New bryozoan species discovered

New bryozoan species discovered

Scientists discovered a new bryozoan

Madeira a hot spot for bryozoan biodiversity – New bryozoan species discovered

Marine biologists discovered a new bryozoan species, called Parasmittina multiaviculata, in the Madeira Islands off the coast of Portugal. Additionally, they described two new records of bryzoans species: Celleporaria inaudita and Parasmittina alba that were known only to be present in the South Pacific Ocean, Red Sea and the Brazilian coast. “These findings are the result of our intense monitoring surveys for non indigenous species in the Madeira archipelago” says the leading scientist João Canning Clode, who is heading his own lab at Portugal’s MARE (Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre Canning-Clode Marine Lab).

madeira new bryozoa

 What are Bryozoans?

Bryozoans, are commonly known as moss animals, sea mats, or lace corals. The literal meaning of Bryozoa originates from Greek, bryon, moss and zoön, animal. Bryozoans live mainly in marine environments with only about 50 species living in freshwater. Bryozoans grow underwater in colonies. The bryozoan body design is that of a colony of tiny individuals (zooids) and each colony can contain dozens to millions zoids. Most Bryozoans are calcifying and encrusting animals. This means that they make their structure (in the form of a shell or skeleton) out of calcium carbonate.

Experimental plate unit with fouling communities collected from Porto Santo





Experimental plate unit with fouling communities collected from Porto Santo

Credit: Patricio Ramalhosa


Scope of the studies at  Canning-Clode’s lab

Since 2013, the scientists at Canning-Clode’s lab are conducting monitoring surveys at the marinas and harbors of the Madeira archipelago for non-indigenous species. They deploy settlement panels underwater in marinas and monitor regularly to see what organisms grow on them.

Fouling communities on ropes and brick in the field





Fouling communities on ropes and brick in the field, Porto Santo

Credit: PatrÌcio Ramalhosa


These surveys are actually focusing on non-native species. But as leading scientist João Canning Clode says these “surveys are also contributing to a better knowledge of the marine biodiversity in Madeiran waters as this is our 3rd description of new bryozoan species for science in the last 2 years. Madeira is now considered a hot spot for Bryozoan biodiversity.”

Species identification, recording and sampling




Marine Biology Scientists Ignacio Gestoso (right) and Patrício Ramalhosa (left) identifying and recording species after successful sampling

Credit: Lurdes Ferreira


In their paper, the authors Patrício Ramalhosa, João Canning-Clode and their fellow colleague at the University of Viena Javier Souto state, “The knowledge about bryozoans from Madeira Island is far from complete”. So we are looking forward to read more publications on “brand new species” that this lab will discover in Madeira a hot spot for bryozoan biodiversity.


STORY SOURCE: The above post is written based on materials published by Marine Biodiversity and materials provided by the authors. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
PICTURE  SOURCE: Featured image credit Patrício Ramalhosa
CITE THIS PAGE: “New bryozoan species discovered” The Blue Reporters, 09 November 2016.
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