Stalked, "bird's beak" avicularia lie on either side of the operculum.
The lophophore measures approximately 0.657 mm in diameter and bears 26
tentacles. The frontal surface is covered with a flat membrane, while the
abfrontal surface is rounded. Radicles attach the colony to its substratum. No
spines or ovicells are present in this species (Winston 1982).
Other Taxonomic Groupings:
Potentially Misidentified Species:
B. klugei has
been differentiated from B. intermedia because B. intermedia is
reported to have smaller zooids, distal and lateral spines, larger avicularia,
and lateral tubules at the mid-zooid level (Cook 1968; Winston 1978; Winston and
Eiseman 1980). However, Winston (1982) has reported that her examination of
specimens from the above studies shows that IRL specimens of B. intermedia
are referable to B. klugei.
II. HABITAT AND
B. klugei is
probably widely distributed in warm tropical and subtropical waters. In the
western Atlantic, it is distributed from Cape Hatteras through Florida, the Gulf
of Mexico, and the Caribbean.
B. klugei is
common in the Indian River Lagoon and at coastal stations. It has most often
been collected at Sebastian and Ft. Pierce Inlets, the grass flats around
Sebastian Inlet, Capron Shoals, and at other sites.
III. LIFE HISTORY AND POPULATION BIOLOGY
Age, Size, Lifespan:
Individual zooids measure approximately 0.73 X 0.30
mm in size. The lophophore measures approximately 0.657 mm in diameter and bears
B. klugei is
common in the Indian River Lagoon and along the Florida coast. It occurs
year-round, but is most abundant in the winter and spring months.
No ovicells are present in B. klugei.
IV. PHYSICAL TOLERANCES
Though this species occurs year-round in the IRL,
it is likely affected by extreme cold events. Winston reported degenerating
colonies of B. klugei in January at Sebastian Inlet following a winter
cold event in which water temperatures fell below 15°
Winston (1982) also noted that in many colonies of B.
klugei collected from late-August through December, paired avicularia were
B. klugei is a
euryhaline species that is typically collected in areas where salinity is below
V. COMMUNITY ECOLOGY
B. klugei, like
all bryozoans, is a suspension feeder. Each individual zooid in a colony has 26
ciliated tentacles that are extended to filter phytoplankton less than 0.045 mm
in size (about 1/1800 of an inch) from the water column. Bullivant (1967; 1968)
showed that the average individual zooid in a colony can clear 8.8 ml of water
Typical habitat for ectoprocts in the Indian River
Lagoon include seagrasses, drift algae, oyster reef, dock, pilings, breakwaters,
and man-made debris (Winston 1995). B. klugei is found primarily on
hydroid roots and algae. Coastally, it was found to be an important member of
the Thyroscyphus hydrozoan community at Ft. Pierce Breakwater, or
entangled in hydroids and algae at other coastal sites. B. klugei has
also been collected from the drift algae Soliera tenera, a red algae
common in Indian river Lagoon seagrass beds.
Seagrasses as well as floating macroalgae, provide
support for bryozoan colonies. In turn, bryozoans provide habitat for many
species of juvenile fishes and their invertebrate prey such as polychaete worms,
amphipods and copepods. (Winston 1995).
Bryozoans are also found in association with other
species that act as support structures: mangrove roots, oyster beds, mussels,
VI. SPECIAL STATUS
Benefit in IRL:
Bryozoans are ecologically important in the Indian
River Lagoon due to their feeding method. As suspension feeders, they act as
living filters in the marine environment. For example, Winston (1995) reported
that bryozoan colonies located in 1 square meter of seagrass bed could
potentially filter and recirculate
an average of 48,000 gallons of seawater per day.
Report by: K. Hill,
Smithsonian Marine Station
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Page last updated: July 25, 2001