Introduction to Bryophytes


Release Year: 2009
ISBN: 978-0-511-54013-4
Pages: 329
Edition: First Edition
File Size: 15 MB
File Type: pdf
Language: English

Description of Inorganic Chemistry

Bryophytes mark a pivotal step in land plant evolution, and their significance in the regulation of ecosystems and the conservation of biodiversity is becoming increasingly acknowledged. This introductory textbook assumes no prior knowledge of bryophyte biology, making it ideal for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, as well as for amateur botanists. The authors expertly summarize the diversity of bryophytes and outline recent advances in our understanding of their evolutionary history, their ecological roles and preferences, their distribution patterns and conservation needs. The text is highly illustrated throughout, with boxed summaries of topics of current relevance in bryophyte biology, and a glossary of technical terms.
ALAIN VANDERPOORTEN is a Research Associate of the Belgian Funds for Scientific Research at the University of Liege, Belgium, where he teaches molecular systematics, biogeography and landscape ecology. His research presently focuses on the evolution of endemism. BERNARD GOFFINET is an Associate Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. His current research spans chloroplast genome evolution in liverworts, the phylogenetic history of mosses and the systematics of lichen-forming fungi. He teaches bryophyte and lichen biology and green plant evolution.
The concept for a book providing an introduction to the biology of bryophytes emanates from our passion for these land plants and the lack of recent manuals offering general insights into their fascinating diversity and evolutionary history. Throughout its history, bryological research has contributed significantly to the field of plant sciences, starting with the discovery of sex chromosomes in plants and culminating most recently with the assembly of the Physcomitrella genome, fundamental for the study of the evolution of genes and their function during the diversification of land plants. Bryophytes are, in fact, pivotal in land plant evolution, and the recent advances in molecular phylogenetics and genomics have allowed for a clearer picture of land colonization and subsequent evolution to emerge. Ecologically, the significance of bryophytes for the regulation of global biogeochemical cycles, especially carbon, has long been acknowledged and has gained much attention in the present context of global changes. Finally, there has been an increasing concern for the conservation biology of cryptogams, and bryophytes in particular.
The aim of the present book is to offer a stepping-stone to anyone interested in discovering the fundamentals of the biology of bryophytes, making the bridge with more comprehensive treaties such as Goffinet and Shaw’s Bryophyte Biology (2009) and Glime’s Bryophyte Ecology (2007a). An Introduction to Bryophytes, we make an attempt at summarizing and explaining the recent advances made across the various aspects of bryophyte biology at a level that would be palatable to beginners. The focus of the book is thus to open the door to the curious mind and to inspire students, from late undergraduates to post-doctoral researchers, to engage in bryological research.
The book follows what we consider to be an intuitively natural flow. We focus first on the origin of bryophytes in the context of land plant evolution and on the significance of bryophytes in today’s world. The morphological diversity of bryophytes is outlined and their associations with fungi and cyanobacteria are summarized before their ecophysiological features are reviewed. We describe the parameters that shape bryophyte communities and the global distribution of the species that compose them. Finally, we examine the threats facing bryophytes and review approaches designed to conserve them. Some aspects of bryophyte biology merited closer attention and are addressed inbox essays. All technical terms are defined in a glossary. 
Spectacular illustrations of many of the terms used in the present volume can also be found in Malcolm and Malcolm (2006). Writing INTRODUCTION TO BRYOPHYTES textbook has been a definite challenge and we could not have completed it without Robynn Shannon’s diligent editorial comments on substance and form. Her repeated calls for clarification and simplification, along with her improvements in the style, have been essential. We also deeply acknowledge the help of the many colleagues who reviewed different chapters of the book, including Peter Alpert (Physiological ecology), Jeff Bates (Physiological ecology and Bryophytes in a changing world), Richard Beckett (Physiological ecology), Jeff Duckett (Evolutionary significance), Rob Gradstein (Liverworts), Mark Hill (Ecology), Jon Shaw (Biogeography), Line Rochefort (Conservation biology), Hakan Rydin (Ecology), Juan Carlos Villarreal (Hornworts) and Harald Zechmeister (Bryophytes in a changing world). We extend our thanks to Virge Kask for her original drawings and Delphine Aigoin, Neil Bell, Paul Davison, Virginie Hutseme ́kers, Patrick Degroot, Claude Dopagne, Jan-Peter Frahm, Harald Ku ̈rschner, Juul Limpens, Barbara Murray, the Peatland Ecology Research Group, Christine Rieser, Gordon Rothera, Ricardo Rozzi, Martin Simard, Juan Carlos Villarreal and Norman Wickett for sharing some of their photographs and/or providing material for our illustrations.
Our research has been possible over the years with financial support from the Belgian and American National Science Foundations, the Fonds Le ́opold III, the Belgian Academy of Sciences, the Walloon Ministry of the Environment and the National Geographic Society, for which we are grateful. Finally, we also take this opportunity to thank our families, colleagues, and friends who have encouraged, motivated and inspired our research from the beginning of our careers, namely Andre ́ Sotiaux, Jacques Lambinon,

Jonathan Shaw, Dale Vitt, and the late Lewis Anderson.

Content of Inorganic Chemistry

1 Evolutionary significance of bryophytes 1
1.1 What do we call a bryophyte? 2
1.2 Bryophytes are embryophytes 8
1.3 Bryophytes and land plant evolution 9
1.4 Bryophytes and the conquest of land 15
2 Ecological significance of bryophytes 26
2.1 Water and biogeochemical cycles 26
2.2 Vegetation succession and soil formation 34
2.3 Bryophytes as food and as shelter 40
3 Liverworts 43
3.1 Structure and development 43
3.2 Classification and macroevolution 62
3.3 Biogeography and ecology 65
4 Mosses 70
4.1 Structure and development 70
4.2 Classification and macroevolution 101
4.3 Biogeography and ecology 104
5 Hornworts 106
5.1 Structure and development 106
5.2 Classification and macroevolution 120
5.3 Biogeography and ecology 121
6 Biogeography 124
6.1 Bryophyte diversity and distribution patterns 127
6.2 Origin and evolution of bryophyte distribution patterns 130
6.3 Evolutionary significance of bryophyte distribution patterns 141
7 Ecology 153
7.1 Global ecology 153
7.2 Landscape ecology 156
7.3 Population ecology 162
8 Physiological ecology 185
8.1 Water relations 185
8.2 Light 195
8.3 Mineral nutrition 202
8.4 Temperature 206
9 Bryophytes in a changing world 214
9.1 Impact of pollution on bryophytes 214
9.2 Application to bioindication 224
9.3 Adaptation to a changing environment 229
10 Conservation biology 232
10.1 Levels of threats and the need for conservation 233
10.2 Why are bryophytes threatened? 237
10.3 Conservation strategies 244
10.4 Restoration ecology 248
Glossary 256
References 267
Index 294
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