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Role of Moss in Ecology



  May 11, 2024

Role of Moss in Ecology



1️. What is the significance of moss?

Moss, comprising between 12,000 and 15,000 species, is a resilient group of plants that can grow practically everywhere on Earth. They are one of the most ancient plant groups alive today and help scientists understand the evolution of life.

2️. What role does moss play in ecosystems?

Mosses contribute significantly to the structure and function of ecosystems. They are critical to soil health, store large amounts of carbon, aid the soil nutrient cycle, and assist in the decomposition of organic matter. They can also rescue disturbed ecosystems by being among the first forms of life to reappear after disturbances.

3️. What unique habitats do mosses provide?

Mosses provide unique habitats for microscopic life, such as tardigrades, also known as moss piglets. These nearly indestructible micro-animals can even survive in outer space.

4️. What are some characteristics of mosses?

Mosses, part of a group of plants known as bryophytes, evolved more than 400 million years ago and share many characteristics with the first plants to have emerged onto the Earth’s land surfaces. They have their own conducting systems to move substances around their bodies and can survive harsh environments.

5️. What is desiccation tolerance in mosses?

Desiccation tolerance is the ability of mosses to survive near-complete drying out. When water is scarce, mosses can enter a state of suspended animation, greatly reducing their metabolic activity, allowing them to survive until conditions improve.

6️. How are mosses related to human history?

Mosses have played a substantial role in relieving human suffering. From exploiting the antiseptic properties of moss for wound healing to using broom moss for relief of constipation, these little plants are entwined with human history.



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