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.

A new species of spongilla (Porifera, demospongiae) from a karst lake in ha long bay (Vietnam)

Pansini M.;Bertolino M.
2020-01-01

Abstract

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.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1035706
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