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Lichens and Bryophytes: Habitats and Species

  • Michael LakatosEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 215)

Abstract

Poikilohydric desiccation tolerance enables lichens and bryophytes to survive long periods of water limitation and to recover quickly by rehydration. The evolutionary success of this strategy is reflected by the fact that cryptogams inhabit almost all terrestrial habitats from the tropics to cold and hot deserts. As ecosystem components, lichens and bryophytes may considerably impact the surrounding environment through frequent desiccation–rewetting cycles. What are the differences in mechanism and functioning to successfully compete with vascular plants in many micro-sites and habitats? This chapter reviews key issues of cryptogamic desiccation tolerance with particular emphasis on the following aspects: (1) Comparison of mechanisms and processes of water exchange. (2) Function and impacts of micro-scale fluxes to illustrate the effects of desiccation–rewetting cycles on the environment. (3) Global patterns of lichens and bryophytes as an indication for their ecological relevance.

Keywords

Relative Water Content Desiccation Tolerance Montane Cloud Forest Tropical Montane Cloud Forest Full Turgor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Experimental Ecology, Department of BiologyUniversity of KaiserslauternKaiserslauternGermany

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