Biodiversity & Conservation

Bugula spp. and other bryozoans on vertical moderately exposed circalittoral rock



Image Rohan Holt - Bugula spp. and other bryozoans on vertical moderately exposed circalittoral rock Image width ca XX m.
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Distribution map

CR.C.FaV.Bug recorded (dark blue bullet) and expected (light blue bullet) distribution in Britain and Ireland (see below)

  • EC_Habitats

Marine natural heritage importance

Listed under EC Habitats Directive
National importance Not available
Habitat Directive feature (Annex 1) Reefs
Submerged or partly submerged sea caves
Large shallow inlets and bays

Biotope importance

Faunal turf habitats are dominated by suspension feeding invertebrates and probably have an important role in marine food webs by transferring primary productivity from the photic zone and the plankton or shallow coastal water macroalgae to the benthos, so called termed 'benthic-pelagic' coupling (Gili & Hughes, 1995). For example, the hydroid species of Obelia were shown to regulate the production of local copepod populations, whereas the hydroid Campanularia everta was shown to transfer 1528 mg C /m²/yr of energy to its own biomass (Gili & Hughes, 1995). In well mixed of strongly following waters suspension feeders may significantly deplete the concentration of seston (organic particulates and phytoplankton) (Hartnoll, 1998) as has been shown over horse mussel beds (see MCR.ModT). Although little studied, suspension feeding faunal turfs probably have a very important role in benthic ecosystems. Circalittoral faunal turfs probably provide refuges from predation for juvenile sea urchins and brittlestars, juvenile fish and crabs (Hartnoll, 1998) as well as other invertebrates.


Few species present in this biotope are subject to exploitation. Many bryozoans have been recently found to contain pharmacologically active substances (Hayward & Ryland, 1998). Therefore, Bugula species and other bryozoans may be subject to harvesting in the future.

Crabs, crawfish and lobster may be subject to harvesting by pots, creels, or fixed bottom-set nets in circalittoral faunal biotopes (Hartnoll, 1998).

Additional information icon Additional information

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This review can be cited as follows:

Tyler-Walters, H. 2002. Bugula spp. and other bryozoans on vertical moderately exposed circalittoral rock. Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Sub-programme [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 25/11/2015]. Available from: <>