Distribution and ecology

Distribution

Occurs in Europe but generally rare.

Habitat

Colonies are found loosely attached to a variety of substrata, often on:

  • floating debris
  • roots
  • wood
  • plastic
  • aquatic plants

Population biology

Laboratory studies suggest colony fission doubles the number of colonies every 1-2 weeks at 20oC (Hill and Okamura, 2007).

Many freshwater bryozoans appear to undergo metapopulation dynamics, involving local extinction and recolonization events (Okamura and Hatton-Ellis, 1995). These dynamics may make it difficult to assess distribution patterns and regional extinction risks for L. crystallinus.  

Feeding

Freshwater bryozoans feed mainly on small suspended phytoplankton and bacteria (Kaminski 1984).

Colonies may contribute to nutrient cycling in the local habitat during periods of vigorous growth (Raddum and Johnsen 1983).