Taxonomy of Porifera

From the N.E. Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea

  • Jean Vacelet
  • Nicole Boury-Esnault

Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 13)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-VIII
  2. A. M. Sole-Cava, J. P. Thorpe
    Pages 243-258
  3. W. H. de Weerdt, R. W. M. van Soest
    Pages 309-321
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 323-333

About these proceedings


Although sponges are one of the major components of littoral ecosystems, their systematics obviously lags behind that of the majority of other groups of marine invertebrates. Also the evolutionary trends in these most primitive of the Metazoans are poorly understood. The confused state of their taxonomy and the difficulties with their identification prevent their use in ecological studies. The emphasis of interest presently seems to have shifted towards chemistry, but many of the hundreds of interesting chemicals recently described in sponges pro­ bably have been found in mistakenly or imprecisely identified animals. This situ­ ation will become worse in the next few years, when a number of experts will retire and will not be replaced by new ones, owing to the difficulties that the science of systematics is facing in most countries - as exemplified during this meeting by an informal discussion on the endangered future of European Museums. Under these circumstances, it is the responsability of present sponge taxono­ mists to leave a less confused state and tools such as simple fauna or computerized data bases to generations following. These tools do not exist even in one of the best studied areas, the North-Eastern Atlantic (including the Mediterranean Sea).


Metazoa Porifera animals evolution fauna invertebrates morphology reproduction systematics taxonomy tissue

Editors and affiliations

  • Jean Vacelet
    • 1
  • Nicole Boury-Esnault
    • 1
  1. 1.Station Marine d’EndoumeCentre d’Océanologie de MarseilleMarseilleFrance

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-642-70894-7
  • Online ISBN 978-3-642-70892-3
  • Buy this book on publisher's site