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Discover the Fascinating World of Dicranum Undulatum Schrad. Ex Brid.

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03-19-Dicranum_bergeri.jpg from: https://www.britishbryologicalsociety.org.uk/learning/species-finder/dicranum-undulatum/


203913.jpg from: https://inpn.mnhn.fr/espece/cd_nom/436308?lg=en


In the vast and captivating world of bryophytes, the Dicranum undulatum Schrad. ex Brid. moss stands out as a remarkable representative of the Dicranaceae family. Also known simply as Dicranum, this unassuming yet fascinating plant has captured the hearts of moss enthusiasts worldwide with its unique characteristics and ecological significance.


Before delving into the intricacies of this moss species, it’s essential to understand its taxonomic classification.


203915.jpg from: https://inpn.mnhn.fr/espece/cd_nom/436308

Dicranum undulatum belongs to the phylum Bryophyta, which encompasses all mosses, liverworts, and hornworts. Within this phylum, it is part of the class Bryopsida, the true mosses.

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Morphology and Identification

Dicranum undulatum is a acrocarpous moss, meaning its sporophytes (spore-bearing structures) grow at the tips of the stems. Its


medium.jpeg from: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/161873-Dicranum-undulatum

undulating leaves, which give the species its name, are a distinctive feature. These leaves are lanceolate in shape, with a wavy or crisped appearance along the margins. The leaf cells are elongated, and the costa (midrib) is


7-4-Dwarf-male-of-Dicranum-undulatum-Schrad-ex-Brid-scale-3-mm-5-Paraphyses-and.png from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/7-4-Dwarf-male-of-Dicranum-undulatum-Schrad-ex-Brid-scale-3-mm-5-Paraphyses-and_fig2_281128876


7-4-Dwarf-male-of-Dicranum-undulatum-Schrad-ex-Brid-scale-3-mm-5-Paraphyses-and_Q640.jpg from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/3-1-Female-plant-of-Dicranum-undulatum-Schrad-ex-Brid-2-Dwarf-males-of-Dicranoloma_fig1_281128876

prominent, extending nearly to the leaf apex.

Global Distribution and Habitat


Dicranum_undulatum_7973_3-1024×702.jpg from: https://qjure.com/remedy/dicranum-undulatum-6/

This moss species has a widespread distribution, occurring across various regions of the Northern Hemisphere, including Europe, Asia, and North America. It thrives in acidic environments, often found growing on rotting logs, stumps, and humus-rich soils in coniferous and mixed forests.

Ecological Roles and Adaptations

Dicranum undulatum plays a crucial role in forest ecosystems, contributing to nutrient cycling and soil formation. Its ability to colonize decaying wood and humus-rich substrates makes it a pioneer species, facilitating the establishment of other plants and creating microhabitats for various organisms.
One of the remarkable adaptations of this moss is its desiccation tolerance. During dry periods, its leaves curl inward, minimizing water loss and protecting the delicate internal structures. This resilience allows


8708603328_9a5a57a976_b.jpg from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/95549735@N08/8708603328/

Dicranum undulatum to thrive in environments with fluctuating moisture levels.

Case Studies/Examples

In a study conducted in the Białowieża Forest in Poland, researchers found that Dicranum undulatum was one of the most abundant moss species in the area, playing a vital role in the forest’s biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

Technical Table


largepreview.png from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/338387690_Status_and_ecology_of_the_boreal_moss_Dicranum_undulatum_Schrad_ex_Brid_at_its_last_location_in_southern_Britain

Characteristic Description
Phylum Bryophyta
Class Bryopsida
Family Dicranaceae
Genus Dicranum
Species undulatum
Growth Form Acrocarpous
Leaf Shape Lanceolate, undulating
Leaf Margin Wavy or crisped
Leaf Cells Elongated
Costa Prominent, extending nearly to leaf apex


The Dicranum undulatum Schrad. ex Brid. moss, with its undulating leaves and remarkable adaptations, serves as a testament to the resilience and beauty of bryophytes. As we continue to explore and appreciate the intricate world of mosses, let us ponder: What other wonders await discovery in the realm of these unassuming yet extraordinary plants?


Dicranum-spurium-3-800×533.jpg from: https://ohiomosslichen.org/moss-dicranum-spurium/

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