jeudi 24 décembre 2015

In the forest with Lilliputians

The forests here, in the Black Mountain, are not only a paradise for geologists (see post “once upon a time were rocks” in Walks), but also the paradise of bryologists. The later are not some kind of professor Nimbus but specialists of mosses which scientific name is bryophytes.

This group is highly diversified with more than 20 000 species which have been reported already. Very primitive, they lack vascular tissue containing lignin. Mosses reproduce using spores, not seeds, and have nor flowers neither root. Evidence for the appearance of the first land plants occurs in the Ordovician, around 450 million years ago in the form of fossil spores.

Several species of Bryophytes, Marchantiophyta and Anthocerotophyta as well are common here.
Many species of lichen can be found here too. It is a complex group of plants depending on a close association between a fungus and an alga in a symbiotic relationship.

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