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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.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Re: BRYONET: Local endemic bryophytes

Very interesting question, local endemism.
There is a lot of 'species' known only from the type collection that
would fit into this category. BUT, all of them, like all very narrow
endemics in bryophytes (or better liverworts as I know them better) are
likely to be an artifact of lack of knowledge. I don't believe there is
any liverwort confined to 1-2 km² unless on a tiny island, and even
there I don't know of any example to quote.
Even if there are dispersal limitations in bryophytes (contrary to the
statements of some bryologists 20-30 years ago) living in such small
areas need some physical barrier, and even then it is a question if they
can have an enough large population to survive in the long run.
I do know of some plants that certainly have a very limited area (like
the silver tree Leucodendron argenteum on Table Mountain with a
distribution range of c. 1-2 x 0.1-0.2 km) but what would the mechanisms
be to have similar narrow ranges in bryophytes (unless it is the last
ones before extinction or the first ones after speciation).
Best wishes
Lars Söderström
Department of Biology
N-7491 Trondheim
ph. +47 73596061
fax +47 73596100

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