Project abstract: The Effect of Sunscreen on Marine Sponge Filtration Rates

Melanie sponge experiment

Melanie
Lauzon

Abstract

Flow rates of the
marine sponge species
Aplysina
fistularis
were
measured to determine if the presence of sunscreen in seawater has an
effect on sponge filtration rates.
Aplysina
fistularis

specimens were collected from the coral reef at Discovery Bay,
Jamaica. The specimens were placed in separate tanks with continuous
water flow. Sunscreens with varying sun protection factors (SPF) 30,
50 and 85 were then added to the tanks. Each specimen had a
designated SPF that was tested. Flow rate measurements were taken
every 20 minutes for a period of one hour of the sunscreen
application, and every hour for three hours thereafter. The effects
of sunscreen on the flow rates of each individual sponge proved to be
inconclusive. However, the sponge treated with SPF 85 displayed a
relatively lower flow rate compared to the specimens treated with the
lower SPFs.

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