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19 October 2016 Spore-holding Capacity of Bryophyte Colonies Influences Pteridophyte Establishment in a Vertical Environment
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Abstract

Gametophytes of epiphytic and epipetric pteridophytes occur frequently in bryophyte colonies; however, little is known about the influence of bryophytes on pteridophyte establishment. In the present study, we describe how the spore-holding capacity of bryophyte colonies contributes to the retention of pteridophyte spores in a vertical environment. Lycophytes did not grow at the sampling site; hence, we used Lycopodium spores to distinguish from any other pteridophyte spores that might have already been present in the wild. We dispersed aliquots of approximately 500,000 spores on vertically suspended bryophyte (both mosses and liverworts) colonies (5 cm × 5 cm) attached to ceramic plates. The bryophyte colonies included ten species (seven mosses and three liverworts), which have different characteristics in colony height, leaf length, and dry weight. Mudstone blocks and ceramic plates were used as control surfaces (5 cm × 5 cm). After simulated rainfall, we counted the number of spores retained in the colonies and controls. We found that the bryophyte colonies retained a significantly higher percentage of Lycopodium spores (90.7±7.4%) than the controls (ceramic plate: 7.5±20.9%; mudstone: 39.7±20.6%). The average values of retained spores within the bryophyte colonies correlated with their logarithmic values of dry weight per square centimeter (R2 = 0.62, P < 0.05). Leaf thickness and stem diameter were slightly different across species. Thus, dry weight value of bryophyte colony per unit area is very likely a simple function of number of stem-and-leaf units, which correlate closely with the surface area. Bryophyte colonies that have high surface area on which pteridophyte spores might be retained within a colony might provide a suitable environment for spore adherence in epiphytic and epipetric habitats.

Taiki Mizuno, Hirosato Takezaki, Arata Momohara, and Susumu Okitsu "Spore-holding Capacity of Bryophyte Colonies Influences Pteridophyte Establishment in a Vertical Environment," American Fern Journal 106(3), 161-170, (19 October 2016). https://doi.org/10.1640/0002-8444-106.3.161
Published: 19 October 2016
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