MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Sea mat (Membranipora membranacea)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

This epiphytic bryozoan forms encrusting lacy mat-like colonies of very small, rectangular autozooids, 0.42 x 0.13 mm, with tubercules or short spines in the corners. Each zooid has lateral calcified walls that contain ventral uncalcified bands providing flexibility. A frontal membrane completely roofs the space between the supporting side walls with a lophophore (feeding tentacles) visible within. Tower zooids may also be present; where the frontal membrane projects upwards in a columnar way.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

This species is found all around the coasts of Britain and Ireland.

Global distribution

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Habitat

Encrusting colonies are typically found on marine algae e.g. Laminaria digitata and Laminaria hyperborea. Occasionally small colonies can be found on Fucus serratus and in rock pools. Found on the lower shore to shallow water.

Depth range

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Identifying features

  • Encrusting colonies of varying size with lacy appearance.
  • Pale greyish-white in colour.
  • Autozooids 0.42 x 0.13 mm.
  • Membrane covering whole frontal surface.
  • Commonly found on Laminaria digitata and Laminaria hyperborea.

Additional information

Colonies may vary in size. Membranipora membranacea grows quickly (several mm/day) in response to predation from sea slugs and in order to maintain its position on the kelp frond. Prolific growth is favoured by fast flowing water which provides food and oxygen. Egg production occurs once a year in the spring; the larva (cyphonautes) is planktotrophic and is the most abundant and largest coastal larva in Britain between June and August. The larva settles in late summer-early autumn.

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. Gibson, R., Hextall, B. & Rogers, A., 2001. Photographic guide to the sea and seashore life of Britain and north-west Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  2. Hayward, P. 1995. Antarctic cheilostomatous bryozoa. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  3. Hayward, P., Nelson-Smith, T. & Shields, C. 1996. Collins pocket guide. Sea shore of Britain and northern Europe. London: HarperCollins.

  4. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  5. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. 1979. British ascophoran bryozoans. London: Academic Press.

  6. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. 1998. Cheilostomatous Bryozoa. Part 1. Aeteoidea - Cribrilinoidea. Shrewsbury: Field Studies Council. [Synopses of the British Fauna, no. 10. (2nd edition)]

  7. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  8. Ryland, J.S., 1970. Bryozoans. London: Hutchinson University Library.

  9. Stachowitsch, M., 1992. The invertebrates: an illustrated glossary. USA: Wiley-Liss.

Datasets

  1. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. IBIS Project Data. Occurrence dataset: https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

  2. Centre for Environmental Data and Recording, 2018. Ulster Museum Marine Surveys of Northern Ireland Coastal Waters. Occurrence dataset https://www.nmni.com/CEDaR/CEDaR-Centre-for-Environmental-Data-and-Recording.aspx accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-25.

  3. Cofnod – North Wales Environmental Information Service, 2018. Miscellaneous records held on the Cofnod database. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/hcgqsi accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-25.

  4. Environmental Records Information Centre North East, 2018. ERIC NE Combined dataset to 2017. Occurrence dataset: http://www.ericnortheast.org.uk/home.html accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-09-38

  5. Fenwick, 2018. Aphotomarine. Occurrence dataset http://www.aphotomarine.com/index.html Accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01

  6. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2015. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/xtrbvy accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  7. Fife Nature Records Centre, 2018. St Andrews BioBlitz 2016. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/146yiz accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-09-27.

  8. Kent Wildlife Trust, 2018. Kent Wildlife Trust Shoresearch Intertidal Survey 2004 onwards. Occurrence dataset: https://www.kentwildlifetrust.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-01.

  9. Lancashire Environment Record Network, 2018. LERN Records. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/esxc9a accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  10. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2017. Isle of Man wildlife records from 01/01/2000 to 13/02/2017. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/mopwow accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  11. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1990 to 1994. Occurrence dataset:https://doi.org/10.15468/aru16v accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  12. Manx Biological Recording Partnership, 2018. Isle of Man historical wildlife records 1995 to 1999. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/lo2tge accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  13. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: https://www.nbnatlas.org.

  14. National Trust, 2017. National Trust Species Records. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/opc6g1 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  15. North East Scotland Biological Records Centre, 2017. NE Scotland other invertebrate records 1800-2010. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/ifjfxz accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-01.

  16. OBIS,  2018. Global map of species distribution using gridded data. Available from: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. www.iobis.org. Accessed: 2018-11-17

  17. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. SEWBReC Marine and other Aquatic Invertebrates (South East Wales). Occurrence dataset:https://doi.org/10.15468/zxy1n6 accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  18. South East Wales Biodiversity Records Centre, 2018. Dr Mary Gillham Archive Project. Occurance dataset: http://www.sewbrec.org.uk/ accessed via NBNAtlas.org on 2018-10-02

  19. The Wildlife Information Centre, 2018. TWIC Biodiversity Field Trip Data (1995-present). Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/ljc0ke accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

  20. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, 2018. Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Shoresearch. Occurrence dataset: https://doi.org/10.15468/1nw3ch accessed via GBIF.org on 2018-10-02.

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Rowley, S.J. 2004. Membranipora membranacea Sea mat. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. [cited 17-11-2018]. Available from: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/2079

Last Updated: 05/08/2004