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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS - Vol. 407 - Feature article
A snapping shrimp Synalpheus sp. defends its host sponge Lissodendoryx colombiensis. Photo: Arthur Anker

Hultgren KM, Duffy JE


Sponge host characteristics shape the community structure of their shrimp associates


Body size and habitat architecture play important roles in structuring intimate associations between host organisms and their obligate associates. Using a community of sponge-dwelling snapping shrimps Synalpheus spp., Hultgren and Duffy examined the morphology of both groups, and found a positive correlation between shrimp size and sponge canal size. Nevertheless, permutation studies demonstrated that shrimp used only a subset of appropriately sized sponges; closely related sponges also hosted more similar shrimp communities than unrelated sponges, indicating that size matching is not the sole determinant of host use. Apparently, multiple sponge traits influence host use and speciation in this diverse shrimp group.


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