Although several bryozoans are considered habitat-former species, allowing colonisation by epibionts and promoting biodiversity, studies dealt so far with only some, usually constructional, species. In this context, the present study focuses on the epibiosis found on the erect mineralised but flexible species Margaretta cereoides, contributing with some macroalgae to the canopy formation on a coralligenous build-up collected at 36.7 m depth offshore Marzamemi (Ionian Sea, Mediterranean) in the frame of the project CRESCIBLUREEF. Focusing on bryozoans and serpulids we documented high diversity (species richness) on the investigated substrata (M. cereoides, Flabellia petiolata, Peyssonnelia rubra, Osmundaria volubilis and all other fleshy algae including Phyllophora crispa). Diversity, total number of colonies/specimens hosted, and number of colonies/specimens per cm2 are higher on M. cereoides than on algae, possibly in relation with the morphology, robustness and persistence of the surface offered by the bryozoan contrasting with the flexible and ephemeral nature of most algae, often provided with chemical defenses. Bryozoan and even more serpulid epibiont diversity on M. cereoides is also higher than those reported for studied species in the Mediterranean and for Flustra foliacea from North Europe.

The Bryozoan Margaretta cereoides as Habitat-Former in the Coralligenous of Marzamemi (SE Sicily, Mediterranean Sea)

Rosso, A.
;
Donato, G.;Sanfilippo, R.;Serio, D.;Sciuto, F.;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Although several bryozoans are considered habitat-former species, allowing colonisation by epibionts and promoting biodiversity, studies dealt so far with only some, usually constructional, species. In this context, the present study focuses on the epibiosis found on the erect mineralised but flexible species Margaretta cereoides, contributing with some macroalgae to the canopy formation on a coralligenous build-up collected at 36.7 m depth offshore Marzamemi (Ionian Sea, Mediterranean) in the frame of the project CRESCIBLUREEF. Focusing on bryozoans and serpulids we documented high diversity (species richness) on the investigated substrata (M. cereoides, Flabellia petiolata, Peyssonnelia rubra, Osmundaria volubilis and all other fleshy algae including Phyllophora crispa). Diversity, total number of colonies/specimens hosted, and number of colonies/specimens per cm2 are higher on M. cereoides than on algae, possibly in relation with the morphology, robustness and persistence of the surface offered by the bryozoan contrasting with the flexible and ephemeral nature of most algae, often provided with chemical defenses. Bryozoan and even more serpulid epibiont diversity on M. cereoides is also higher than those reported for studied species in the Mediterranean and for Flustra foliacea from North Europe.
2023
biodiversity; build-up; epibiosis; fleshy algae; Ionian Sea; serpulids
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/553362
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