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Ambassador report

Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] [thematic report] Ocean Sensor: Sponges

by Yuqing Yang | 22-06-2020 13:14 Comments 7 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations

To study this underwater ecosystem is much harder than to study ecosystems on land. Scientists have always been trying to find easier approaches in measuring the diversity of species, the geographic distribution of them and the quantity of species. 

A conventional approach would be seawater sampling, let alone the tedious process of extracting shed skin and blood cells and examining DNA shed by creatures, the process to filter huge amounts of water is time-consuming and cost-ineffective.

Dr Stefano Mariani of the University of Salford, in Britain, who is a Professor of Conservation Genetics, may have provided with an insight, that he argues the sponges growing on the sea floor are natural filters. They suck in liters of water and trap organic matter to digest. If the samples were collected from sponges, which may contain the cells shed by other organisms, this will permit us to conduct DNA analysis and access the biodiversity underwater.

Currently, researches have been conducted to test this idea by Dr Stefano Mariani and his colleagues. They remove some sponges’ pieces, with five samples from Antarctica and four from the Mediterranean. They have found that in the Antarctic samples, Weddell seals, chinstrap penguins and Perknaster aurantiacus (starfish) are found and in the Mediterranean samples, rock gobies, sardines and horse mackerel are found. In total, 31 different groups of animal were found, although it is still hard to allocate them into specific species. 

While this idea definitely needs more refinement and improvement, it certainly presented us a new approach in measuring and monitoring the diversity of marine organisms. 

Reference: https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2019/06/05/using-sponges-to-census-the-ocean

Picture credit: Pixabay



Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Hello yang

    Greetings and Namaste from Nepal
    Wishing you a safe stay
    Thank you for your report on Ocean Sensor

    Keep writing great reports.
    We are eager to read more reports from you.
    Green Cheers :)

    Best wishes,
    Kushal Naharki

    Posted 14-07-2020 10:14

Jasmine Karki

  • Jasmine Karki says :
    I do hope you are all good..

    Thank you so much for sharing this report with us !!!
    It sounds really interesting and of course informative ..

    Green cheers
    Jasmine karki
    Posted 08-07-2020 16:53

Sang Su Mentor

  • Sang Su Mentor says :
    Hi Yuqing Yang, this is a mentor, Sang Su Lee.

    Thank you for introducing one way to observe the marine diversity. As you've mentioned, research under the sea is really burdensome because of the enormous pressure exerted by water. However, I did not know that there are some methods that divert this problem. They were interesting.

    Good report~!

    Posted 01-07-2020 03:03

Taehyun Mentor

  • Taehyun Mentor says :
    hello Yuqing Yang, this is mentor Taehyun!

    It is so difficult to investigate the distribution of marine life! I didn't know that. The marine life is vague. We can ask fishermen to investigate the extent, but specifically, what depth of water they live in must be studied! I read it really interestingly.

    Thank you for the report!

    Green cheers!
    Posted 01-07-2020 02:47

Aarati Khatri

  • Aarati Khatri says :
    Hello Yang,
    You just rightly adressed that any research on water is far way difficult than in land as there also needs a rapid advancement in developing the technology to monitor the life in Aquatic environment.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Posted 28-06-2020 15:38

Juvairiyah Batool

  • Juvairiyah Batool says :
    Yes brother its really hard but adventurous to study underwater ecosystem.
    Nice report ,
    Stay blessed.
    Posted 27-06-2020 16:33

Asmita Gaire

  • Asmita Gaire says :
    Hello yang
    I hope you are doing well
    Indeed it's very hard to study underwater ecosystem. It's like a different world but it's amazing.
    Thank you so much for this report
    Keep writing
    Green cheers
    Asmita Gaire
    Posted 24-06-2020 22:07

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