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Bryozoan ecology

Gail V Ashton, Simon A Morley, David K A Barnes, Melody S Clark, Lloyd S Peck
Forecasting assemblage-level responses to climate change remains one of the greatest challenges in global ecology [1, 2]. Data from the marine realm are limited because they largely come from experiments using limited numbers of species [3], mesocosms whose interior conditions are unnatural [4], and long-term correlation studies based on historical collections [5]. We describe the first ever experiment to warm benthic assemblages to ecologically relevant levels in situ. Heated settlement panels were used to create three test conditions: ambient and 1°C and 2°C above ambient (predicted in the next 50 and 100 years, respectively [6])...
September 11, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Carl Simpson, Jeremy B C Jackson, Amalia Herrera-Cubilla
Colonial animals commonly exhibit morphologically polymorphic modular units that are phenotypically distinct and specialize in specific functional tasks. But how and why these polymorphic modules have evolved is poorly understood. Across colonial invertebrates, there is wide variation in the degree of polymorphism, from none in colonial ascidians to extreme polymorphism in siphonophores, such as the Portuguese man-of-war. Bryozoa are a phylum of exclusively colonial invertebrates that uniquely exhibit almost the entire range of polymorphism, from monomorphic species to others that rival siphonophores in their polymorphic complexity...
July 2017: American Naturalist
Blanca Figuerola, Carlos Angulo-Preckler, Laura Núñez-Pons, Juan Moles, Laura Sala-Comorera, Cristina García-Aljaro, Anicet R Blanch, Conxita Avila
Bryozoans are among the most abundant and diverse members of the Antarctic benthos, however the role of bioactive metabolites in ecological interactions has been scarcely studied. To extend our knowledge about the chemical ecology of Antarctic bryozoans, crude ether extracts (EE) and butanol extracts (BE) obtained from two Antarctic common species (Cornucopina pectogemma and Nematoflustra flagellata), were tested for antibacterial and repellent activities. The extracts were screened for quorum quenching and antibacterial activities against four Antarctic bacterial strains (Bacillus aquimaris, Micrococcus sp...
August 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Chiara Lombardi, Paul D Taylor, Silvia Cocito, Camilla Bertolini, Piero Calosi
Many aquatic animals grow into colonies of repeated, genetically identical, modules (zooids). Zooid interconnections enable colonies to behave as integrated functional units, while plastic responses to environmental changes may affect individual zooids. Plasticity includes the variable partitioning of resources to sexual reproduction, colony growth and maintenance. Maintenance often involves regeneration, which is also a routine part of the life history in some organisms, such as bryozoans. Here we investigate changes in regenerative capacity in the encrusting bryozoan Cryptosula pallasiana when cultured at different seawater pCO2 levels...
April 2017: Marine Environmental Research
Joseph P Botting, Lucy A Muir, Yuandong Zhang, Xuan Ma, Junye Ma, Longwu Wang, Jianfang Zhang, Yanyan Song, Xiang Fang
The Late Ordovician (Hirnantian, approximately 445 million years ago) extinction event was among the largest known, with 85% species loss [1]. Post-extinction survival faunas are invariably low diversity, especially benthic communities [2], but ecological structure was restored relatively rapidly [1]. This pattern, however, reflects organisms with robust skeletons, as only one exceptionally preserved Hirnantian fossil biota was previously known [3, 4]; in particular, almost no Hirnantian sponges have been recorded...
February 20, 2017: Current Biology: CB
Vasilis Gerovasileiou, Antonietta Rosso
BACKGROUND: Until today, a complete checklist of Bryozoa of the Greek seas had never been published and species records were scattered in several taxonomic and ecological studies. The aim of this paper is to produce a first checklist of marine bryozoan species of Greece, in the framework of the Greek Taxon Information System (GTIS) initiative of the LifeWatchGreece Research Infrastructure (ESFRI), by reviewing the existing literature and following the recent trends in the taxonomy of this group...
2016: Biodiversity Data Journal
Song Feng, Shi-Wei Wang, Guang-Tao Zhang, Song Sun, Fang Zhang
An increase in marine artificial constructions has been proposed as a major cause of jellyfish blooms, because these constructions provide additional substrates for organisms at the benthic stage (polyps), which proliferate asexually and release a large amount of free-swimming medusae. These hard surfaces are normally covered by fouling communities, the components of which have the potential to impede the proliferation of polyps. In this study, we report an in situ experiment of polyp survival of four large scyphozoan species found in East Asian marginal seas that were exposed to biofouling, a universal phenomenon occurring on marine artificial constructions...
January 30, 2017: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Shivankar Agrawal, Alok Adholeya, Sunil K Deshmukh
Marine biodiversity is recognized by a wide and unique array of fascinating structures. The complex associations of marine microorganisms, especially with sponges, bryozoans, and tunicates, make it extremely difficult to define the biosynthetic source of marine natural products or to deduce their ecological significance. Marine sponges and tunicates are important source of novel compounds for drug discovery and development. Majority of these compounds are nitrogen containing and belong to non-ribosomal peptide (NRPs) or mixed polyketide-NRP natural products...
2016: Frontiers in Pharmacology
Lee Hsiang Liow, Emanuela Di Martino, Kjetil Lysne Voje, Seabourne Rust, Paul D Taylor
Ecological interactions affect the survival and reproduction of individuals. However, ecological interactions are notoriously difficult to measure in extinct populations, hindering our understanding of how the outcomes of interactions such as competition vary in time and influence long-term evolutionary changes. Here, the outcomes of spatial competition in a temporally continuous community over evolutionary timescales are presented for the first time. Our research domain is encrusting cheilostome bryozoans from the Wanganui Basin of New Zealand over a ca 2 Myr time period (Pleistocene to Recent)...
August 31, 2016: Proceedings. Biological Sciences
Gilles Lepoint, André Heughebaert, Loïc N Michel
BACKGROUND: The seagrass Posidonia oceanica L. Delile, commonly known as Neptune grass, is an endemic species of the Mediterranean Sea. It hosts a distinctive and diverse epiphytic community, dominated by various macroalgal and animal organisms. Mediterranean bryozoans have been extensively studied but quantitative data assessing temporal and spatial variability have rarely been documented. In Lepoint et al. (2014a, b) occurrence and abundance data of epiphytic bryozoan communities on leaves of Posidonia oceanica inhabiting Revellata Bay (Corsica, Mediterranean Sea) were reported and trophic ecology of Electra posidoniae Gautier assessed...
2016: ZooKeys
Adiël A Klompmaker, Sten L Jakobsen, Bodil W Lauridsen
BACKGROUND: Modern cold-water coral and tropical coral environments harbor a highly diverse and ecologically important macrofauna of crustaceans that face elevated extinction risks due to reef decline. The effect of environmental conditions acting on decapod crustaceans comparing these two habitats is poorly understood today and in deep time. Here, we compare the biodiversity, eye socket height as a proxy for eye size, and body size of decapods in fossil cold-water and tropical reefs that formed prior to human disturbance...
June 16, 2016: BMC Evolutionary Biology
Norah E M Brown, Thomas W Therriault, Christopher D G Harley
Increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are affecting ocean chemistry, leading to increased acidification (i.e. decreased pH) and reductions in calcium carbonate saturation state. Many species are likely to respond to acidification, but the direction and magnitude of these responses will be based on interspecific and ontogenetic variation in physiology and the relative importance of calcification. Differential responses to ocean acidification (OA) among species will likely result in important changes in community structure and diversity...
September 2016: Journal of Animal Ecology
Heidi M Luter, Alan R Duckworth, Carsten W Wolff, Elizabeth Evans-Illidge, Steve Whalan
One of the key components in assessing marine sessile organism demography is determining recruitment patterns to benthic habitats. An analysis of serially deployed recruitment tiles across depth (6 and 12 m), seasons (summer and winter) and space (meters to kilometres) was used to quantify recruitment assemblage structure (abundance and percent cover) of corals, sponges, ascidians, algae and other sessile organisms from the northern sector of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). Polychaetes were most abundant on recruitment titles, reaching almost 50% of total recruitment, yet covered <5% of each tile...
2016: PloS One
Ashlie Hartigan, Mark Wilkinson, David J Gower, Jeffrey W Streicher, Astrid S Holzer, Beth Okamura
Myxozoans are parasitic cnidarians that infect a wide variety of hosts. Vertebrates typically serve as intermediate hosts whereas definitive hosts are invertebrates, including annelids and bryozoans. Myxozoans are known to exploit species in two of the three extant amphibian orders (Anura: frogs and toads; Caudata: newts and salamanders). Here we use museum collections to determine, to our knowledge for the first time, whether myxozoans also exploit the third amphibian order (Gymnophiona: caecilians). Caecilians are a poorly known group of limbless amphibians, the ecologies of which range from aquatic to fully terrestrial...
May 2016: International Journal for Parasitology
Nikola Koletić, Maja Novosel, Nives Rajević, Damjan Franjević
Bryozoans are aquatic invertebrates that inhabit all types of aquatic ecosystems. They are small animals that form large colonies by asexual budding. Colonies can reach the size of several tens of centimeters, while individual units within a colony are the size of a few millimeters. Each individual within a colony works as a separate zooid and is genetically identical to each other individual within the same colony. Most freshwater species of bryozoans belong to the Phylactolaemata class, while several species that tolerate brackish water belong to the Gymnolaemata class...
January 2015: Ecology and Evolution
Leandro M Vieira, Alvaro E Migotto, Judith E Winston
This paper describes 21 ctenostomatous bryozoans from the state of São Paulo, Brazil, based on specimens observed in vivo. A new family, Jebramellidae n. fam., is erected for a newly described genus and species, Jebramella angusta n. gen. et sp. Eleven other species are described as new: Alcyonidium exiguum n. sp., Alcyonidium pulvinatum n. sp., Alcyonidium torquatum n. sp., Alcyonidium vitreum n. sp., Bowerbankia ernsti n. sp., Bowerbankia evelinae n. sp., Bowerbankia mobilis n. sp., Nolella elizae n. sp...
2014: Zootaxa
Blanca Figuerola, Laura Sala-Comorera, Carlos Angulo-Preckler, Jennifer Vázquez, M Jesús Montes, Cristina García-Aljaro, Elena Mercadé, Anicet R Blanch, Conxita Avila
The antimicrobial activity of Antarctic bryozoans and the ecological functions of the chemical compounds involved remain largely unknown. To determine the significant ecological and applied antimicrobial effects, 16 ether and 16 butanol extracts obtained from 13 different bryozoan species were tested against six Antarctic (including Psychrobacter luti, Shewanella livingstonensis and 4 new isolated strains) and two bacterial strains from culture collections (Escherichia coli and Bacillus cereus). Results from the bioassays reveal that all ether extracts exhibited antimicrobial activity against some bacteria...
October 2014: Marine Environmental Research
Jenni A Stanley, Serena L Wilkens, Andrew G Jeffs
Globally billions of dollars are spent each year on attempting to reduce marine biofouling on commercial vessels, largely because it results in higher fuel costs due to increased hydrodynamic drag. Biofouling has been long assumed to be primarily due to the availability of vacant space on the surface of the hull. Here, it is shown that the addition of the noise emitted through a vessel's hull in port increases the settlement and growth of biofouling organisms within four weeks of clean surfaces being placed in the sea...
2014: Biofouling
Massimo Ponti, Rossella Angela Perlini, Vincenzo Ventra, Daniele Grech, Marco Abbiati, Carlo Cerrano
Mediterranean gorgonian forests are threatened by several human activities and are affected by climatic anomalies that have led to mass mortality events in recent decades. The ecological role of these habitats and the possible consequence of their loss are poorly understood. Effects of gorgonians on the recruitment of epibenthic organisms were investigated by manipulating presence of gorgonians on experimental panels at 24 m depth, for Eunicella cavolinii, and at 40 m depth, for Paramuricea clavata, at two sites: Tavolara Island (Tyrrhenian Sea) and Portofino Promontory (Ligurian Sea)...
2014: PloS One
Julia Reisser, Jeremy Shaw, Gustaaf Hallegraeff, Maira Proietti, David K A Barnes, Michele Thums, Chris Wilcox, Britta Denise Hardesty, Charitha Pattiaratchi
Millimeter-sized plastics are abundant in most marine surface waters, and known to carry fouling organisms that potentially play key roles in the fate and ecological impacts of plastic pollution. In this study we used scanning electron microscopy to characterize biodiversity of organisms on the surface of 68 small floating plastics (length range = 1.7-24.3 mm, median = 3.2 mm) from Australia-wide coastal and oceanic, tropical to temperate sample collections. Diatoms were the most diverse group of plastic colonizers, represented by 14 genera...
2014: PloS One
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