Interactions Between an Invasive Epiphytic Bryozoan and Species of Rocky Subtidal Habitats of Nova Scotia
In Nova Scotia subtidal habitats, the invasive bryozoan Membranipora membranacea interacts with native bryozoan Electra pilosa on kelps, which offer high space availability but are highly dynamic, and on non-kelp algae, which provide low space but high stability. Settlers and colony cover of M. membranacea at various stages critical to its population dynamics, as well as relative abundance and encounter outcomes of M. membranacea and E. pilosa, were quantified on these substrates. I also examined the effects of various factors on growth rates of E. pilosa. For M. membranacea populations, the roles of kelp and non-kelp substrates varied intra- and inter-annually, as well as spatially. Membranipora membranacea was relatively more abundant on kelps than on Fucus, likely due to large colony size, faster growth, and strong overgrowth abilities. While kelps provide spatial resources for seasonal peaks in abundance of M. membranacea, non-kelp refuges can preserve local populations in time.