Lanna, E.; Klautau, M. (2018). Life history and reproductive dynamics of the cryptogenic calcareous sponge Sycettusa hastifera (Porifera, Calcarea) living in tropical rocky shores. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. 98(3): 505-514.
Life history accounts for the chance of survival and reproductive success of a species, considering, for example, when, how often and how much a species reproduces. Consequently, it is directly related to the success or failure of bioinvasions. Here, we investigated some aspects of the life history of the cryptogenic calcareous sponge Sycettusa hastifera. A population from Arraial do Cabo, Brazil (south-western Atlantic) was investigated from September 2008 to December 2009 by monthly collections and histological analyses. We observed that S. hastifera reproduced continuously throughout the year without seasonality and presented high fecundity. The fecundity was not different depending on the sponge body part (top or base), but it was related to the wet weight of the sponge (although a minimum size was not required for reproduction). Reproduction could not be predicted by the seawater temperature. The reproductive characteristics of S. hastifera were similar to those of other previously studied calcareous sponges. Sycettusa hastifera shows traits of an invasive species, such as high fecundity, short life cycle, early sexual maturity and the ability to use pioneer habitats. Consequently, it possesses several characteristics that would allow it to invade new areas.