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MACIEL-SILVA, ADAÍSES S.; SILVA, FLÁVIA C.L. DA  and  VALIO, IVANY F.M.. All green, but equal? Morphological traits and ecological implications on spores of three species of mosses in the Brazilian Atlantic forest. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2014, vol.86, n.3, pp.1249-1262. ISSN 0001-3765.

Spores of the tropical mosses Pyrrhobryum spiniforme, Neckeropsis undulata and N. disticha were characterized regarding size, number per capsule and viability. Chemical substances were analyzed for P. spiniforme and N. undulata spores. Length of sporophyte seta (spore dispersal ability) was analyzed for P. spiniforme. Four to six colonies per species in each site (lowland and highland areas of an Atlantic Forest; Serra do Mar State Park, Brazil) were visited for the collection of capsules (2008 – 2009). Neckeropsis undulata in the highland area produced the largest spores (ca. 19 µm) with the highest viability. The smallest spores were found in N. disticha in the lowland (ca. 13 µm). Pyrrhobryum spiniforme produced more spores per capsule in the highland (ca. 150,000) than in lowland (ca. 40,000); longer sporophytic setae in the lowland (ca. 64 mm) than in the highland (ca. 43 mm); and similar sized spores in both areas (ca. 16 µm). Spores of N. undulata and P. spiniforme contained lipids and proteins in the cytoplasm, and acid/neutral lipids and pectins in the wall. Lipid bodies were larger in N. undulata than in P. spiniforme. No starch was recorded for spores. Pyrrhobryum spiniforme in the highland area, different from lowland, was characterized by low reproductive effort, but presented many spores per capsule.

Keywords : bryophytes; histochemistry; life histories; spore size; spore production; tropical rain forest.

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