Data from: Surviving in a marine desert: the sponge loop retains resources within coral reefs

Jasper M. De Goeij, Dick Van Oevelen, Mark J. A. Vermeij, Ronald Osinga, Jack J. Middelburg, Anton F. P. M. De Goeij & Wim Admiraal
Ever since Darwin’s early descriptions of coral reefs, scientists have debated how one of the world’s most productive and diverse ecosystems can thrive in the marine equivalent of a desert. It is an enigma how the flux of dissolved organic matter (DOM), the largest resource produced on reefs, is transferred to higher trophic levels. Here we show that sponges make DOM available to fauna by rapidly expelling filter cells as detritus that is subsequently consumed...
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