X-ray MicroCT of a colony of Anoteropora latirostris Silén, 1947 by Bernhard Ruthensteiner (Zoologische Staatssammlung München)

Marine Invertebrates III: Research


Bryozoans are abundantly present in the marine realm, and in certain freshwater habitats. Basic research on bryozoan taxonomie has relevance for a variety of applied subjects such as pharmaceutical biology, fouling communities, neozoan invasions, pollution indication, and climate change.

Biodiversity and Ecosystems

Advancing existing classification of laminar growth forms has been subject of several cooperative Senckenberg projects. From 1999 to 2003, a DFG/JSPS/MoRST project team, shared by colleagues from Japan and New Zealand (GE 64/8-1, GE 64/8-2 „Bryozoans Microbial Mats), analyzed bryozoan growth forms from subtropical to cool-temperate latitudes, considering the selective forces of microorganisms. Evidently, settlement and growth successs of the various bryozoan laminar growth types is selectively influenced by biofilms and microbial mats. Accordingly, laminar growth types become a new tool for paleoecologcial interpretation of marine hard substrate communities (Kaselowsky 2002, Kaselowsky et al 2005, Gerdes et al 2005a, 2005b, Scholz 2000).

Biodiversity and Systematics 

Recent Bryozoa:

Bryozoans from the Red Sea (Saudi Arabia), the Gulf of Aqaba (Jordan), the Golf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean (Socotra) have been subject of various projects and taxonomicla studies.

Funded by the KAU (King abdulaziz Univesity) of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a taxonomical survey along the Red Sea Coast of Saudi arabia started in March/April 2011 (Dr. A. Grischenko, Russia, in collaboration with J.Scholz).

Fossil Bryozoa:

The Collection of Professor Voigt (1905-2004) is a world-renowned collection of irreplaceable and inestimate scientific value. Enhancing documentation and digitalization of the collection is funded by DFG LIS program for a period of 3 years since 11/2012.

Our project seeks to enhance and expand the resource of digital data on the stratigraphical and paleogeographic distribution of bryozoans in a crucial period of time in their evolution. This unique assemblage of hundred thousands of scientific reference specimens has, aside from publication originals, not been properly disclosed yet (with exception of the originals) and never been digitalised. We are also working on a type catalogue of bryozoan species that have been described by Professor Voigt.

Starting in November 2012, the German Research Foundation (DFG) supports the E. Voigt collection: DFG Project: „SCHO 581/12-1 Enhancing documentation and digitilisation of the Bryozoa collection donated by Professor Voigt (1905-2004) to the Senckberg Research Institute, Frankfurt am Main, Germany”

Professor Dr. Ehrhard Voigt (1905-2004), working in his residence in Hamburg. Photograph by Professor Dr. Gero Hillmer, his former PhD student, and corresponding member of the SGN.