UBC Undergraduate Research

Glass Sponge Reefs in Howe Sound, British Columbia : Assessing the relationship between live sponge coverage and populations of prawns (Pandalus spp.) and rockfishes (Sebastes spp.) Back, Theodore; Cawley, Krista; Allen, Katie; Lynch, Stephanie


Glass sponge reefs (bioherms) were discovered in the past 15 years along the coast of British Columbia, including Howe Sound, and serve an important ecosystem function. In order to provide protection to these unique ecosystems, the ecological relationships must first be understood. The purpose of this research is to determine the relationship between live sponge coverage and rockfishes (Sebastes spp.) abundance; and live sponge coverage and prawn (Pandalus spp.) abundance on the Kelvin Grove Seamount in Howe Sound, British Columbia. To date, no mapping of sponge coverage or abundance surveys of Pandalus spp. and Sebastes spp. have been performed on the Kelvin Grove Seamount. Using latitude and longitude coordinates, the live sponge coverage, abundance of Sebastes spp. and Pandalus spp., were overlaid onto a detailed bathymetric map of the Kelvin Grove Seamount. The results suggest there is no statistically significant relationship between live sponge coverage and the presence of Sebastes spp., but there is a significant negative correlation between live sponge coverage and the presence of Pandalus spp. It was determined that the distribution of live sponge was patchy across the Kelvin Grove Seamount.

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