Epibiosis of Calpensia nobilis (Esper) (Bryozoa: Cheilostomida) on Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile rhizomes: Effects on borer colonization and morpho-chronological features of the plant

Mariamichela Cigliano, Silvia Cocito, Maria Cristina Gambi

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Shoots of the Mediterranean seagrass Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile can be overgrown with a thick encrustation of the bryozoan Calpensia nobilis (Esper) (Chelostomida) particularly under high hydrodynamic conditions. We compared shoots with and without this encrustation and assessed whether it affected shoot morphology and production, and incidence of polychaete borers. The borers collected were represented by three species of polychaete Eunicidae (Lysidice ninetta, Lysidice collaris and Nematonereis unicornis). Shoots affected by overgrowth of C. nobilis showed a significantly lower borer frequency (17% versus 49%), lower values of both yearly biomass of the rhizome (mean 6.3 mg/year in shoot with C. nobilis versus 8.3 mg/year in shoot without) and biomass/elongation (B/E) ratio, and lower mean sheath thickness (0.25 mm versus 0.30 mm), while the mean width of the leaves was slightly higher (1.0 mm versus 0.7 mm). Significant Spearman coefficient's values were estimated between carbonate mass of C. nobilis and rhizome length, muff length and rhizome length, and maximum thickness of the muff and rhizome length. Plant and bryozoan morphometrics allowed to estimate between 5 and 10 years the colonization age of C. nobilis on the living shoots studied. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30 - 36
Number of pages7
JournalAquatic Botany
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2007
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science

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