Effects of simulated shade on growth, number of branches and biomass in Hylocomium splendens and Racomitrium lanuginosum

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Annika K Jägerbrand
Heinjo J During

The effects of simulated shade in terms of reduced light quantity (PPFD) and changed red:far-red ratio (R:FR ratio) on the growth in length, in number of branches and in biomass, were examined in a greenhouse experiment with Hylocomium splendens and Racomitrium lanuginosum, two species from habitats with different light conditions (with H. splendens often in more shaded microsites). Using ten intact moss turfs per species which had been collected on Iceland at 4 m distance between replicate turfs, we tested, whether light quantity affected growth and biomass, whether changes in light quantity and red:far-red ratio affected the number of branches, and whether the two species differed in these responses. Reduced light quantity (i.e. PPFD level) caused a greater length increase, decreased biomass, and biomass:length ratio in both species, but the magnitude of response varied greatly between species. Furthermore, in R. lanuginosum spectral shade (i.e. reduced PPFD and a lower R:FR ratio) generally caused stronger responses than neutral shade, with only a reduction in PPFD. H. splendens (from the shaded habitat) responded less strongly to the shade treatments than R. lanuginosum (from the open habitat) did. In addition to these effects of shading, there were strong effects of the turf of origin in both species, and in many cases the interaction between turf of origin and shading treatment was significant as well. Copyright © Lindbergia 2006.

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