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Journal Article

Growth Rate and Temperature Responses in Bryophytes: II. A Comparative Study of Species of Contrasted Ecology

S. B. Furness and J. P. Grime
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 70, No. 2 (Jul., 1982), pp. 525-536
DOI: 10.2307/2259920
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2259920
Page Count: 12
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Growth Rate and Temperature Responses in Bryophytes: II. A Comparative Study of Species of Contrasted Ecology
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Abstract

(1) Forty species of bryophyte of contrasted growth-form and ecology have been grown under controlled laboratory conditions using a standardized procedure. The results allow the mean relative growth rate of the species to be compared over the temperature range 5-35⚬C. (2) The mean relative growth rate varied considerably with temperature and according to the ecology of the species. High values were recorded in the ruderal species Funaria hygrometrica and in perennial pleurocarpous species of fertile habitats, e.g. Brachythecium rutabulum. Low values typified species of continuously unproductive habitats and were particularly characteristic of lithophytes. (3) The optimal temperature for growth in the majority of species was between 15⚬C and 25⚬C and in many species there was a considerable gain in dry weight at temperatures below 10⚬C. With respect to growth at temperatures below 18⚬C, shoots of Brachythecium rutabulum obtained in winter were superior to those collected in summer. All species were killed, often very rapidly, when maintained in a continuously moist condition at 35⚬C and many species died eventually when kept continuously at temperatures above 30⚬C. (4) It is concluded that, for ecological investigations with bryophytes, growth studies under controlled conditions provide a desirable complement to the more conventional short-term investigations of photosynthesis, respiration and tissue viability under stress.

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