Tufty-buff bryozoan (Tricellaria inopinata)

T.inopinata is an opportunistic erect bryozoan, capable of enduring a wide range of temperatures and salinities, as well as high organic content. It settles on a wide range of anthropogenic and natural surfaces. It was observed in Poole Harbour in 1998 and by 2009 was present in Scotland. It is a fast growing fouling organism, settling on buoys, vessels and ropes. During surveys of yachts in a Plymouth marina it was found on 85% of hulls, often as an inconspicuous fringe along the keel, prop and propeller. It is now regularly being found in natural habitats in the Tamar Estuaries area. The invasion of this species in the Venice Lagoon in the 1980s appears to have caused a drastic reduction in native bryozoan species.

Environmental risk: MEDIUM

Economic risk: LOW

Image: J. Bishop © MBA