Our shared sea

Mechanisms of ecosystem change in the Western Channel

Exotic barnacles and bryozoans turn up in marina surveys

Non-native species continue to turn up in marinas in south west England and Brittany, surveys undertaken as part of Marinexus show.

Amongst the notable records are two species of goose barnacle and the first English appearance of the bryozoan Schizoporella japonica.

Conchoderma auritum is a goose barnacle that often attaches to the big ‘acorn’ barnacle Coronula that frequently makes raised white patches on hump-back whales.  It  is also known from ship hulls, buoys, logs etc.

The more numerous species amongst the specimens collected, C. virgatum, has been recorded attached to turtles and occasionally fish and sea-snakes, but also to boat hulls; it is rarely found this far north.

Goose barnacles

The goose barnacle Conchoderma auritum (brown)

Goose barnacles

The goose barnacle Conchoderma virgatum (bold dark stripes)

The barnacles were spotted in a Plymouth marina on a yacht that had come from Florida via Bermuda.

Bryozoan picture

Schizoporella japonica on underside of fender, with the erect non-native bryozoans Tricellaria inopinata and Bugula neritina and the ascidians Styela clava (also non-native) and Molgula socialis.

Both species of goose barnacle and the bryozoan Schizoporella japonica were seen during Marinexus rapid assessment surveys of marinas in southwest England and Brittany.

For more information on work on invasion ecology of sessile marine animals, see the web pages of the Bishop group at the Marine Biological Association.

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