Microarthropods mediate sperm transfer in mosses

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Abstract

Among flowering plants, animals commonly act as pollinators. We showed that fertile moss shoots attract springtails and mites, which in turn carry moss sperm, thereby enhancing the fertilization process. Previously, fertilization of mosses was thought to depend on the capacity of individual sperm to swim through a continuous water layer. The role of microarthropods in moss fertilization resembles the role of animals as pollinators of flowering plants but may be evolutionarily much older because of the antiquity of the organism groups involved.

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  • Ecology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1255-1255
JournalScience
Volume313
Issue number5791
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes

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