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1 September 2012 Host Specificity and Population Dynamics of a Sponge-Endosymbiotic Bivalve
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Abstract

We assessed the host-use pattern of the sponge-endosymbiotic bivalve Vulsella vulsella and its demographic consequences in an inland sea in Okinawa Island, Japan. Vulsella vulsella utilized only one massive globular sponge species Spongia sp. as a host, and no Spongia sp. without V. vulsella were found. Individual sponges contained 9–248 live bivalves and 0–222 dead bivalves. The densities of live and dead bivalves in individual sponges were approximately constant irrespective of sponge size, indicating that available space is very scarce inside each sponge. The size distribution of bivalves was skewed to small, young individuals less than 30 mm in shell height, although the estimated largest possible size was 106 mm. The bivalve population at each sampling date was composed of three yearly cohorts, and recruitment of juveniles occurred in the summer. The bivalves became sexually mature as males within one year after recruitment and changed sex from male to female as they grew. The size and sex distributions of the bivalve were largely similar among sponges regardless of sponge size, suggesting that the recruitment, growth, longevity, and sex change of the bivalve were strictly regulated, probably by the high water temperature and strong waves generated by typhoons in summer months.

© 2012 Zoological Society of Japan
Remi Tsubaki and Makoto Kato "Host Specificity and Population Dynamics of a Sponge-Endosymbiotic Bivalve," Zoological Science 29(9), 585-592, (1 September 2012). https://doi.org/10.2108/zsj.29.585
Received: 27 February 2012; Accepted: 6 April 2012; Published: 1 September 2012
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