Calcareous sponges can synthesize their skeleton under short-term ocean acidification

Bárbara Ribeiro, Carolina Lima, Sara Emilly Pereira, Raquel S Peixoto, Michelle Klautau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Calcifying organisms are considered as threatened by ocean acidification, because of their calcium carbonate skeleton. This study investigated if a calcareous sponge could synthesize its skeleton (i.e. spicules) under ocean-acidification conditions. Sponge cell aggregates that have the potential to develop into a functional sponge, called primmorphs, were submitted to a 5-day experiment, with two treatments: control (pH 8.1) and acidified conditions (pH 7.6). Primmorphs of the calcareous sponge Paraleucilla magna were able to synthesize a skeleton, even under low pH, and to develop into functional sponges. The spicules had the same shape in both conditions, although the spicules synthesized in low pH were slightly thinner than those in the control. These results suggest that P. magna may be able to survive near-future ocean-acidification conditions.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 25 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-05-01
Acknowledgements: The authors would like to thank Valdeci Garcia, Crispim Rodrigues, Helena Villela, Gustavo Duarte, Sabrina Dias, Léo Perez, and the entire AquaRio staf for helping during the construction of the experimental system and pilot tests. Tis paper is part of the doctoral research of Bárbara Ribeiro in the Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Tis project was partly supported by the PADI Foundation (Grant #40747), Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Apoio à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ: Grant SEI-260003/001170/2020, Fellowship E-26/200.912/2021), and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científco e Tecnológico (CNPq: Fellowship 306977/2021-4).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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