Ecological and evolutionary attributes of bryophytes of the boreal and arctic regions: New paradigms from interdisciplinary research
Vitt, Dale H. , LaFarge, Catherine .
Ecological and evolutionary attributes of bryophytes of the boreal and arctic regions: New paradigms from interdisciplinary research.
Many plant communities in both the boreal and arctic regions are dominated by ground layers of bryophytes. These communities of mosses and liverworts are structurally important and control many if not most functions of these northern ecosystems. Studies of bryophytes have a rich history, but in the past have largely been grounded in taxonomic revisions and floristic surveys. Based on this rich foundation, studies in recent years have changed focus, moving from studies by classical bryologists to studies carried out by ecosystem ecologists, community ecologists, historical ecologists, and evolutionary biologists. These recent studies are largely interdisciplinary in nature and have led to several new paradigms in framing our understanding of the role of these small plants. In this symposium among other things, we learn that bryophytes can regenerate after burial by glaciers, that Sphagnum diversified surprisingly late in geological time, that Sphagnum growth requirements for nitrogen are remarkably high with active regulation of N movement by Sphagnum. We also learn how past climate has influenced Sphagnum production and hence carbon sequestration, and we learn that mosses may play a fundamental role in future reclamation of disturbed boreal sites, especially those influenced by oil and gas exploration and production.
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1 - Southern Illinois University, Plant Biology, Carbondale, IL, 62901, USA
2 - University of Alberta, Biological Sciences, Edmonton, AB, T6G 2E9, Canada
Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Location: Salon 10/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 8:00 AM
Candidate for Awards:None