Experimental cultivation of the invasive freshwater bryozoan Pectinatella magnifica.
The freshwater bryozoan Pectinatella magnifica (Leidy, 1851) is an invasive species in many countries all over the world. Although native to North America, it has been found in many countries of Europe and Asia. Pectinatella magnifica forms the largest colonial masses from all recently known bryozoan species. Culturing this organism in an aquarium has never been achieved for more than few days so far. Colonies from laboratory culture are important for various studies on its biology and life cycle of this species in experimental conditions. Young colonies successfully hatched from germinating statoblasts of P. magnifica in the laboratory and were maintained over eight weeks. Moreover, this was the first time when the compound colonies of this species were carried from its natural habitat to the laboratory, into a special aquarium system, and kept alive for more than three weeks. In both experiments the physicochemical parameters of the water (temperature, concentration of dissolved oxygen, electrolytic conductivity and pH) and changes in weight of compound colonies of P. magnifica in laboratory conditions were checked. The results found in this study are essential for understanding the invasiveness of this species and identifying methods for elimination of its ecological risks because these are closely resembling those of other invasive species.