Scientific publication

A global dataset of demosponge distribution records

Credits: Photo by NOAA on Flickr

Demosponges, a dominant group within the sponge phylum, play crucial roles in the health of our oceans. These organisms create intricate habitats for marine life and are integral to nutrient cycling in underwater ecosystems. Understanding their biodiversity and distribution is vital for ocean conservation, yet accurate datasets can be hard to come by. Errors in species identification, location data, and inconsistent formatting across different sources often hinder reliable research.

Our team has addressed these challenges by developing a comprehensive, quality-controlled dataset focused specifically on Demospongiae occurrence records. We have aggregated data from multiple sources, carefully checked for errors, and cross-referenced records with expert knowledge on the expected geographic and depth ranges of each species. The dataset is formatted in the Darwin Core Standard, making it easy to use with a wide range of research tools.

This dataset offers marine scientists a powerful resource for investigating demosponge diversity patterns, including hotspots of species richness and unique species (endemism). It can also help predict how sponge populations might shift in response to climate change, guiding more effective conservation measures. We are committed to the principle of making research data openly accessible. By providing this dataset, we hope to advance marine science and our understanding of Earth’s precious oceans.

Main reference

Vafeiadou, A., Fragkopoulou & Assis, J. (2024). A global dataset of demosponge distribution records. Data in Brief.

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Jorge Assis [PhD, Associate Researcher]
Centre of Marine Sciences, University of Algarve [Faro, Portugal]
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