By Frederick W. Harrison

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In one place the sponge will be quite 46 ASPECTS OF SPONGE BIOLOGY low with growth which is quite restricted. This sponge will show, in essence, old age under poor ecological conditions. In strong current, sponges will attain perhaps three to five times greater size,and yet they will retain their normal shape. An old sponge tends to have a doughnut shape. FROST: A difficulty there, is to distinguish between direct and indirect effects of external currents. By indirect, I mean the physical transport of materials such as metabolites and detritus from the area of the sponge, and current effects making higher concentrations of food particles available.

As far as I know, no one has really attacked the problem in an experimental way by giving a virginal eggbearing female sponge known sperm at a given time and fol­ lowing the process of fertilization sequentially. This needs 25 DISCUSSION TOPIC 4 to be done if we want to know how penetration of the egg is accomplished. CHEN: If we obtain a case where sperm-release occurs in a short period of time but oogenesis occurs in a longer period, histological information might indicate something about fer­ tilization in sponges.

Factors Affecting Gemmule Formation and Hatching POIRRIER: In working with Ephydatia fluviatilis gemmules which were recently formed in the laboratory, I accidentally lowered the pH to below 4; of course, it rose again, but these gemmules hatched within the next couple of days. We repeated this with other species and got the same response. I donf t know how this fits into your scheme of thought in terms of factors that may control gemmule hatching, but, nevertheless, this is an experimental observation.

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