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Brazilian Journal of Oceanography

versão On-line ISSN 1982-436X


RIBEIRO, Suzi Meneses et al. Chemical defense of Hymeniacidon heliophila (Porifera: halichondrida) against tropical predators. Braz. j. oceanogr. [online]. 2010, vol.58, n.4, pp.315-321. ISSN 1982-436X.

Various benthic organisms have chemical defenses which reduce their predators' consumption. Although their efficiency may be noticed in many organisms, many of their effects are not well- known yet. Multiple ecological roles of secondary metabolites are shown in some sponges, which may represent an adaptative advantage considering the high amount of energy used to produce these chemical compounds. The goal of this work was to investigate the defensive property of the extracts from the sponge Hymeniacidon heliophila against the tropical predators: hermit crabs (Calcinus tibicens), sea urchins (Lytechinus variegatus) and generalist fishes. Extracts obtained with n-hexane, ethyl acetate and acetone/methanol were used in assays and all of them were effective in reducing the consumption by C. tibicens; n-hexane extract reduced the consumption by L. variegatus; and medium polarity extracts reduced fish consumption. Either the variation in action or the multiple ecological roles of the extracts indicates that different types of compounds can be associated to the defensive system produced by H. heliophila.

Palavras-chave : Hymeniacidon heliophila; chemical defenses; predation; tropical predators.

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