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Attached Sponges (Biotic Group)

Component: Biotic

Unique Identifier: 517

Biotic Setting Benthic/Attached Biota
Biotic Class Faunal Bed
Biotic Subclass Attached Fauna
Biotic Group Attached Sponges
Biotic Group Attached Cliona
Attached Halichondria
Attached Hyalonema
Attached Microciona
Attached Scypha

Definition Hard or mixed substrate areas that are dominated by sponges and their associated communities, e.g., where non-reef building sponge species grow attached to hard substrate or are nestled among hard substrate, or where reef-building sponges grow on hard substrates in densities that are not judged sufficient to constitute a reef. Most sponge species do not have fused silica spicules, and so do not create lasting skeletons that build reefs. Nonetheless, these more fibrous and ephemeral sponges provide seafloor relief and excellent habitat for other fauna, including many commensal species that live within the tissues of the sponge.