News from IAB

The mission of the International Association of Bryologists (IAB), as a society, is to strengthen bryology by encouraging interactions among all persons interested in byophytes.

Monday, November 24, 2008

tall Spiridens

Subject: Re: BRYONET: World's most extreme bryophyte (in terms of size)
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2008 20:44:14 +0200
From: Neil Bell <neil.bell@helsinki.fi>

BRYONET

Although Dawsonia may get the prize for being the tallest
self-supporting /orthotropic/ moss and possibly also for having the
longest leaves and the largest capsules, it has close rivals amongst the
austral and SE Asian tropical pleurocarps for the title of largest
self-supporting moss. Some examples of Spiridens spp. (e.g. S.
reinwardtii) certainly exceed 40cm, growing almost horizontally from the
trunks of trees. Pterobryella longifrons and P. papuensis grow in a
similar manner, and while they may not be quite as long they are
regularly pinnately branched, so the total self-supported surface area
is impressive! However it is measured, these must be amongst the most
visually striking mosses on the planet in terms of size, although they
are much less well known than Dawsonia and hardly ever mentioned in
general texts. Definitely an unexploited resource for drawing mosses to
the attention of the general public! Largest leaf area? Hmmm, are the
lateral surfaces of lamellae allowed to count towards the total?

Neil Bell.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Neil E. Bell
Postdoctoral Researcher
(Bryophyte Systematics)

Kasvimuseo
PO Box 7
00014 University of Helsinki
FINLAND

+358 9 191 24463
neil.bell@helsinki.fi
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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