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Distribution and morphological variation of colonies of the bryozoan Pentapora fascialis (Bryozoa: Cheilostomata) along the western coast of Italy

  • C. Lombardi (a1) (a2), S. Cocito (a2), A. Occhipinti-Ambrogi (a1) and J.S. Porter (a3)


Bathymetric range, substrate, colony density, colony size, and some zoarial features (form of the colony and branches) of the carbonate reef building cheilostome bryozoan Pentapora fascialis (Pallas) were recorded from 15 localities along the western coast of Italy. A wide range in the depth distribution of colonies was observed (11 to 60 m). Colonies occurred on several different types of substrate including gorgonians, sponges, bedrock and rock boulders, in current swept areas. Density was approximately 1 colony/m2. The most frequent colony size-class was 10 to 20 cm in diameter and was typically found growing epizoically on gorgonians. Ellipsoidal colony forms with expanded, foliaceous laminae were characteristic of larger colonies; these frequently grew on rock substrates. Subspherical colonies with a diameter less than 20 cm grew as epizoans and had a narrow branches structure. This information will help to inform decisions on taxonomic discrepancies within the Pentaporidae. In addition the data provide a useful baseline for the future estimation of a carbonate budget in the region.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: J.S. Porter Institute of Biological Sciences, Edward Llwyd Building Penglais Campus, University of Wales AberystwythAberystwyth, SY23 3DA, Wales, UK email:


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Distribution and morphological variation of colonies of the bryozoan Pentapora fascialis (Bryozoa: Cheilostomata) along the western coast of Italy

  • C. Lombardi (a1) (a2), S. Cocito (a2), A. Occhipinti-Ambrogi (a1) and J.S. Porter (a3)


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