Kelp Encrusting Bryozoan

Author: Madeleine Dorion

Common Name: Kelp-encrusting Bryozoan, Kelp Lace Bryozoan, White Encrusting Bryozoan

Scientific NameMembranipora serrilamella

Membranipora serrilamella get their more common name, Kelp-Encrusting Bryozoa, for fairly
obvious reasons. They grow on/encrust kelp with a white or silver crust that grows in circular
patches. Each of these circular patches are constructed by lots of tiny rectangular boxes, called

The small radial growths often merge with others patches of zooids to create colonies, with new
growth continuing around the edges. Sometimes colonies do not get along, in which case, they
will compete for space.

Kelp-encrusting bryozoa can grow in waters up to as deep as 180 meters.  It is not only found
growing on kelp but often on other solid surfaces such as rocks. It’s annual burst of growth occurs during summer months and during this time it can grow several millimeters in diameter per day. By the end of the summer some kelps are completely engulfed by a white crust.

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