Browsing by Subject "moss"

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  • Lukkarinen, Vaula (Helsingin yliopisto, 2014)
    Northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis L.) (NWC) swamps are valuable both commercially and ecologically. Unfortunately, many NWC swamps are degraded and information about them is not abundant. Especially there have been no definitive studies about mosses in northern white cedar swamps and how they react to disturbances. Mosses are sensitive to changes in their environment and thus they could be used to assess ecosystem conditions of NWC swamps. The objective of this study was to determine if mosses could be used to asses conditions in NWC swamps and if there are differences between moss communities in disturbed and undisturbed sites. Seventeen sample plots were taken from 12 disturbed and undisturbed sites around upper Michigan and northern Minnesota in the summer of 2012. All mosses occurring on the plots were identified and several associated environmental parameters were measured. The main environmental conditions affecting moss communities were identified with non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMS). Multiple response permutation procedures (MRPP) were run to ascertain if there were significant differences in community composition between disturbances. Indicator species analysis was then done to identify species that are related to different types of disturbances. A one-way ANOVA was used to check for significant differences between species richness and moss cover of undisturbed and disturbed sites. Over all sixty-two moss species were identified. The results indicate that there was no significant difference in species richness or moss cover between disturbed and undisturbed sites. However, moss community composition was affected by disturbance and strongly divided by a wetness gradient. Dicranum fuscescens was found to indicate undisturbed conditions. Calliergon cordifolium and Climacium dendroides indicated disturbed sites with wet conditions. Brotherella recurvans and Eurhynchium pulchellum indicated swamps with other disturbances.
  • Laine, Anna M.; Lindholm, Tapio; Nilsson, Mats; Kutznetsov, Oleg; Jassey, Vincent E. J.; Tuittila, Eeva-Stiina (John Wiley & Sons Ltd, 2021)
    Journal of Ecology 109, 4 (2021), 1774–1789
    1. Most of the carbon accumulated into peatlands is derived from Sphagnum mosses. During peatland development, the relative share of vascular plants and Sphagnum mosses in the plant community changes, which impacts ecosystem functions. Little is known on the successional development of functional plant traits or functional diversity in peatlands, although this could be a key for understanding the mechanisms behind peatland resistance to climate change. Here we aim to assess how functionality of successive plant communities change along the autogenic peatland development and the associated environmental gradients, namely peat thickness and pH, and to determine whether trait trade-offs during peatland succession are analogous between vascular plant and moss communities. 2. We collected plant community and trait data on successional peatland gradients from post-glacial rebound areas in coastal Finland, Sweden and Russia, altogether from 47 peatlands. This allowed us to analyse the changes in community-weighted mean trait values and functional diversity (diversity of traits) during peatland development. 3. Our results show comparative trait trade-offs from acquisitive species to conservative species in both vascular plant and Sphagnum moss communities during peatland development. However, mosses had higher resistance to environmental change than vascular plant communities. This was seen in the larger proportion of intraspecific trait variation than species turnover in moss traits, while the proportions were opposite for vascular plants. Similarly, the functional diversity of Sphagnum communities increased during the peatland development, while the opposite occurred for vascular plants. Most of the measured traits showed a phylogenetic signal. More so, the species common to old successional stages, namely Ericacae and Sphagna from subgroup Acutifolia were detected as most similar to their phylogenetic neighbours. 4. Synthesis. During peatland development, vegetation succession leads to the dominance of conservative plant species accustomed to high stress. At the same time, the autogenic succession and ecological engineering of Sphagna leads to higher functional diversity and intraspecific variability, which together indicate higher resistance towards environmental perturbations.
  • Marttinen, Eeva M.; Lehtonen, Mikko T.; van Gessel, Nico; Reski, Ralf; Valkonen, Jari P.T. (2022)
    Plant viruses are important pathogens able to overcome plant defense mechanisms using their viral suppressors of RNA silencing (VSR). Small RNA pathways of bryophytes and vascular plants have significant similarities, but little is known about how viruses interact with mosses. This study elucidated the responses of Physcomitrella patens to two different VSRs. We transformed P. patens plants to express VSR P19 from tomato bushy stunt virus and VSR 2b from cucumber mosaic virus, respectively. RNA sequencing and quantitative PCR were used to detect the effects of VSRs on gene expression. Small RNA (sRNA) sequencing was used to estimate the influences of VSRs on the sRNA pool of P. patens. Expression of either VSR-encoding gene caused developmental disorders in P. patens. The transcripts of four different transcription factors (AP2/erf, EREB-11 and two MYBs) accumulated in the P19 lines. sRNA sequencing revealed that VSR P19 significantly changed the microRNA pool in P. patens. Our results suggest that VSR P19 is functional in P. patens and affects the abundance of specific microRNAs interfering with gene expression. The results open new opportunities for using Physcomitrella as an alternative system to study plant-virus interactions.