What is the unique characteristic of Brayophyta
Benefits of the mosses
Mosses are small and inconspicuous, but they play an important role in the ecosystem in various ways:
Mosses pave the way for flowering plants
- PioneersMosses can grow on bare rocks and barren soil. Fine material accumulates in the moss cushion and soil slowly forms, which means that mosses pave the way for flowering plants to grow.
- Regulators of the water balance When it rains, mosses store several times their own weight in water. They gradually release this water again in dry times and thus have a balancing effect on the global water balance.
- Builder of the raised bogsRaised moors are very special habitats that house a unique flora and fauna. This includes, for example, the sundew, a small carnivorous plant. Raised bogs also store large amounts of CO2 and therefore play an important role in the ecosystem. The builders of the raised bogs are the peat moss (Sphagnum sp.), without them this habitat would not exist.
- CO2-Sink In raised bogs, the CO formed during combustion processes is2 permanently bound in the peat. CO2 is largely responsible for global warming. Because it is permanently bound in the peat, it is removed from the cycle. In this way, peatlands make a significant contribution to mitigating the greenhouse effect. From a global perspective, the amount of carbon stored in bogs is about three times as large as the amount of carbon in tropical rainforests.
- Bioindicators The occurrence of a moss species allows conclusions to be drawn about the ecological conditions at the place of growth. Mosses can be used directly as an indicator for certain environmental conditions. They are used indirectly to determine heavy metal pollution in Switzerland. They are particularly suitable for this because they absorb and store all substances contained in the precipitation unfiltered. By measuring the heavy metal content in the moss, precise statements can be made about the heavy metal load at the place of growth.
- Habitat for microorganisms Countless small animals such as mites, springtails, tardigrades, spiders, mosquito larvae, beetles and many others live in moss cushions. Up to 60,000 animals were counted in one square meter of moss, a small town in a very small space.
- Building material Not only birds use mosses to build their nests, humans also use mosses as filling material for wall joints, mattresses, shoe soles, diapers and much more.
- Esthetic A mild summer day in a thickly moss-covered forest to walk on or lie on. An experience for body and soul.
Author: H. Hofmann 1.2011
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