12 May 2019

Bryozoan surveys, May 2019

Thanks to the team of Bryozoan experts for inviting me to join their survey for bryozoans in Singapore. We visited 4 shores and found lots of bryozoans.
Bryozoan survey, Semakau South
I didn't really get a chance to survey the shores as usual, but here are some of things I observed. Thanks to Jianlin for leading the regular team on surveys of some of our shores at the same time.


What are bryozoans? Here's more about these fascinating animals that I learned during the wonderful workshop in 2013 that was conducted by Dr Dennis Gordon. So glad that Dr Gordon and other bryozoan experts returned to survey our shores!
Dr Gordon sharing about bryozoans during his 2013 workshop.

7 May 2019: Pulau Semakau (South) was our first stop and the team found lots of interesting bryozoans on rocks and under planks!
Bryozoan survey, Semakau South
I had a look at the mangroves as bryozoans do grow there too! I checked out the replanted area. Alas, no luck.
Replanted mangroves at Semakau South, May 2019
I noticed a lot more Horse mussels growing here compared to our last survey in Mar 2019.
Horse mussel (Modiolus sp.)
But they are not very densely packed.
Horse mussel (Modiolus sp.)
I saw signs of paling: pale anemones, zoanthids and hard corals. There were many Giant carpet anemones, I only saw one that was pale. Many of the Frilly sea anemones I saw near the mangroves were pale.
The seagrasses were quite lush near the seawall, mostly Needle seagrass with narrow leaves. I saw some longer Tape seagrass near the mangroves, but most of those further out were still cropped.

8 May 2019: We made an early morning visit to the mangroves of Lim Chu Kang. MORE awesome bryozoans are discovered here.
Bryozoan survey, Lim Chu Kang mangroves
The mangrove leaves that hang low enough to be submerged in seawater at high tide are home barnacles and yes, bryozoans!
Barnacles growing on mangrove leaf
I noticed lots of other animals that also live in low hanging mangrove leaves - lots of Mangrove jingle shells, some snails and even spiders. I also came across some of the iconic mangrove and mudflats creatures such as the Petal-mouth sea anemone and Mangrove horseshoe crab (inspected for bryozoans too).
But of course, I couldn't possibly tell if a leaf  had bryozoans. Only Dr Gordon and his expert eye can confirm if the suspicious lumps are bryozoans.
Bryozoan survey, Lim Chu Kang mangroves
On the way back, we stopped by at Kranji Marsh to check out for freshwater bryozoans. Yes! They live in freshwater too!
Bryozoan survey, Kranji Marshes
I haven't been to Lim Chu Kang since the last mass fish death in 2016. On this trip, I didn't notice a lot of dead fish, although thousands of dead fishes were reported on this shore on 1 May 2019. The trash situation is still bad.
Trash at Lim Chu Kang mangroves, May 2019
But not as bad as in Mar 2015 (photo below).
Dead fishes and trash at Lim Chu Kang Jetty, 10 Mar 2015

9 May 2019: The team returns at sunrise to Changi Beach. Where I noticed there is now a line a blue drums: a security barrier that is showing up on many of our shores. They were not there on our last survey here in Feb 2019.
Bryozoan survey, Changi
We find lots of bryozoans growing on the seagrasses and seaweeds, as well as shells and other hard surfaces. Even on plastic litter! I saw a large patch of Smooth ribbon seagrass. There were also lush growths of Fern seagrass, Spoon seagrass and Needle seagrass.
I came across our usual favourite animals. And the team saw two seahorses!
There are still lots of Horse mussels in dense numbers on the shore, similar to what we last saw in  Feb 2019. Here's a video of them squirting water at low tide.
Horse mussels (Modiolus sp.)
Seagrasses and other animals are still found among the mussels.
Horse mussels (Modiolus sp.)

10 May: The team checked out the rocky shores of Pulau Ubin.
Bryozoan survey, Pulau Ubin
The rocks are alive with encrusting animals, including of course bryozoans.
Living rocky shore at Pulau Ubin South
I saw sponges, ascidians, soft corals, cowries, flatworms and more. There were also many large sea fans in the murky water.
There are also lush patches of Spoon seagrass.
Seagrass meadows next to Ubin Jetty
The team also surveyed Marina at Keppel Bay for bryozoans.

I had a great time with Dr Lee Hsiang Liow (who led the survey), Dr Dennis Gordon, Dr Piotr Kuklinski and the Singapore team of Dr Huang Danwei's lab. Special thanks to Su, Jain Sudhanshi Sanjeev for organising all the trips so well.  All trips were done with special permits and permission.

Grateful thanks to everyone for making time to look at Singapore's marine biodiversity!

Meanwhile, thanks to Jianlin for leading the regular team on surveys of other shores...

9 May

Thanks to Jianlin for leading a survey at Pasir Ris. Also on this trip: Jesselyn

Jianlin Liu


Jesselyn Chua Jia Xin


10 May

Thanks to Jianlin for leading a survey at Changi. Here's what they saw:

Jianlin Liu


Joleen Chan


Lisa Lim


Also on this trip: Lisa, Chin Sing, Lester.

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