Significance to humans

In their natural habitat freshwater bryozoans contribute to nutrient cycling, and they are grazed upon by fish and certain invertebrates. However, they also are a nuisance when they grow inside pipelines and filters, blocking or seriously disrupting the flow of water in irrigation, wastewater, and cooling water systems. Any pipeline that carries untreated water from a lake or river is at risk of becoming fouled with bry-ozoan colonies.

1. Pectinatella magnifica individual and colony; 2. Fredericella sultana individual and colony; 3. Plumatella fungosa individual and colony. (Illustration by Bruce Worden)

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