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The Tubular Moss: Unveiling the Fascinating Anastrophyllum tubulosum

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figure-fig1_Q640.jpg from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Figura-8-Anastrophyllum-tubulosum-Nees-Grolle-a-Habito-de-la-planta-en-la-cara_fig7_322162646

Anastrophyllum tubulosum: The Tubular Moss of the Anastrophyllaceae Family


Anastrophyllum tubulosum (Nees) Grolle, commonly known as Anastrophyllum, is a fascinating species of moss belonging to the Anastrophyllaceae


saxicola-1.jpg from: https://ftp.funet.fi/index/Tree_of_life/plants/bryophyta/hepaticopsida/jungermanniales/jungermanniaceae/anastrophyllum/

family. This tiny but mighty plant plays important ecological roles and has some unique adaptations. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the morphology, distribution, habitat, and ecology of this tubular moss.


Anastrophyllum tubulosum is classified under the division


3-Chonocolea-doellingeri-Nees-Grolle-1-Mature-plant-aspect-2-Perianth-and.png from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/3-Chonocolea-doellingeri-Nees-Grolle-1-Mature-plant-aspect-2-Perianth-and_fig1_283490741

Marchantiophyta and class Jungermanniopsida. The specific epithet “tubulosum


Acrolejeunea-arcuata-Nees-Grolle-Gradst-A-Part-of-plant-E-Leaf-L-Gynoecium-and.png from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Acrolejeunea-arcuata-Nees-Grolle-Gradst-A-Part-of-plant-E-Leaf-L-Gynoecium-and_fig39_357780316

” refers to the tubular shape of its leaves. Mosses like A. tubulosum are non-vascular plants that lack true roots, stems, and leaves, but still manage to thrive in a variety of habitats.

Morphology and Identification

A. tubulosum forms small tufts or mats. Its shoots are usually less than 1 cm long. The leaves are tubular in shape and tightly appressed to the stem, giving the plant a worm-like appearance. Leaves are transversely inserted and bilobed. Oil bodies are lacking. Underleaves are absent. The plant is dioicous


normal_isoraippasammal2.jpg from: https://www.vastavalo.net/sphenolobus-anastrophyllum-isoraippasammal-696382.html

, meaning male and female reproductive structures are on separate individuals.


F13247 from: https://artsdatabanken.no/Pages/197636

Global Distribution and Habitat


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This moss has a wide distribution, being found in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. It grows on shaded rocks, cliffs, and soil banks in humid forests and ravines from lowland to montane elevations. A. tubulosum prefers acidic substrates.

Ecological Roles and Adaptations

Like other mosses, A. tubulosum plays important roles in its ecosystem:

The tubular leaves of A. tubulosum help conserve moisture in dry conditions. This moss can also survive long periods of desiccation, reviving quickly when moisture returns.


Morphology-of-Galeoglossum-apices-of-all-structures-on-top-A-Plants-of-Galeoglossum.png from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Morphology-of-Galeoglossum-apices-of-all-structures-on-top-A-Plants-of-Galeoglossum_fig2_266370289


Figura-5-Anastrophyllum-piligerum-Reinw-Blume-Nees-Steph-a-Corte-transversal-del.png from: https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Figura-5-Anastrophyllum-piligerum-Reinw-Blume-Nees-Steph-a-Corte-transversal-del_fig4_322162646


Anastrophyllum tubulosum may be small, but it is a remarkable and important member of its ecosystem. Its unique tubular leaves and adaptations allow it to thrive in its niche. Next time you’re in the woods, take a closer look – maybe you’ll spot this intriguing moss! What other tiny wonders are waiting to be discovered?

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