Articles | Volume 17, issue 5
Research article
06 Mar 2020
Research article |  | 06 Mar 2020

Deep-sea sponge grounds as nutrient sinks: denitrification is common in boreo-Arctic sponges

Christine Rooks, James Kar-Hei Fang, Pål Tore Mørkved, Rui Zhao, Hans Tore Rapp, Joana R. Xavier, and Friederike Hoffmann


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Short summary
Sponge grounds are known as nutrient sources, providing nitrate and ammonium to the ocean. We found that they also can do the opposite: in six species from Arctic and North Atlantic sponge grounds, we measured high rates of denitrification, which remove these nutrients from the sea. Rates were highest when the sponge tissue got low in oxygen, which happens when sponges stop pumping because of stress. Sponge grounds may become nutrient sinks when exposed to stress.
Final-revised paper