Global Distribution and Variation of the Invasive Cheilostome Bryozoan Cribrilina mutabilis

M.H. Dick, Andrea Waeschenbach, T.J. Trott, T. Onishi, C. Bereveridge, J.D. Bishop, A.N. Ostrovsky

Research outputpeer-review


Viable populations of the cheilostome bryozoan Cribrilina mutabilis Ito, Onishi & Dick exist in the NW Pacific (Russian Far East and northern Japan), NE Atlantic (Scandinavia and Scotland), and NW Atlantic (Maine, USA). The first NE and NW Atlantic records are from Norway (2008) and Casco Bay, Maine, USA (2018), respectively, indicating a relatively recent introduction to the region. Mitochondrial COI gene sequences from North Atlantic populations (Sweden, Norway, and Maine) showed two haplotypes differing by one substitution, but differed from two haplotypes from Akkeshi, northern Japan, by 6-8 substitutions. North Atlantic populations differed morphologically from the Akkeshi population in that some zooids formed a suboral projection, and frontal zooids were more common. While C. mutabilis in northern Japan has been found only on natural or artificial eelgrass (Zostera marina), across its range it has been found on several species of algae, plastic panels and strips, several species of Zostera, and mollusc shells. Similar frequencies of heteromorphic zooids with differing degree of frontal wall calcification, i.e., R (rib)-, I (intermediate)-, and S (shield)-Type zooids, in colonies on eelgrass at comparable times of the season and across populations suggest an innate response to seasonal environmental fluctuations, although zooid frequencies were different on non-eelgrass substrates. The increase in trans-Arctic shipping along the Northern Sea Route in recent decades, and previous documentation of C. mutabilis on ship hulls in the Sea of Japan, indicate a clear mechanism for anthropogenic introduction from the Far East to Europe in recent decades.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-231
Number of pages15
JournalZoological Science
Issue number3
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020

Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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