Monday, 24 June 2013

Fascinating research on the role of bryophytes in biogeochemical cycles and their role on climate!!

In this recent paper (Biogeosciences discussion: 10, 3735-3847, 2013) « Estimating global carbon uptake by lichens and bryophytes » P. Porada (Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena) and co authors present the first process-based model to estimate the Net Carbon uptake by bryophytes and lichens at a global scale, and consequently assessing their role in biogeochemical cycles.

Elbert et al (2012) in “Contribution of cryptogamic covers to the global cycles of carbon and nitrogen” (Nat Geosci, 5: 459-462) suggest that cryptogamic plants as lichens and bryophytes contribute largely to biogeochemical cycles, from field and lab experiments they estimate for global net Carbon uptake amounts to 7% of terrestrial net primary productivity (NPP), the derived value of nitrogen fixation corresponds to around 50 % of the terrestrial uptake, significant impact on the global nitrogen cycle.

Lenton et al. (2012) in their paper entitled “ First plants cooled the Ordovician” (Nat. Geosci, 5: 86-89) focus on the effects of the predecessors of modern bryophytes on atmospheric CO2 concentration during the Ordovician. They showed that these early non-vascular land plants could have caused a considerable drawdown in atmospheric CO2 levels via the silicate weathering feedback and consequently a decrease in global surface temperature. The release of phosphorus from the weathered rocks into the oceans could have led to rise in marine productivity and therefore to further cooling...

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