Landscape ecology

At the landscape scale, community patterns tend to parallel variations in environmental conditions, such as geology, soil conditions and land use. Figure 7.4 illustrates the match between patterns of species richness in 87 4 x 4 km grid-squares in an area of Belgium with a discontinuous forest cover within an agricultural landscape. The positive relationship between species richness and forest cover clearly suggests that species distributions are controlled by the latter. For example, the...

Eutrophication

By contrast with SO2, several other compounds, particularly nitrogen oxides, have been drastically increasing during the past several decades as a result of farming, fertilizer production and fossil fuel burning, resulting in an alarming eutrophication of the environment. This trend is well illustrated by the two-to three-fold increase in nitrogen concentrations during the twentieth century that has been reported in moss tissues from herbarium collections (Fig. 9.4) (Woolgrove & Woodin...

Bryophytes as food and as shelter

Anyone who has observed a bryophyte sample under the dissecting microscope realizes the extent to which bryophytes serve as a shelter for a vast array of micro-organisms. These range from myxomycetes of tropical rainforests, which display specialized biotypes on epiphyllous liverworts Schnittler 2001 to invertebrates, including aphids, nematodes, rotifers and tardigrades Merrifield amp Ingham 1998, Peck 2006 . In terrestrial environments, the moss habitat is attractive because it provides...