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Dessication Tolerance in Bryophytes and Lichens

Cleavitt, Nat [1].

Not all bryophytes are created equal: desiccation tolerance patterns for gametophyte colonies and fragments.

Evidence from many bryophyte desiccation studies indicates that species from xeric habitats are more desiccation tolerant than species from mesic habitats. There is also evidence suggesting that liverworts generally have less efficient desiccation recovery than mosses. In addition, desiccation tolerance has ramifications for overland dispersal of species as it is an essential part of the long-term viability of gametophyte fragments. I will use a series of comparative studies where desiccation tolerance will be assessed both by recovery of photosynthesis upon rehydration and by longer term measures of growth following the desiccation event. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship between desiccation tolerance of colonies and detached gametophyte fragments for liverworts and mosses paired by habitat moisture conditions. Liverworts from mesic habitats are expected to have the lowest desiccation tolerance while mosses from xeric habitats are expected to have the highest. Relative desiccation tolerance of gametophyte fragments should reflect the tolerance of colonies between species, although fragments are expected to recover more slowly than colonies within a species since fragments lack the moisture related benefits of colony architecture. Implications of patterns in desiccation tolerance for asexual dispersal ability of the two groups will be discussed.

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1 - Cornell University, Department of Natural Resources, 8F Fernow Hall, Ithaca, New York, 14853-3001, USA

asexual reproduction
gametophyte dispersal
comparative ecology.

Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Session: 35-7
Location: Salon K - Austin Grand Ballroom/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, August 16th, 2005
Time: 2:00 PM
Abstract ID:489

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