Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 305–314 | Cite as

Sexual reproduction in the invasive bryozoan Amathia verticillata (Ctenostomatida: Vesiculariidae)

  • J. Micael
  • A. Gillon
  • N. Jardim
  • Pedro Rodrigues
  • A. C. Costa


The invasive bryozoan Amathia verticillata has been associated with native biodiversity and economic losses around the world and in 2009, it was detected on one island of the Azores Archipelago and has since spread to other islands. The present study provides insights into the reproductive strategies of this species through the analysis of brooded embryos, the number of internodes and the degree of colony branching over a one year period in more than 200 colonies. These remote oceanic islands provide good environmental conditions for A. verticillata to diversify its gene pool, since the species is able to carry out sexual reproduction year-round. In contrast, population dynamics of A. verticillata seem to be strongly correlated with changes in temperature and the local photoperiod. Field intervention aimed at reducing the population in affected areas should be conducted in the winter when the number of potential colonizing fragments that might be generated by intervention is smaller.


Amathia verticillata Azores Archipelago brooded embryos invasive bryozoan sexual reproduction field intervention 



The authors would like to thank Professor Richard Billington for improving the English on the manuscript. This project was funded by the Direcção Regional de Ciência e Tecnologia (DRCT) - ‘Açores: Stopover for Marine Alien Species?’ – ASMAS - M2.1.2/I/032/2011 and also by FEDER funds through the Operational Programme for Competitiveness Factors – COMPETE and by Portuguese National Funds through FCT–Foundation for Science and Technology under the UID/BIA/50027/2013 and POCI-01-0145-FEDER-006821. P. R. was supported by FONDECYT 3150617.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bird Ecology Lab, Instituto de Ciencias Marinas y LimnológicasUniversidad Austral de ChileValdiviaChile
  2. 2.Departamento de BiologiaUniversidade dos AçoresPonta DelgadaPortugal
  3. 3.Instituto de Patología Animal, Facultad de Ciencias VeterinariasUniversidad Austral de ChileValdiviaChile
  4. 4.CIBIO, Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos, InBIO Laboratório Associado, Pólo dos AçoresUniversidade dos AçoresPonta DelgadaPortugal

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