Baikal endemic sponges in the system of ecological monitoring

  • Maikova O.O. 1
  • Kravtsova L.S. 1
  • Khanaev I.V. 1
  • 1 Limnological Institute, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Ulan-Batorskaya Str., 3, Irkutsk, 664033, Russia


Within the framework of the monitoring of the Baikal endemic sponge fauna, which was started in 2015, we organized field observations. This study is aimed to investigate the dynamics of the disease incidence in sponges and the rate of their degradation/regeneration in the natural environment within a limited space. The observations of the tagged sponges having different shapes were carried out using the photo and video method. Thus, from 2016 to 2018, there was a deterioration dynamics in the state of most control sponges. From 2018 to 2019, the state of some sponges improved owing to the regeneration of the affected areas of the body. In this study, we revealed that Baikal sponges with encrusted and globulous shapes could recover very quickly owing to the regeneration of the affected areas and the rapid growth of the body. After almost complete degradation of the body in the encrusted sponge, the fragments remain, which can subsequently grow as individual specimens. Similar observations are currently being conducted throughout Lake Baikal.