Oceanus Seminar Series | Joana Xavier | 12 October | 12h



Deep-sea sponge grounds of the North Atlantic: state of the knowledge, recent advances and outlook.



Joana R Xavier (CIIMAR/UiB)



Sponge grounds and reefs are increasingly recognized as ecologically and biologically important habitats of the deep-sea. Despite this and the impacts that established and emerging human activities pose upon such fragile systems, they are still underrepresented both in research and conservation agendas. Here, I review the current knowledge on the diversity, distribution, and function of the sponge grounds of the North Atlantic and highlight recent advances made in scope of the H2020-SponGES, a large trans-Atlantic and interdisciplinary project. While we continue to build a solid knowledge base, a coordinated and international effort involving researchers, stakeholders, policy makers and society is needed to ensure the sustainable management and exploitation as well as protection of these vulnerable deep-sea habitats.