The global geographic ranges occupied by 197 species of cheilostomate Bryozoa found in British waters were obtained by a literature survey. Morphological grade, larval mode, environmental tolerance, species abundance and the ability to raft and to foul shipping were all investigated as traits potentially able to affect the geographic ranges of these bryozoan species. When considered independently all variables except larval mode had a significant correlation with the geographic range occupied by a species. However, when controlling for the potentially confounding effects of the other covariates, only the ability to foul or raft and species abundance had a significant effect on median geographic range and only fouling and abundance had a significant effect over global ranges. The strength of the association between fouling ability and range suggests that transport upon the hulls of ships is a very important dispersal mechanism for bryozoans, as it is thought to be also for various other marine taxa. Potential long-term (evolutionary) consequences of increased ranges brought about by anthropogenic mechanisms are discussed.