Establishment, Growth and Population Dynamics in two Mosses of Old-growth Forests

Detta är en avhandling från Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Sammanfattning: Biodiversity in forests depends on long canopy continuity and existence of different elements which function as substrates for varying organisms. Bryophytes often occupy specific substrates with a patchy distribution. The aim of this thesis was to increase the ecological knowledge about two threatened moss species; Buxbaumia viridis, inhabiting decaying wood, and Neckera pennata, inhabiting bark of base-rich deciduous trees. Establishment from spores was investigated in Buxbaumia viridis and Neckera pennata and models were created to predict germination of spores as a function of pH and water potential. The effects of pH, phosphorus and nitrogen concentration were studied in Buxbaumia viridis, both on spore germination and on sporophyte occurrences in the field. Colony growth in relation to precipitation and microhabitat variables was studied in Neckera pennata, and a model was used to predict growth of colonies over time. Metapopulation dynamics of Buxbaumia viridis were analyzed as an effect of precipitation, habitat quality and patch quantity. A spatial explicit patch occupancy model was constructed to simulate metapopulation sizes and extinction risk over 100 years.The quality of the substrate was very important for spore establishment. Germination success increased with increasing pH in both species. Buxbaumia viridis was less sensitive to low pH than Neckera pennata when water was freely available. However, there was a strong interaction between pH and water potential in prediction of the final cumulative germination: the spores reacted positively to one factor only when the other factor was in a favourable range.Precipitation, moisture holding capacity and interference competition were the main factors affecting colony growth of Neckera pennata. Buxbaumia viridis showed large fluctuations in number of occupied patches among years. Both colonizations and extinctions were highly related to precipitation. Spore germination and sporophyte occurrences in the field were positively related to phosphorus concentration and pH of the substrate.