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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

A New Species of Spongilla (Porifera, Demospongiae) from a Karst Lake in Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)

1
Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, Università Politecnica delle Marche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
2
Department of Integrated Marine Ecology (EMI), Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn (SZN), 80121 Napoli, Italy
3
Department of Earth, Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Genova, 16132 Genova, Italy
4
Institute of Marine Environment and Resources (IMER), Hai Phong City, Vietnam
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8(12), 1008; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8121008
Received: 26 October 2020 / Revised: 24 November 2020 / Accepted: 5 December 2020 / Published: 9 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Benthic Species and Habitats)
Cahong in Ha Long Bay (Vietnam) is a small lake with a reduced, invisible connection with the open sea. The water column conditions locally experience notable fluctuations across the year, mostly driven by biannual monsoon seasons. Salinity, temperature, and pH often reach extreme values, unsustainable for the majority of the marine fauna. Therefore, the biodiversity of the benthic macrofauna in this peculiar habitat is remarkably low. In particular, a single sponge species new to science was found solely populating this characteristic brackish lake during our last survey in August 2018. Spongilla manconiae sp. nov. is a new Porifera species described here. It belongs to an exclusively freshwater taxon and seems to have acquired adaptive traits to tolerate extreme peaks of temperature and salinity. The mitochondrial Cytochrome C Oxidase subunit 1 (COI) and the nuclear Internal Transcribed Spacers 1 and 2 (ITSs) gene markers were used for barcoding tagging and phylogenetic analyses. The new species revealed large genetic distances and separate clustering in the tree topology, with respect to other reference spongillid sequences from various geographic areas. The study provides evidence for an urgency to protect these unique marine lake systems because they represent rare, fluctuant, fragile habitats that may speed up speciation processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: Porifera; freshwater sponge; new species; karstification; Cat Ba Archipelago Porifera; freshwater sponge; new species; karstification; Cat Ba Archipelago
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MDPI and ACS Style

Calcinai, B.; Cerrano, C.; Núñez-Pons, L.; Pansini, M.; Thung, D.C.; Bertolino, M. A New Species of Spongilla (Porifera, Demospongiae) from a Karst Lake in Ha Long Bay (Vietnam). J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2020, 8, 1008. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8121008

AMA Style

Calcinai B, Cerrano C, Núñez-Pons L, Pansini M, Thung DC, Bertolino M. A New Species of Spongilla (Porifera, Demospongiae) from a Karst Lake in Ha Long Bay (Vietnam). Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. 2020; 8(12):1008. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8121008

Chicago/Turabian Style

Calcinai, Barbara; Cerrano, Carlo; Núñez-Pons, Laura; Pansini, Maurizio; Thung, Do C.; Bertolino, Marco. 2020. "A New Species of Spongilla (Porifera, Demospongiae) from a Karst Lake in Ha Long Bay (Vietnam)" J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 8, no. 12: 1008. https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse8121008

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