Zooid size and growth rate of the bryozoan Cryptosula pallasiana Moll in relation to temperature, in culture and in its natural environment

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2007
Authors:A. - M. Amui-Vedel, Hayward, P. J., Porter, J. S.
Journal:Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
ISBN Number:0022-0981
Keywords:bryozoa, Cryptosula, Culture, Growth rate, Tentacle number, Zooid size

The size of cheilostome bryozoan zooids has been widely discussed for its potential in inferring palaeotemperatures, based on correlations between zooid size and temperature. Studies in both the natural environment and under experimental laboratory conditions have shown that an increase in temperature significantly decreases zooid size in a range of bryozoan taxa. In order to test the effect of temperature on zooid size, the cheilostome bryozoan Cryptosula pallasiana was for the first time successfully cultured under laboratory conditions. C. pallasiana was grown at 14 °C and 18 °C using Rhodomonas sp. as a food organism. Zooid size, tentacle number and growth rate were measured over a period of 26 days. For comparison, zooids from colonies of C. pallasiana collected from the natural environment were measured in winter and summer months. Results showed that colonies grown in laboratory culture had significantly longer and wider zooids at 14 °C than at 18 °C. The specific growth rate of C. pallasiana doubled from 14 °C to 18 °C. Comparison of tentacle number in culture showed a significantly higher value at lower temperatures. This may be related to differing food availability, longer polypide life spans, or a shift of energy use at colder temperatures. In nature the zooids were significantly longer in colonies sampled in July than in January, a clear difference from laboratory results. The utility of cheilostome Bryozoa as indicators of environmental change and their potential for studies of paleotemperature are highlighted.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith