The Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCFZ) in the northeastern Pacific is the world’s largest area for potential deep-sea mining of polymetallic nodules. Furthermore, it is one of the largest, most remote and least investigated ecosystems worldwide. Sponges (Porifera) represent one of the main groups of benthic deep-sea megafauna. This is the first study on taxonomy of amphidiscophorid sponges from polymetallic nodule fields in the CCFZ, and includes descriptions of six known and three new species: Hyalonema (Onconema) clarioni sp. nov., Hyalonema (Prionema) breviradix sp. nov. and Poliopogon microuncinata sp. nov.
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The EcoResponse cruise with the R/V Sonne was financed by the German Ministry of Education and Science BMBF as a contribution to the European project JPI-Oceans “Ecological Aspects of Deep-Sea Mining”. The authors acknowledge funding from BMBF under contract 03F0707E. Furthermore, we want to thank Prof. Dr. Jens Greinert and M.Sc. Florian Gausepohl (GEOMAR – Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research, Kiel) for support with station maps.
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