Interspecific competition affects spore germination and gametophore development of mosses

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskriftPeer review


Background:  Interactions between moss species in their earliest growth stages have received little attention. To what extent interspecific competition or priority effects influence spore germination, protonemal development and gametophore emergence is unknown. We evaluated such effects in pairwise interaction between six common bryophyte species: Atrichum undulatum, Bryum argenteum, Ceratodon purpureus, Funaria hygrometrica, Hypnum cupressiforme, Leptobryum pyriforme Methods: Interspecific interactions were assessed in vitro. Spores were sterilized and sown on agar plates in three treatments: 1) as single species cultures (controls), 2) as pairwise species cultures inoculated simultaneously, and 3) with a time lag of 20 days between species. Data on the time needed for spore germination, germination rate, the time needed for gametophore differentiation, number of gametophores per germinated spore and average diameter of colonies were collected. We also performed spore germination tests in single-species cultures at the start and end of the study, as well as tests for density-dependency at spore germination and gametophore formation. Results: We observed strong pairwise interactive effects when sowing spores of different species simultaneously or with a delay of 20 days. The results indicate that spore germination is often inhibited by interspecific competition. The first species has an advantage as compared to the later colonizing species, i.e., an apparent priority effect. Interspecific interactions were also evident during gametophore development and included both inhibition and facilitation. Conclusion: We found pronounced differences in the relative performance of species in interaction with other species during spore germination and gametophore formation. Allelopathic effects are the most probable explanation for these observations. Our results under sterile lab conditions are likely to reflect processes that occur in the wild, governing biotic filtering and bryophyte community assembly during primary and secondary colonization.

Antal sidor28
TidskriftOpen Research Europe
StatusPublished - 2023

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ)

  • Botanik
  • Ekologi


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