Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 49, Issue 6, pp 2837–2850 | Cite as

Influence of endogenous and exogenous factors on the reproductive output of a cryptogenic calcareous sponge

  • Vanessa P. S. B. Calazans
  • Emilio LannaEmail author
Original Paper


The propagule pressure exerts an important role during the bioinvasion process. However, this biological characteristic of invasive species is still poorly understood for marine invertebrates. Here, we investigated aspects of the propagule pressure of the cryptogenic calcareous sponge Heteropia cf. glomerosa in the northeastern coast of Brazil. The investigated population was continuously reproductively active. Oocytes were present mainly during the rainy season, while embryos and larvae only during the dry season. The reproductive effort of this species was among the highest observed for sponges. The wet weight of the species did not influence on the reproductive output, but the number of tubes with apical osculum comprising the sponge was related to the number of oocytes. The reproduction of H. cf. glomerosa seemed to be driven by temperature, tides, and photoperiod. Our findings indicate that this species presents an opportunistic life history strategy enabling it to reproduce early in its life cycle with abundant propagules. As photoperiod is one of the drivers of its reproduction, it is expected that in higher latitudes (where this species has been found), the reproductive effort may exert an even higher pressure for the establishment and dispersion of the species. If H. cf. glomerosa is confirmed as a non-native in the study area, our results indicate that the best time to apply field efforts to avoid the expansion and establishment of the species is during the rainy period, when fewer larvae are found.


Propagule pressure Porifera Western Tropical Atlantic Photoperiod Bioinvasion 



We thank all the staff of the Laboratorio de Embriologia e Biologia Reprodutiva (LEBR)-UFBA for helping with the collections of the samples during the maternity leave of the first author. We also thank Socicam, the administration of the Nautical Tourist Terminal of Bahia, and Mr. Sergio Lobo for giving us access to the marina.

Funding information

This study was funded by Foundation for Research Support of the State of Bahia (FAPESB, JCB0014/2016), Programa de Apoio a Pesquisadores Emergentes UFBA (PRODOC), and the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq, 477227/2013-9). VPSBC received a Scholarship during her Masters from CNPq.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed by the authors.

Sampling and field studies

All necessary permits for sampling and observational field studies have been obtained by the authors from the competent authorities and are mentioned in the acknowledgements.

Data availability

All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this published article and its supplementary information files.

Supplementary material

12526_2019_1013_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (26 kb)
ESM 1 (XLSX 25 kb).


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de BiologiaUniversidade Federal da BahiaSalvadorBrazil
  2. 2.National Institute of Science and Technology in Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Studies in Ecology and Evolution (INCT IN-TREE)Universidade Federal da BahiaSalvadorBrazil

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