Biogenic Habitats


Bryozoans are colonial animals that live on the seafloor and feed by collecting single-celled algae from the seawater (suspension feeding). They encrust surfaces – rocks, seaweeds, other animals – and can also grow away from these substrates, forming three-dimensional structures.


Seagrasses are highly productive coastal habitats that provide a range of key ecosystem functions and services (Duarte & Chiscano 1999; Gillanders 2007). Seagrasses have been recognised to support one of the most valuable ecosystems worldwide, and represent a significant ecological and economical component of coastal habitats.


Macrocystis pyrifera (which forms a floating surface canopy) and other sub-canopy forming marine macroalgal species … are often prevalent on shallow, temperate, rocky coastlines and reefs. Collectively these configurations of species create ecosystems known as kelp-forests.

Sponges, worms, shellfish & others…

Unfortunately, while we know other biogenic habitats exist in the region, we don’t have detailed information on whereabouts they all are, or how much there is of it. The links below provide some general information on these habitat types…

Biogenic habitats and their value to New Zealand fisheries

Sensitive marine habitats defined

Linking marine fisheries species to biogenic habitats in New Zealand: a review and synthesis of knowledge

Splendid sponges: a guide to the sponges of New Zealand