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Victoria University researchers have found that several sponge species presumed threatened by climate change are likely to survive.
The study was conducted by PhD student Holly Bennet, associate professor James Bell, professor Simon Davy, and Dr Nicole Webster, and examined four great barrier reef sponge species and their physiological responses to rising ocean acidification and sea water temperature.
The research found that the four species are sensitive to predicted ocean warming, however this sensitivity minimises under ocean acidification for sponges who obtain their nutrition from symbiotic organisms that receive their energy from the sun.
Research also found that sponges exhibited better tolerance to ocean warming in their early life stages than their adult counterparts.
The research gives insight into how some future ecosystems may function and provides knowledge for future coral sponge regime shifts.