Type of fouling organism: Encrusting Bryozoan
Bryozoa are sessile colonies of microscopic animals where each animal inhabits a separate box of the cuticle within the colony which is called a zooid. The zooid body has a fixed trunk and a lophophore for food collection. zooids are hermaphroditic. Gametes are passed out through the pores and fertilised eggs are internally incubated. After hatching motile larvae are released and while most are generally of short duration (minutes to hours), some can survive for up to a year in the plankton before settling. Bryozoa are common intertidal and subtidal animals, most are marine but there are some freshwater species.
Membranipora membranacea forms an encrusting lacy mat-like colony of very small, rectangular zooids, 0.42 x 0.13 mm in size. zooids are rectangular and fit neatly together in arranged rows that grow outwards and branch into new rows as the colony grows. The entire frontal surface is covered by a membrane and appears greyish white in colour.
Environment and Habitat
- Shallow marine habitats between the mid intertidal to the shallow sublittoral.
- Reproduction type: Hermaphrodite.
- Found on other biofouling organisms.
Effects and Impacts
- Problematic for stock species.
Control/ Strategies and Management
Principles of Management
C Combat Settlement
- Found on algae on moderately exposed coasts throughout the north east Atlantic.
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