef environments.

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Contents

AAPG Studies in Geology

Reefs and Related Carbonates—Ecology and Sedimentology

Stanley H. Frost
Stanley H. Frost
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;
Malcolm P. Weiss
Malcolm P. Weiss
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;
John B. Saunders
John B. Saunders
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
4
ISBN electronic:
9781629812076
Publication date:
January 01, 1977

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