Researchers discover how moss spreads

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have found out how mosses have become one of the most popular plants on our planet. Global wind systems carry them across the latitudes of the earth, to rooftops, to sidewalks, to meadows around the world, to Antarctica. This new knowledge can help us better understand how other small organisms, including airborne bacteria and aerated spores, spread.

Researchers at the Danish Museum of Natural History at the University of Copenhagen in a recent study examined how one of the world’s most popular mosses Ceratodon pupureus:AKA fiery moss, toothed moss with purple horn, etc., have managed to populate every crack և corner of the planet.

“We found a perfect match between global wind horses այս the ossification of this moss over time that we were not yet aware of,” said evolutionary biologist Elizabeth Biersmann of the Danish Museum of Natural History, who led the study.

According to Biersma, this means that many Danish mosses find themselves mingling with their lawn grass or clinging to the roof, often part of the same population on another continent at that latitude. For example, moss spores from North America probably blow over the predominantly western Westerly to Denmark.

Global wind patterns տարբեր different families of mosses

Global wind patterns տարբեր different families of mosses. Credit: Christie Sepp (Wikimedia Communities)

One of the oldest plant groups on earth

Moss (Bryophyta) is one of the oldest groups of plants on Earth, characterized by no roots. Most groups grow in humid, shady areas, while others tolerate bright, dry environments.

“Mosses are extremely hardy organisms that can” absorb a lot of water “and tolerate significant drying. Most other plants are far from being so hardy in harsh environments, such as roofs, sidewalks, or polar climates. “Along with the wind, this has been the key to the success of all mosses,” explains Elizabeth Biersman.

There are about 600 species of moss in Denmark, out of about 12,000 species found in the world. During the study, researchers used samples of moss from a collection of dried plants called herbarias from around the world. Using genetic samples from mosses, the researchers built a large evolutionary tree that helps them map different populations of mosses.

To better understand how airborne organisms spread

Researchers’ analysis shows an example of the current distribution C. purpureus: has occurred in the last ~ 11 million years. But the fact that it took so long C. purpureus: spread in the places where it is found today is a little surprising

“This can probably be explained by the fact that global wind systems can partially propagate spores over long distances, but also limit global dispersion, as wind systems are self-contained, isolated transport systems that limit any propagation of them.” – Elizabeth explains. Biersma

This is the first time the researcher has seen such a uniform pattern of propagation as shown C. pupureus. Knowledge can be transferred elsewhere.

“These discoveries can help us understand the spread of other organisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and some plants that are spread by microscopic airborne particles carried by the wind.” But only the future can tell whether this knowledge is applicable to other organisms. ” concludes Biersma.

The study was published in the journal Science Limits in plant science արդյունքում conducted as a result of collaboration between a number of universities և researchers.

Reference. Elisabeth M. Biersma, Peter Convey, Rhys Wyber, Sharon A. Robinson, Mark Dowton, Bart van de Vijver, Katrin Linse, Howard Griffiths and Jennifer A. Jackson, 28 August 2020. Limits in plant science,
DOI: 10.3389 / fpls.2020.502359:

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