Bryozoan epifauna on brachiopods from the Faroe Islands (NE Atlantic)

Nina V. Denisenko, Elsebeth Thomsen, Ole S. Tendal


Fifteen bryozoan species were found on three species of brachiopods in the Faroe area, but only two of the brachiopod species can be regarded as common biogenic substrates for bryozoans. Incrusting bryozoan species were the most diverse compared to other growth­ forms. A maximum of five species were found on one valve, but usually from one to three species. Most species were found in restricted depth zones and they can be regarded as accidental epibionts due to the absence of any relationship between the bryozoan species richness and brachiopod abundance in total. Diplosolen obelia and Disporella hispida are the most common species, their frequency of occurrence exceeding 50% and their abundance correlating significantly with the brachiopod abundance. The preference of some brachiopod species as substrate for bryozoans is related to the morphology of the brachiopod valves. Boreal and boreoarctic species predominate in the study area. Occurrence of arctic forms of bryozoans corresponds to the waters with low temperature, where significant relationship is found between them and brachiopod abundance, although the last one is low in the cold water area.

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