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Ukr. Bot. J. 2014, 71(3): 344–351
Plant Taxonomy, Geography and Floristics

Peculiarities of the moss spores germination under the conditions of water stress depending on pH and temperature

Y.D. Khorkavtsiv, N.A. Kit

Viability of unicellular moss spores Funaria hygrometrica, Pohlia nutans, Ceratodon purpureus, Tortula modica has been experimentally investigated in vitro. Germination of the moss spores depending on humidity, substrate acidity and air temperature has been used as the ability criterion to bear extreme conditions of the external environment. It has been established that on low water potential –2,5, –2,0 the spores of Funaria hygrometrica died, but spores viability of the remaining species lowered to 5—20%. Depending on humidity and pH of the substrate, the spores of Ceratodon purpureus and Tortula modica germinated at very acidic pH 3,4 a high humidity –0,5 MPa. The spores of T. modica were more perceptible to the conditions variability than those of Ceratodon purpureus in the process of water potential lowering and increase of the substrate acidity. Under the conditions of high humidity and temperature +39º C, spores viability decreased much greater than at the temperature –2º C. Under the rising temperature and water deficit, the spores germination was suppressed, being weaker at the lower water potential. Thus, the interaction of ecological factors, the wide amplitude of humidity and substrate pH, and the spores heat resistivity are of decisive significance in the process of moss reproduction. Under the extreme conditions of substrate humidity, mosses are more stable to high temperatures in dry localities than in the humid ones. Funaria hygrometrica prevail on humid substrates, while Ceratodon purpureus occurs on acidic soils more often than Tortula modica, and both species are stable to drying and high temperatures.

Keywords: mosses, viability of spores, water potential, ecological factors

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