Giant sponge gardens discovered on seamounts in the Arctic deep sea

Date: February 8, 2022
Credit: Alfred-Wegener-Institut / PS101 AWI OFOS system


Author: Max Planck Society

Scientists have discovered huge gardens of sponges on top seamounts, thriving in the Central Arctic Ocean.

The researchers from Bremen, Bremerhaven and Kiel and their international partners discovered this unique hotspot of life during a POLARSTERN expedition and now report their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

The sponges have been discovered to be feeding on the remnants of an extinct fauna. Microorganisms support the sponges in exploiting this fluffy material as a source of food and energy. They stress the need for a better understanding of the diversity and uniqueness of Arctic ecosystems in the light of global and local change.

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