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Published by Zaidah S.

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Published by: Zaidah S. on May 17, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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  • Introduction
  • Classification and Number of Bryophyte Species
  • 2.1 Classification
  • 2.2 Identification
  • 2.4 Number of species
  • 3.1 The ecological role of bryophytes
  • 3.1.1 Water retention
  • The Importance of Bryophytes
  • 3.1.2 Large biomass
  • 3.1.4 Peat formation
  • 3.1.5 Relationships with other organisms
  • 3.3 Bryophytes as indicators
  • 3.3.1 Pollution indicators
  • 3.5 Bryophytes in science and education
  • 4.1 General threats
  • Threats to Bryophytes
  • 4.2 Lack of bryophyte conservation awareness
  • 4.3 Gaps in the current knowledge base
  • 5.1 Habitat destruction and degradation
  • 5.2.1 Threats
  • 5.2.2 Recommendations
  • 5.2.3 Montane tropical cloud forest
  • 5.2.5 Lowland old-growth boreal forest
  • 5.3 Non-forested habitats
  • 5.3.1 Montane cliffs, rocks, and soil slopes
  • 5.3.2 Tundra
  • 5.3.3 Ravines
  • 5.3.4 Lowland rock exposures
  • 5.3.8 Cultivated fields
  • 5.3.9 Lowland fens
  • 5.3.10 Lowland bogs
  • 5.3.12 Páramos
  • Regional Overviews
  • 6.1 Australasia
  • 6.2 East and Southeast Asia
  • 6.3 Sub-Saharan Africa
  • 6.4 Southern South America
  • 6.5 Tropical America (incl. Mexico)
  • 6.6 Europe (incl. Macaronesia)
  • 6.7 North America
  • 7.1 Habitat approach
  • 7.1.1 Achieving habitat protection
  • Conservation Measures
  • 7.1.3 Funding habitat protection
  • 7.2 Species approach
  • 7.2.1 Species approach to habitat protection
  • 7.2.2 Flagship and indicator species
  • 7.2.3 Keystone species
  • 7.3 Legal instruments
  • Recommendations
  • References
  • Glossary

In boreal regions of North America, Europe, and Asia, old
forests in the lowlands are particularly important for
bryophytes. This is especially true if they have a long
history of ecological continuity, i.e., they have existed at
the site over a long, uninterrupted period. A number of
species, particularly those with very inefficient reproductive
mechanisms and a low dispersal capacity, are limited to
ancient, undisturbed forest (often referred to as old-growth).
In these forests, both old trees and dead wood are important
substrates. Perhaps dead wood is more crucial for
bryophytes in boreal than in tropical zones, as it persists for
a longer time. Large logs that persist for a number of years
are richer in flora than thin logs. Decaying logs in swamp
forest form a substrate that is especially rich in bryophytes
specific to that habitat. Some of the wood-inhabiting species
are specialists of certain stages of decomposition
(Söderström 1988). Some liverwort species, for example,
grow only on rotten wood that is in the advanced stages of
decay. These bryophytes cover the logs, keeping them
moist and restricting the activities of rot fungi. Since many
species are restricted to specific microclimatic pockets, any
change in the original structure of the forest will decrease
species diversity. Deforestation of old forest also leads to
the removal of decaying logs and stumps.

Examples of threatened species:

•Orthodontopsis bardunovii is an Endangered moss
species in Pinus-Larix forest in the Siberian taiga.
•Scapania massalongi is a threatened liverwort species
in Northern Europe.

5.2.6 Lowland secondary forest,
including park and pasture woodland

Secondary forest refers to the vegetation type which usually
replaces the original forest (unmodified by human
activities) following its removal, always resulting in a

decrease in species diversity. In relatively exposed
woodlands with many large, solitary trees, and which are
typically grazed by cattle, deer, etc., a more light-demanding
bryophyte flora occurs. Bryophytes can grow on tree
bases, buttresses, trunks, branches, and even twigs. Species
growing on branches and twigs are adapted to higher light
intensity, and although they suffer from accelerated
desiccation, they can absorb water at a faster rate than
most other species. Tree bark structure is an important
factor for bryophyte colonisation. The best substrate is
fissured, spongy bark that retains moisture longer and
provides small niches for bryophyte attachment.

Examples of threatened species:

•In semi-open forest with large old trees some globally
Endangered or Vulnerable species have been
documented, including: Hypnodontopsis apiculata
(Japan; Endangered), Orthotrichum scanicum (Europe;
Vulnerable), and O. truncato-dentatum (S America;
considered Endangered).
•The moss Cyrtohypnum monte, known only from a park
on Madeira Island (1939), is now considered Extinct.
•Some regionally threatened species, such as Zygodon
and several Orthotrichum species, still occur in
Europe on old trees in open agricultural landscapes
with low levels of air pollution.
•Bryoerythrophyllum campylocarpum only occurs on
soil in a recreation park in Portugal. The principal
threat to B. campylocarpum is the aggressive invasion
of the flowering plant Tradescantia sp. that covers all
forest soil.

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