As opposed to angiosperms, moss species richness is similar among tropical regions of the world, in line with the hypothesis that tropical bryophytes are extremely good dispersers. Here, we reconstructed the phylogeny of the pantropical moss genus Pelekium to test the hypothesis that high migration rates erase any difference in species richness among tropical regions. In contrast with this hypothesis, several species considered to have a pantropical range were resolved as a complex of species with a strong geographic structure. Consequently, a significant phylogeographical signal was found in the data, evidencing that cladogenetic diversification within regions takes place at a faster rate than intercontinental migration. The shape of the Pelekium phylogeny, along with the selection of a constant-rate model of diversification among species in the genus, suggests, however, that the cladogenetic speciation patterns observed in Pelekium are not comparable to some of the spectacular examples of tropical radiations reported in angiosperms. Rather, the results presented here point to the constant accumulation of diversity through time in Pelekium. This, combined with evidence for long-distance dispersal limitations in the genus, suggests that the similar patterns of species richness among tropical areas are better explained in terms of comparable rates of diversification across tropical regions than by the homogenization of species richness by recurrent migrations.
Cambay amber originates from the warmest period of the Eocene, which is also well known for the appearance of early angiosperm-dominated megathermal forests. The humid climate of these forests may have triggered the evolution of epiphytic lineages of bryophytes; however, early Eocene fossils of bryophytes are rare. Here, we present evidence for lejeuneoid liverworts and pleurocarpous mosses in Cambay amber. The preserved morphology of the moss fossil is inconclusive for a detailed taxonomic treatment. The liverwort fossil is, however, distinctive; its zig-zagged stems, suberect complicate-bilobed leaves, large leaf lobules, and small, deeply bifid underleaves suggest a member of Lejeuneaceae subtribe Lejeuneinae (Harpalejeunea, Lejeunea, Microlejeunea). We tested alternative classification possibilities by conducting divergence time estimates based on DNA sequence variation of Lejeuneinae using the age of the fossil for corresponding age constraints. Consideration of the fossil as a stem group member of Microlejeunea or Lejeunea resulted in an Eocene to Late Cretaceous age of the Lejeuneinae crown group. This reconstruction is in good accordance with published divergence time estimates generated without the newly presented fossil evidence. Balancing available evidence, we describe the liverwort fossil as the extinct species Microlejeunea nyiahae, representing the oldest crown group fossil of Lejeuneaceae.
Gunung Senyum Recreational Forest harbours 59 species, two subspecies and five varieties of mosses in 32 genera and 16 families that had been identified from a total of 589 specimens collected from the area. These figures represent 11.8% out of the 558 taxa, 20.2% out of the 158 genera and 34.7% out of the 46 families of mosses reported for Peninsular Malaysia. The total also represents 14.9% of the 442 taxa, 24.0% of the 133 genera and 40.0% of the 40 families of mosses recorded in Pahang. The largest family of mosses found in this limestone forest is Calymperaceae followed by Fissidentaceae. There are two new records for Pahang, Calymperespallidum Mitt. and Taxitheliumbinsteadii Broth. & Dixon. The analysis of species similarities of mosses found in the study area with some other selected areas showed that Gunung Senyum Recreational Forest had a high percentage of species similarity with Perlis State Park at Wang Kelian, another limestone forest, at 38%. Corticol is the main habitat utilised by mosses in Gunung Senyum Recreational Forest with 47 taxa, followed by the lignicol and calcicol each with 35 and 26 taxa, respectively.
This paper reports the mosses from Crocker Range Park (CRP) in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. In total, 293 species, three subspecies and eight varieties belonging to 118 genera and 36 families are reported. This represents about 40% and 47% of the species and infra-specific taxa reported from Borneo and Sabah, respectively. Out of these, six species are new records for Borneo, namely Barbella horridula, Chaetomitrium lancifolium, Distichophyllum leiopogon, Rhaphidostichum luzonense, Rosulabryum capillare and Taxiphyllum taxirameum and 12 species and one variety are new to Sabah. With these additions, the current number of mosses in Sabah and Borneo are 651 and 766, respectively. The largest family of mosses is Calymperaceae with 35 species and one subspecies, followed by Sematophyllaceae with 32 species and two varieties and Pylaisiadelphaceae with 21 species and one variety. In conclusion, CRP has a very high species richness of mosses which is the second highest in Borneo, after Mount Kinabalu.
Concentrations of uranium-238 and thorium-232 in soil, water, grass, moss and oil-palm fruit samples collected from an area of high background radiation were determined using neutron activation analysis (NAA). U-238 concentration in soil ranged from 4.9 mg kg(-1) (58.8 Bq kg(-1)) to 40.4 mg kg(-1) (484.8 Bq kg(-1)), Th-232 concentration ranged from 14.9 mg kg(-1) (59.6 Bq kg(-1)) to 301.0 mg kg(-1) (1204 Bq kg(-1)). The concentration of U-238 in grass samples ranged from below the detection limit to 0.076 mg kg(-1) (912 mBq kg(-1)), and Th-232 ranged from 0.008 mg kg(-1) (32 mBq kg(-1)) to 0.343 mg kg(-1) (1.372 Bq kg(-1)). U-238 content in water samples ranged from 0.33 mg kg(-1) (4.0 Bq L(-1)) to 1.40 mg kg(-1) (16.8 Bq L(-1)), and Th-232 ranged from 0.19 mg kg(-1) (0.76 Bq L(-1)) to 0.66 mg kg(-1) (2.64 Bq L(-1)). It can be said that the concentrations of environmental U-238 and Th-232 in grass and water samples in the study area are insignificant. Mosses were found to be possible bio-radiological indicators due to their high absorption of the heavy radioelements from the environment.
The global latitudinal gradient in biodiversity weakens in the high polar biome and so an alternative explanation for distribution of Arctic and Antarctic photoautotrophs is required. Here we identify how temporal, microclimate and evolutionary drivers of biogeography are important, rather than the macroclimate features that drive plant diversity patterns elsewhere. High polar ecosystems are biologically unique, with a more central role for bryophytes, lichens and microbial photoautotrophs over that of vascular plants. Constraints on vascular plants arise mainly due to stature and ontogenetic barriers. Conversely non-vascular plant and microbial photoautotroph distribution is correlated with favorable microclimates and the capacity for poikilohydric dormancy. Contemporary distribution also depends on evolutionary history, with adaptive and dispersal traits as well as legacy influencing biogeography. We highlight the relevance of these findings to predicting future impacts on diversity of polar photoautotrophs and to the current status of plants in Arctic and Antarctic conservation policy frameworks.
Surface coverage and some properties soil chemicals were assessed at the Punta Fort William, Greenwich Island during the summer from 1–11 February 2008. Twenty sampling points were established along two strip transects covering a total area of 160 m2. Punta Fort William was basically barren. Rocks, stones and pebbles covered 89.4% of the Punta Fort William. The diversity of vegetation in Punta Fort William was relatively low as compared to other South Shetland Islands. Mosses predominated the area and covered 9.1% of the total surface. Colobantus quitensis was the only vascular plant found at the Punta Fort William. It covered 0.5% of the total surface area. Lichens contributed 0.2% of the surface coverage. Although lichen coverage was low, its frequency of occurrence was among the highest. Total organic carbon (TOC) and total nitrogen (TN) in the study area ranged from 1 g to 39 g C kg–1 and 12 μg to 3892 μg N kg–1, respectively. The level of TOC and TN were comparable to those reported in other maritime locations in Antarctic. Higher levels of TOC and TN were detected in the areas with intensive biological activities. Hydrocarbon concentration was very low in this area and the sources of hydrocarbons were both natural and anthropogenic. The natural hydrocarbons source was mostly biogenic while the petrogenic hydrocarbons input was anthropogenic.
A bipolar disjunction is an extreme, yet common, biogeographic pattern in non-vascular plants, yet its underlying mechanisms (vicariance or long-distance dispersal), origin and timing remain poorly understood. Here, combining a large-scale population dataset and multiple dating analyses, we examine the biogeography of four bipolar Polytrichales mosses, common to the Holarctic (temperate and polar Northern Hemisphere regions) and the Antarctic region (Antarctic, sub-Antarctic, southern South America) and other Southern Hemisphere (SH) regions. Our data reveal contrasting patterns, for three species were of Holarctic origin, with subsequent dispersal to the SH, while one, currently a particularly common species in the Holarctic (Polytrichum juniperinum), diversified in the Antarctic region and from here colonized both the Holarctic and other SH regions. Our findings suggest long-distance dispersal as the driver of bipolar disjunctions. We find such inter-hemispheric dispersals are rare, occurring on multi-million-year timescales. High-altitude tropical populations did not act as trans-equatorial 'stepping-stones', but rather were derived from later dispersal events. All arrivals to the Antarctic region occurred well before the Last Glacial Maximum and previous glaciations, suggesting that, despite the harsh climate during these past glacial maxima, plants have had a much longer presence in this southern region than previously thought.
Anthropogenic airborne depositions of 210Po,
210Pb and 210Po/210Pb in the mosses and surface soils
collected at the vicinity of a coal-fired power plant were studied. The purpose of the study was to
determine activity concentrations of 210Po,
210Pb and 210Po/210Pb for assessing their variation
accumulation in the mosses and surface soils collected at the vicinity of a coal-fired power plant.
Other purposes were to determine their concentration factor (CF) in relation to track the potential
source of those radionuclides and to identify most suitable moss species as a biological indicator
for atmospheric deposition contaminants. In this study, different species of moss Leucobryum
aduncum, Campylopus serratus, Syrrhopodon ciliates and Vesicularia montagnei were collected in
May 2011 at the area around 15 km radius from Tanjung Bin coal-fired power plant located in
Pontian, Johor. The activity concentrations of 210Po,
210Pb and 210Po/210Pb in mosses were in the
range of 76.81 ± 4.94 – 251.33 ± 16.33 Bq/kg dry wt., 54.37 ± 3.38 – 164.63 ± 11.64 Bq/kg dry wt.
and 1.10 – 2.00, respectively. Meanwhile the ranges for those radionuclides in the surface soil
were 33.53 ± 2.10 – 179.67 ± 12.15 Bq/kg dry wt., 20.55 ± 1.33 – 106.62 ± 6.64 Bq/kg dry wt. and
1.61 – 2.44, respectively. Corresponding high ability of Leucobryum aduncum to accumulate more
210Po and 210Pb, wide geographical distribution, most abundant and high CF, therefore, the
findings can be concluded this species was the most suitable as a biological indicator for
atmospheric deposition contaminants such as 210Po and 210Pb. Furthermore, it is clear the
accumulation of 210Po and 210Pb in mosses might be supplied from various sources of atmospheric
deposition such as coal-fired power plant operation, industrial, agriculture and fertilizer activities,
burned fuel fossil and forest; and other potential sources. Meanwhile, the
Mosses and other bryophytes are vital components of forests, because they sustain a tremendous diversity of invertebrates and influence significant ecological functions. There have been few studies on moss population diversity in Southeast Asia, despite the escalating deforestation in this region of rich biodiversity. The genetic diversity of the tropical moss Acanthorrhynchium papillatum (Harv.) Fleisch., collected from forested areas in Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia, was elucidated using eight microsatellite markers developed for this species. Significant levels of allelic and haplotypic diversity were observed among clumps of the moss. Differences in allelic richness and genotypic diversity among the populations were higher in less disturbed forests compared to the more disturbed areas, suggesting that genetic diversity is affected by habitat quality. Genetic diversity levels within the clumps studied were low, indicating that vegetative reproduction was more important within clumps than sexual reproduction. However, multilocus genotypes of samples within the clumps studied were not all alike, providing evidence of microsatellite mutation or of occasional sexuality. Despite the isolation of populations, A. papillatum can introduce genetic variability by mutation among vegetatively propagated individuals. This study provides baseline information on the genetic diversity of A. papillatum tropical rain forests.