pp 1–11 | Cite as

Variation of sponge-inhabiting infauna with the state of health of the sponge Lubomirskia baikalensis (Pallas, 1776) in Lake Baikal

  • Yulia ZverevaEmail author
  • Olga Medvezhonkova
  • Tatyana Naumova
  • Natalia Sheveleva
  • Anton Lukhnev
  • Ekaterina Sorokovikova
  • Taisia Evstigneeva
  • Oleg Timoshkin
Research paper


Our investigation was conducted during a period of ecological crisis in the coastal zone of Lake Baikal. Mass disease and mortality of the endemic sponges inhabiting the nearshore zone of the lake is one of the characteristics of this crisis. We identified and quantified infaunal organisms associated with Lubomirskia baikalensis (Pallas, 1776), which is experiencing mass morbidity and mortality. L. baikalensis specimens were subdivided into three groups depending on the degree of body damage they presented: “healthy”, diseased, or dead. We found that infauna was almost absent from “healthy” sponges. Infaunal abundance in diseased sponges was 1820 times greater than that in “healthy” sponges, and varied in relation to the type of damage suffered by the sponges. Unaffected fragments of diseased sponges were inhabited by communities that exhibited an average abundance of 13 ind/dm2, with Oligochaeta, Nematoda, Harpacticoida, and Chironomidae predominating. In the bleached fragments of morbid sponges, the average abundance of infauna was 1303 ind/dm2, with Harpacticoida, Tardigrada, Cyclopoida, and Oligochaeta dominating. The highest concentration of infaunal animals (18,293 ind/dm2) was observed in spots that were covered by filamentous cyanobacteria. Diverse and densely populated infaunal communities (4767 ind/dm2) occurred in the dead sponges, with Nematoda, Tardigrada, Turbellaria, and Oligochaeta particularly abundant.


Sponge deterioration and mortality Freshwater sponge consortium Ecological crisis Lubomirskiidae Spongillina Lake Baikal 



We gratefully thank the researchers of the Laboratory of Aquatic Invertebrate Biology, LIN SB RAS: Dr. N. Bukshuk (for consultation on Lubomirskiidae and reviewing the paper), Dr. E. Zaytseva (for identifying the planarian species), and Dr. A. Poberezhnaya and M. Gula (fieldwork assistance). Special thanks to the following SCUBA divers for underwater sampling: Dr. A. Kupchinsky, V. Chernykh, and Dr. I. Nebesnykh. We thank the editors and anonymous reviewers for their suggestions, which greatly improved the manuscript. The authors are very grateful to Prof. M. V. Moore (Dept. of Biological Sciences, Wellesley College, USA) for the English language editing. Financial support was provided by the following projects: sampling expeditions by the State Project of SB RAS no. 0345-2019-0009; determination of the species composition of foulings by the State Project of SB RAS no. 0345-2019-0003.


  1. Belykh OI, Tikhonova IV, Kuzmin AV et al (2016) First detection of benthic cyanobacteria in Lake Baikal producing paralytic shellfish toxins. Toxicon 121:36–40. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Belykh OI, Fedorova GA, Kuzmin AV et al (2017) Microcystins in cyanobacterial biofilms from the littoral zone of Lake Baikal. Mosc Univ Biol Sci Bull 72:225–231. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bołtruszko JS, Ejsmont-Karabin J (2013) Epizoic communities of Rotifera inhabiting sponges in freshwaters of North-Eastern Poland. Ocean Hydrob Stud 42:46–50. Google Scholar
  4. Denikina NN, Dzyuba EV, Bel’kova NL et al (2016) The first case of disease of the sponge Lubomirskia baicalensis: investigation of its microbiome (in Russian). Biol Bull RAS 3:315–322. Google Scholar
  5. Efremova SM (2001) Sponges (Porifera) (in Russian). In: Timoshkin OA et al (eds) Index of animal species inhabiting Lake Baikal and its catchment area, vol I. Book 1. Nauka, Novosibirsk, pp 179–192Google Scholar
  6. Fusari LM, Oliveira CSN, Hamada H (2012) New species of Ablabesmyia Johannsen from the Neotropical region: first report of a sponge-dwelling Tanypodinae. Zootaxa 3239:43–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gagarin VG (2001) Svobodnozhivushie nematody presnykh vod Rossii i sopredelnykh stran: Fauna i puti eyo formirovaniya, ecologiya, taxonomiya, filogeniya (Free-living nematodes of freshwater bodies of Russia and neighboring countries: fauna and the ways of its developing, ecology, taxonomy, phylogeny). Nauka, Moscow (in Russian) Google Scholar
  8. Gagarin VG (2008) Nematodes of the order Diplogasterida in the Russian Fauna. Nauka, Moscow (in Russian) Google Scholar
  9. Gaino E, Lancioni T, La Porta G, Todini B (2004) The consortium of the sponge Ephydatia fluviatilis (L.) living on the common reed Phragmites australis in Lake Piediluco (central Italy). Hydrobiologia 520:165–178CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gugel J (2001) Life cycles and ecological interactions of freshwater sponges (Porifera, Spongillidae) in the River Rhine in Germany. Limnologica 31:185–198.
  11. Izmest’eva LR, Moore MV, Hampton SE et al (2016) Lake-wide physical and biological trends associated with warming in Lake Baikal. J Gt Lakes Res 42:6–17. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kamaltynov RM, Chernykh VI, Slugina ZV, Karabanov EB (1993) The consortium of the sponge Lubomirskia baicalensis in Lake Baikal, East Siberia. Hydrobiologia 271:179–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Khanaev IV, Kravtsova LS, Maikova OO et al (2018) Current state of the sponge fauna (Porifera: Lubomirskiidae) of Lake Baikal: sponge disease and the problem of conservation of diversity. J Gt Lakes Res 44:77–85. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kharchenko TA, Lyashenko AV, Davydov OA (1989) Konsortsiya presnovodnoi gubki v kanale Dnepr-Donbass (Consortium of a freshwater sponge from channel Dnepr-Donbass) (in Russian). Gidrobiol Zh 25:31–35Google Scholar
  15. Komárek J, Anagnostidis K (2005) Cyanoprokaryota—2. Teil: Oscillatoriales. In: Büdel BL, Krienitz G, Gärtner M, Schagerl M (eds) Süβwasserflora von Mitteleuropa, Band 19/2. Elsevier/Spektrum, Heidelberg, pp 1–759Google Scholar
  16. Konopacka A, Siciński J (1985) Macrofauna inhabiting the colonies of the sponge Spongilla lacustris (L.) in the River Gać. Verh Internat Verein Limnol 22:2968–2973Google Scholar
  17. Kozhov MM (1931) K poznaniyu fauny Baikala, eyo raspredeleniya i usloviy obitaniya (To the knowledge of the fauna of Lake Baikal, its distribution and conditions of habitation) (in Russian). Izvestiya Biologo-Geograficheskogo Nauchno-Issledovatel’skogo Instituta pri Irkutskom Universitete 5:3–171Google Scholar
  18. Kozhov MM (1963) Lake Baikal and its life. Springer, DordrechtCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kravtsova LS, Izhboldina LA, Khanaev IV et al (2014) Nearshore benthic blooms of filamentous green algae in Lake Baikal. J Gt Lakes Res 40:441–448. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kulakova NV, Sakirko MV, Adelshin RV et al (2018) Brown rot syndrome and changes in the bacterial community of the Baikal sponge Lubomirskia baicalensis. Microb Ecol 75:1024–1034.
  21. Kurashov EA (1994) Meiobenthos as a component of lake ecosystem. Alga-Fond, St. Petersburg (in Russian) Google Scholar
  22. Kutikova LA (2005) Bdelloidnye kolovratki fauny Rossii (Bdelloid rotiferans of Russia). Tovaristchestvo nauchnykh izdaniy KMK, Moscow (in Russian) Google Scholar
  23. Lazareva VI (1997) Mnogoletnie variatsii struktury zooplanktona Rybinskogo vodokhranilischa (Long-term variations in the structure of zooplankton of the Rybinsk reservoir) (in Russian). Water Resour 24:90–96Google Scholar
  24. Leite FPP, Pavani L, Tanaka MO (2016) Temporal variation of epi- and endofaunal assemblages associated with the red sponge Tedania ignis on a rocky shore (São Sebastião Channel), SE Brazil. Iheringia Série Zoologia 106:1–8. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Mamontov AA, Mamontova EA, Tarasova EN, McLachlan MS (2000) Tracing the sources of PCDD/Fs and PCBs to Lake Baikal. Environ Sci Tech 34:741–747. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Manconi R, Pronzato R (2008) Global diversity of sponges (Porifera: Spongillina) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595:27–33. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Manconi R, Pronzato R (2015) Phylum Porifera. In: Thorp J, Rogers DC (eds) Ecology and general biology: Thorp and Covich’s freshwater invertebrates, 4th edn. Elsevier, Amsterdam, pp 133–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Moore MV, Hampton SE, Izmest’eva LR et al (2009) Climate change and the world’s “Sacred Sea”—Lake Baikal, Siberia. Bioscience 59:405–417. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Pomazkina G, Kravtsova L, Sorokovikova E (2012) Structure of epiphyton communities on Lake Baikal submerged macrophytes. Limnol Rev 12:19–27. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rezvoy PD (1936) Freshwater sponges. Academy of Sciences of USSR, Moskva (in Russian) Google Scholar
  31. Semernoy VP (2004) Oligochaeta of Lake Baikal. Nauka, Novosibirsk (in Russian) Google Scholar
  32. Semiturkina NA, Efremova SM, Timoshkin OA (2009) State-of-the-art of biodiversity and ecology of spongiofauna of Lake Baikal with special attention to the diversity, peculiarities of ecology, and vertical distribution of Porifera on Berezovy ecological test site (in Russian). In: Timoshkin OA et al (eds) Index of animal species inhabiting Lake Baikal and its catchment area: basins and channels in the South of East Siberia and North Mongolia, vol II. Book 1. Nauka, Novosibirsk, pp 891–901Google Scholar
  33. Shitikov VK, Rozenberg GS, Zinchenko TD (2003) Kolichestvennaya gidroecologiya: metody sistemnoy identifikatsii (Quantitative hydroecology: system identification methods). IEVB RAN, Tolyatti (in Russian) Google Scholar
  34. Sokolova AM, Palatov DM (2014) Macroinvertebrate assocations of sponges (Demospongiae: Spongillidae) from some fresh waters in the Palaearctic (in Russian). Povolzhskiy ecologicheskiy zhurnal 4:618–627Google Scholar
  35. Sorokovikova EG, Belykh OI, Gladkikh AS et al (2013) Diversity of cyanobacterial species and phylotypes in biofilms from the littoral zone of Lake Baikal. J Microbiol 51:757–765. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Timoshkin OA, Malnik VV, Sakirko MV, Boedeker K (2014) Environmental crisis at Lake Baikal: scientists diagnose. Sci First Hand 5:75–91Google Scholar
  37. Timoshkin OA, Samsonov DP, Yamamuro M et al (2016) Rapid ecological change in the coastal zone of Lake Baikal (East Siberia): is the site of the world’s greatest freshwater biodiversity in danger? J Gt Lakes Res 42:487–497. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Timoshkin OA, Moore MV, Kulikova NN et al (2018) Groundwater contamination by sewage causes benthic algal outbreaks in the littoral zone of Lake Baikal (East Siberia). J Gt Lakes Res 44:230–244. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Trylis VV (1997) Soobschestva, associirovannye s presnovodnymi gubkami, kak faktor povysheniya bioraznoobraziya perifitona (Freshwater sponges associated communities as the factor of periphyton diversity increase) (in Russian). Abstract Book of the Conference “Збepeжeння бiopiзнoмaнiтнocтi в Укpaїнi”. Kiev, pp 53–55Google Scholar
  40. Van Soest RWM, Boury-Esnault N, Hooper JNA et al (eds) (2012) World Porifera database. Accessed 02 Apr 2019
  41. Weinberg I, Glyzina O, Weinberg E et al (2003) Types of interactions in consortia of baikalian sponges. Boll Mus Ist Biol Univ Genova 68:655–663Google Scholar
  42. Zohary T, Ostrovsky I (2011) Ecological impacts of excessive water level fluctuations in stratified freshwater lakes. Inland Waters 1:47–59. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Limnology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Aquatic Invertebrate Biology, Limnological InstituteSiberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (LIN SB RAS)IrkutskRussia

Personalised recommendations