Phylum Monobryozoon ambulans, is known), coelomate organisms that superficially resemble soft coral polyps. This resemblance is due to the presence of a ring of cilia-lined tentacles, called a lophophore, which these species use to generate currents that assist in feeding on diatoms and other planktonic organisms. Bryozoans have traditionally been placed into three classes: Phylactolaemata, Stenolaemata, and Gymnolaemata, which includes orders Ctenostomata and Cheilostomata. Though the majority of bryozoan species are marine, fresh and brackish water forms are also known. Colonies usually grow on rocky substrates, but many other solid surfaces are used as well, from the shells and exoskeletons of other invertebrates to floating chunks of Antarctic ice. While the size of an individual bryozoan zooid is quite small, averaging half a millimeter in length, total colony sizes can range from one centimeter to over a meter across. Colonies range in appearance, from gelatinous blobs, to bushy or tree-like forms, there are also encrusting species that excrete mineralized exoskeletons and greatly resemble small corals. ("Bryozoa", 2013; Brusca and Brusca, 2003; Buchsbaum, et al., 1987; Ruppert, et al., 2004; Zhang, 2011)(or ), commonly known as “moss animals”, includes over 5,000 currently recognized species (with over 5,000 additional, extinct forms known) of sessile, almost exclusively colonial (only one solitary species,
- Biogeographic Regions
- oceanic islands
- arctic ocean
- indian ocean
- atlantic ocean
- pacific ocean
- mediterranean sea
- Aquatic Biomes
- oceanic vent
- lakes and ponds
- rivers and streams
- temporary pools
- brackish water
An individual organism within a colony is called a zooid, and is made up of a cystid and a polypide. The cystid is the outer casing (the chitinous, calcified or gelatinous zoecium, secreted by the zooid), and the attached body wall. The polypide is comprised of the lophophore and viscera. The lophophore extends through the cystid orifice, and it may be covered with an operculum. Individual zooids are small; the largest known species grows to 4 mm. An epidermis and peritoneum underlay their zoeciums. There may or may not be longitudinal and circular muscles under these layers. (Brusca and Brusca, 2003; Buchsbaum, et al., 1987; Ruppert, et al., 2004)are capable of withdrawing their lophophores into their zoeciums in order to avoid predation (other anti-predator adaptations include surface spines or production of toxic chemicals in some species). In some species, the ciliated tentacles of the lophophore are arranged in a horseshoe shape, while in others they are arranged circularly. In species with the first pattern, there is a food groove at the base of the lophophore, leading to the mouth. In those with a circular arrangement, each tentacle has one ciliated frontal tract and two ciliated lateral tracts. The cilia create a feeing current, which flows toward the mouth, they also direct particles toward the mouth, changing the direction of their stroking in order to do so. The gut is U-shaped, beginning at the mouth and terminating in an anus located within the lophophore ring. There are no special excretory organs; when the polypide of a zooid accumulates an overabundance of waste chemicals, it is replaced by a new one, which is grown from the body wall.
Zooids within a colony may be polymorphic and specialized. All colonies have autozooids, which are responsible for feeding and digestion; the rest of the zooids in the colony are known as heterozooids and cannot feed. Some zooids, known as kenozooids, are greatly reduced and used for attachment to substrates. Others, known as varicularia, have sharp, well-developed opercula (avicularia) to defend the colony. There also may be vibracula, which have a flagellular operculum used for cleaning, or ooecia, which are specialized for brooding eggs. (Brusca and Brusca, 2003; Buchsbaum, et al., 1987; McKinney and Jackson, 1989)
The degree to which zooids are connected to each other within a colony varies. In colonies of class Phylactolaemata, all of the zooids have a continuous metacoel, each with a funiculus (tissue cord) extending from the end of its gut to its body wall. Species within other classes are connected to lesser degrees. Stenolaemates have interzooidal pores allowing some exchange of coelomic fluid. Gymnolaemates living in stoloniferous colonies have septa separating the zooids, along the stolons, and a stolonal funiculus connecting each individual’s funiculus to the stolon through pores in the septa. Those living in non-stoloniferous colonies have walls that are packed tightly together, with pores between the walls. Food and waste materials are distributed from individual zooids throughout an entire colony. (Brusca and Brusca, 2003; Buchsbaum, et al., 1987; Ramel, 2012; Ruppert, et al., 2004)
- Sexual Dimorphism
- sexes alike
All bryozoan larvae are positively phototaxic and many have pigment spots, which may be light sensitive. They later become negatively phototaxic, swim to the bottom, and settle. Once on the bottom, they rely on chemical and tactile cues to determine suitability of the area and, if appropriate, a sticky material is secreted. At that point, the metamorphosed larva becomes an ancestrula, beginning a new colony. (Brusca and Brusca, 2003; Ramel, 2012)
Phylactolaemata species) and others are protandric. A few species are dioecious; in these species, colonies most often include both male and female zooids. Gonads are transient and gametes are released first into the metacoel, before migrating to the mesocoel. Sperm are typically released through the tentacles, while eggs may be released to the water or an external brooding area through a supraneural pore or intertentacular organ, found between the bases of the tentacles. (Brusca and Brusca, 2003; Buchsbaum, et al., 1987; "Introduction to the Bryozoans", 2011)are hermaphroditic; some are simultaneous (all
- Mating System
- polygynandrous (promiscuous)
- Key Reproductive Features
- year-round breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- simultaneous hermaphrodite
- sequential hermaphrodite
It is difficult to judge the lifespan of individual zooids. Colonies, once established, will continue to bud and thrive indefinitely, assuming conditions are favorable. (Brusca and Brusca, 2003)
Monobryozoon ambulans). Colonies of one genus, Cristatella (class Phylactolaemata), grow in a gelatinous strip and may move 1 to 10 cm a day. There are reports of Selenaria species (class Gymnolaemata) moving to orient the colony towards light with a "lurching" motion, up to 3 mm at a time (0.5 to 1 m/hr). (Brusca and Brusca, 2003; Cook and Chimonides, 1978; Ramel, 2012)are typically sessile, colonial animals. Only one free-swimming, solitary, species is known (
Communication and Perception
Zooids possess tactile cells located on their tentacles, and some larvae have light sensitive ocelli; these animals are positively phototaxic as larvae and negatively phototaxic as adults. In some (Brusca and Brusca, 2003; Ramel, 2012), groups of zooids work together to create increased currents for feeding and waste removal, suggesting at least some form of primitive, inter-zooid communication, although the means by which this is accomplished are currently unknown.
- Primary Diet
- Known Predators
- Corambe pacifica (Order Nudibrancha, Phylum Mollusca)
- Doridella steinbergae (Order Nudibrancha, Phylum Mollusca)
- Onchidoris muricata (Order Nudibrancha, Phylum Mollusca)
- Polycera zosterae (Order Nudibrancha, Phylum Mollusca)
- Triopha catalinae (Order Nudibrancha, Phylum Mollusca)
- Pomacea canaliculata (Class Gastropoda, Phylum Mollusca)
- ray-finned fishes (Class Actinopterygii, Phylum Chordata))
- sea urchins (Class Echinoidea, Phylum Echinodermata)
- sea spiders (Class Pycnogonida, Phylum Arthropoda)
As filter feeders, copepods, amphipods and polychaetes. The species Hypophorella expansa has symbiotic relationships with tube-dwelling polychaete worms, such as Lanice conchylega. The zooids of Harmeriella terebrans are known to attack Tubiporella species and take up residence in their zooecia. Bryozoan zooids may host a variety of parasites, including one species that causes proliferative kidney disease (PKD) in salmonid fishes. Some species may be parasitic on echinoderm species. (Buchsbaum, et al., 1987; Buchsbaum, et al., 1987; Canning, et al., 2000; Jangoux, 1987; Ramel, 2012; "Introduction to the Bryozoans", 2011; Tamberg, et al., 2013)control planktonic populations in their environments; it has been reported that a single zooid may filter as much as 8.8 mL of water a day. The structures of bryozoan colonies may serve as habitat and shelter for juvenile fishes, as well as
- Ecosystem Impact
- creates habitat
- Lanice conchylega (Order Terebellida, Class Polychaeta)
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
A myxosporean parasite, Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae, is carried by some species of and causes proliferative kidney disease (PKD) in wild and farmed populations of salmonids, one of the most serious parasitic infections of these fish, causing up to 90% loss in some populations. At one time, bryozoans caused problems for humans by building colonies within water-carrying pipes; the advent of water filtration solved this problem. (Hedrick, et al., 1993; Ramel, 2012)
As a cosmopolitan phylum, (Wood, et al., 2006)as a whole are not in any danger. However, certain populations may be at risk due to introduced predators.
- IUCN Red List [Link]
- Not Evaluated
Jeremy Wright (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Leila Siciliano Martina (editor), Animal Diversity Web Staff.
lives on Antarctica, the southernmost continent which sits astride the southern pole.
- Arctic Ocean
the body of water between Europe, Asia, and North America which occurs mostly north of the Arctic circle.
- Atlantic Ocean
the body of water between Africa, Europe, the southern ocean (above 60 degrees south latitude), and the western hemisphere. It is the second largest ocean in the world after the Pacific Ocean.
Living in Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, New Guinea and associated islands.
living in sub-Saharan Africa (south of 30 degrees north) and Madagascar.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
living in the southern part of the New World. In other words, Central and South America.
- Pacific Ocean
body of water between the southern ocean (above 60 degrees south latitude), Australia, Asia, and the western hemisphere. This is the world's largest ocean, covering about 28% of the world's surface.
living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.
reproduction that is not sexual; that is, reproduction that does not include recombining the genotypes of two parents
Referring to an animal that lives on or near the bottom of a body of water. Also an aquatic biome consisting of the ocean bottom below the pelagic and coastal zones. Bottom habitats in the very deepest oceans (below 9000 m) are sometimes referred to as the abyssal zone. see also oceanic vent.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
- brackish water
areas with salty water, usually in coastal marshes and estuaries.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
the nearshore aquatic habitats near a coast, or shoreline.
used loosely to describe any group of organisms living together or in close proximity to each other - for example nesting shorebirds that live in large colonies. More specifically refers to a group of organisms in which members act as specialized subunits (a continuous, modular society) - as in clonal organisms.
- colonial growth
animals that grow in groups of the same species, often refers to animals which are not mobile, such as corals.
having a worldwide distribution. Found on all continents (except maybe Antarctica) and in all biogeographic provinces; or in all the major oceans (Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific.
active at dawn and dusk
- active during the day, 2. lasting for one day.
an area where a freshwater river meets the ocean and tidal influences result in fluctuations in salinity.
- external fertilization
fertilization takes place outside the female's body
- female parental care
parental care is carried out by females
union of egg and spermatozoan
mainly lives in water that is not salty.
a distribution that more or less circles the Arctic, so occurring in both the Nearctic and Palearctic biogeographic regions.
Found in northern North America and northern Europe or Asia.
- internal fertilization
fertilization takes place within the female's body
- intertidal or littoral
the area of shoreline influenced mainly by the tides, between the highest and lowest reaches of the tide. An aquatic habitat.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
- male parental care
parental care is carried out by males
A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
- oceanic islands
islands that are not part of continental shelf areas, they are not, and have never been, connected to a continental land mass, most typically these are volcanic islands.
- oceanic vent
Areas of the deep sea floor where continental plates are being pushed apart. Oceanic vents are places where hot sulfur-rich water is released from the ocean floor. An aquatic biome.
found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.
An aquatic biome consisting of the open ocean, far from land, does not include sea bottom (benthic zone).
an animal that mainly eats plankton
the regions of the earth that surround the north and south poles, from the north pole to 60 degrees north and from the south pole to 60 degrees south.
the kind of polygamy in which a female pairs with several males, each of which also pairs with several different females.
"many forms." A species is polymorphic if its individuals can be divided into two or more easily recognized groups, based on structure, color, or other similar characteristics. The term only applies when the distinct groups can be found in the same area; graded or clinal variation throughout the range of a species (e.g. a north-to-south decrease in size) is not polymorphism. Polymorphic characteristics may be inherited because the differences have a genetic basis, or they may be the result of environmental influences. We do not consider sexual differences (i.e. sexual dimorphism), seasonal changes (e.g. change in fur color), or age-related changes to be polymorphic. Polymorphism in a local population can be an adaptation to prevent density-dependent predation, where predators preferentially prey on the most common morph.
condition of hermaphroditic animals (and plants) in which the male organs and their products appear before the female organs and their products
structure produced by the calcium carbonate skeletons of coral polyps (Class Anthozoa). Coral reefs are found in warm, shallow oceans with low nutrient availability. They form the basis for rich communities of other invertebrates, plants, fish, and protists. The polyps live only on the reef surface. Because they depend on symbiotic photosynthetic algae, zooxanthellae, they cannot live where light does not penetrate.
Referring to something living or located adjacent to a waterbody (usually, but not always, a river or stream).
- saltwater or marine
mainly lives in oceans, seas, or other bodies of salt water.
remains in the same area
non-motile; permanently attached at the base.
Attached to substratum and moving little or not at all. Synapomorphy of the Anthozoa
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
uses sight to communicate
- year-round breeding
breeding takes place throughout the year
Smithsonian Institution. 2011. "Introduction to the Bryozoans" (On-line). Smithsonian Marine Museum at Fort Pierce. Accessed March 06, 2013 at http://www.sms.si.edu/irlspec/IntroBryozoa.htm.
Berning, B. 2008. Evidence for sublethal predation and regeneration among living and fossil ascophoran bryozoans. Virginia Museum of Natural History Special Publication, 1/15: 1-7. Accessed March 12, 2013 at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233424989_Evidence_for_sublethal_predation_and_regeneration_among_living_and_fossil_ascophoran_bryozoans.
Brusca, R., G. Brusca. 2003. Invertebrates (2nd Edition). Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates.
Buchsbaum, R., M. Buchsbaum, J. Pearse, V. Pearse. 1987. Animals Without Backbones (3rd Edition). Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.
Canning, E., A. Curry, S. Feist, M. Longshaw, B. Okamura. 2000. A new class and order of myxozoans to accommodate parasites of bryozoans with ultrastructural observations on Tetracapsula bryosalmonae (PKX organism). Journal of Eukaryotic Microbiology, 47/5: 456-468. Accessed March 12, 2013 at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11001143.
Cook, P., P. Chimonides. 1978. Observations on living colonies of Selenaria ( , Cheilostomata). I. Cahiers de Biologie Marine, 19: 147-158. Accessed March 12, 2013 at http://bryozoa.net/library/1978/cook_chimonides_1978.pdf.
Dewel, R., J. Winston, F. McKinney. 2002. Deconstructing bryozoans: origin and consequences of a unique body plan. Pp. 93-100 in P Wyse Jacksdon, C Buttler, M Spencer Jones, eds. Bryozoan studies 2001: proceedings of the Twelfth International Bryozoology Conference. Lisse, Netherlands: Swets & Zeitlinger.
Dunn, C., A. Hejnol, D. Matus, K. Pang, W. Browne, S. Smith, E. Seaver, G. Rouse, M. Obst, G. Edgecombe, M. Sorensen, S. Haddock, A. Schmidt-Rhaesa, A. Okusu, R. Kristensen, W. Wheeler, M. Martindale, G. Giribet. 2008. Broad phylogenomic sampling improves resolution of the animal tree of life. Nature, 452: 745-749.
Edgecombe, G., G. Giribet, C. Dunn, A. Hejnol, R. Kristensen, R. Neves, G. Rouse, K. Worsaae, M. Sorensen. 2011. Higher-level metazoan relationships: recent progress and remaining questions. Organisms Diversity & Evolution, 11/2: 151-172. Accessed October 27, 2013 at http://www.brown.edu/Faculty/Dunn_Lab/assets/Edgecombe_etal_2011.pdf.
Ehrenberg, C. 1831. Symbolae Physicae, seu Icones et descptiones Corporum Naturalium novorum aut minus cognitorum, quae ex itineribus per Libyam, Aegiptum, Nubiam, Dongalaam, Syriam, Arabiam et Habessiniam, studia annis 1820–25, redirent. Pars Zoologica, 4, Animalia Evertebrata exclusis Insectis. Berlin, Germany: G. Reimeri.
Fuchs, J., M. Obst, P. Sundberg. 2009. The first comprehensive molecular phylogeny of Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 52: 225-233.( ) based on combined analyses of nuclear and mitochondrial genes.
Giribet, G. 2008. Assembling the lophotrochozoan (=spiralian) tree of life. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 363: 1513-1522.
Halanych, K., J. Bacheller, A. Aguinaldo, S. Liva, D. Hills, J. Lake. 1995. Evidence from 18S ribosomal DNA that the lophophorates are protostome animals. Science, 267/5204: 1641-1643. Accessed March 06, 2013 at http://www.auburn.edu/academic/science_math/cosam/departments/biology/faculty/webpages/zzhalanych/Pub.pdfs/Halanych1995.pdf.
Hausdorf, B., M. Helmkampf, A. Meyer, A. Witek, H. Herlyn, I. Bruchhaus, T. Hankeln, T. Struck, B. Lieb. 2007. Spiralian phylogenomics supports the resurrection of Entoprocta. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 24/12: 2723-2729.comprising and
Hedrick, R., E. McConnell, P. de Kinkelin. 1993. Proliferative kidney disease of salmonid fish. Annual Review of Fish Diseases, 3: 277-290.
Hejnol, A. 2011. A Twist in Time—The Evolution of Spiral Cleavage in the Light of Animal Phylogeny. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 50/5: 695-706.
Helmkampf, M., I. Bruchhaus, B. Hausdorf. 2008. Phylogenomic analyses of lophophorates (brachiopods, phoronids and bryozoans) confirm the Lophotrochozoa concept. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 275: 1927-1933. Accessed March 06, 2013 at http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/275/1645/1927.full.pdf+html.
Iyengar, E., C. Harvell. 2002. Specificity of cues inducing defensive spines in the bryozoan Membranipora membranacea. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 225: 205-218. Accessed March 12, 2013 at http://www.int-res.com/articles/meps/225/m225p205.pdf.
Jangoux, M. 1987. Diseases of Echinodermata. 11. Agents metazoans (Mesozoa to ). Diseases of Aquatic Organisms, 2: 205-234. Accessed March 12, 2013 at http://www.int-res.com/articles/dao/2/d002p205.pdf.
McKinney, F., J. Jackson. 1989. Bryozoan Evolution. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.
Nitsche, H. 1869. Beiträge zur Erkenntnis der Bryozoen. I Beobachtungen ueber die Entwicklungsgeschichte einiger cheilostomen Bryozoen. Zeitschrift fur Wissenschaftliche Zoologie, 20: 1-13.
Ramel, G. 2012. "The Phylum http://www.earthlife.net/inverts/bryozoa.html.( )" (On-line). Earthlife. Accessed March 06, 2013 at
Ruppert, E., R. Fox, R. Barnes. 2004. Invertebrate zoology : a functional evolutionary approach (7th Edition). Belmont, CA: Thomson-Brooks/Cole.
Tamberg, Y., N. Shunatova, E. Yakovis. 2013. Solitary entoprocts living on bryozoans-Commensals, mutualists or parasites?. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 440: 15-21. Accessed March 12, 2013 at http://eugene.yakovis.com/doc/Tamberg%20Shunatova%20Yakovis%202013.pdf.
Thompson, J. 1830. On Polyzoa, a new animal, an inhabitant of some Zoophytes, with the description of the newly instituted genera Pedicellaria, Vesicularia and their species. Zoological Researches, 5: 89-102.
Wood, T., P. Anurakpongsatorn, R. Chaichana, J. Mahujchariyawong, T. Satapanajaru. 2006. Heavy Predation on Freshwater Bryozoans by the Golden Apple Snail, Pomacea canaliculata Lamarck, 1822 (Ampullariidae). The Natural History Journal of Chulalongkorn University, 6/1: 31-36. Accessed March 12, 2013 at http://www.wright.edu/~tim.wood/documents/2006_AppleSnail_000.pdf.
Zhang, Z. 2011. Animal biodiversity: an introduction to higher-level classification and taxonomic richness. Zootaxa, 3148: 7-12.