Tipping Point

Perched precariously upon dead coral the barrel sponge (It may be a leathery barrel sponge) has grown so rapidly that it has overgrown its host. Any unprotected surface on a damaged coral head will permit a sponge to colonize it. This is one reason that dive guides ask us to be careful to not touch or hit live coral with our fins.

Overshadowing the coral the barrel sponge prevents light from reaching it and as boring sponges burrow into it from below they will eventually erode and destroy the whole coral head.

No comments:

Post a Comment