Abstract Detail

Stress-tolerant mosses: adaptations to life on the edge, from genes to ecosystems

Antoninka, Anita [1], Ekwealor, Jenna T. B. [2].

Stress-tolerant mosses: adaptations to life on the edge, from genes to ecosystems.

Low productivity ecosystems, which include drylands, make up more than 40% of the terrestrial surface, are among the most economically important and most at risk of loss and damage due to climate change and human activities. An important component of healthy low-productivity ecosystems are the micro-understory communities often dominated by mosses. While diminutive in size, mosses provide large and critical ecosystem functions including capture and retention of water and nutrients and physical stabilization of soils. Stress-tolerant mosses are common and display a suite of adaptations to thrive in harsh conditions. These traits include ultraviolet radiation protective pigments, water harvesting structures, specialized sexual systems, symbioses, and varied methods to survive desiccation. Despite these adaptations, many mosses are members of larger cosmopolitan groups, allowing for discovery of insights into the evolution of potential adaptive traits and responses to climate change. One such group is the genus Syntrichia, which is ecologically dominant in dryland habitats worldwide and whose approximately 100 named species demonstrate an unusual amount of variation in ecological and reproductive biology among close relatives.

1 - Northern Arizona University, School of Forestry, Flagstaff, AZ, United States
2 - Smithsonian Institution, Data Science Lab, Office of the Chief Information Officer, 600 Maryland Ave. SW, Washington, DC, 20024, USA

none specified

Presentation Type: Colloquium Presentations
Number: C5SUM001
Abstract ID:1260
Candidate for Awards:None

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