Recent Advances in Botanical Science

Bryophytes as Indicators of Human Disturbances in Tropical Rain Forests

Author(s): A.E. Dulip Daniels

Pp: 95-102 (8)

DOI: 10.2174/9789811433788120010012

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Bryophytes, the most primitive group of land plants, though elusive, are useful to humans in a number of ways. They are elusive due to their preference to grow in micro-habitats with high humidity. Regarding their uses, tribal people in North America and China, use bryophytes in their traditional medicines. Many have antimicrobial and anticancer properties as well. Some mosses are used as effective filtering and absorption agents in the treatment of waste water and effluents containing heavy metals and organic substances. They are widely used as indicators of heavy metals in air pollution and are also remarkable indicators of radioactive pollution. Bryophytes assist in geobotanical prospecting as ecological indicators in botanical surveys. They are generally poikilohydric, losing water rapidly with rising temperature and hence when forests are cleared or disturbed due to selective felling, these moisture and shade-loving plants perish. Therefore, bryophytes serve as good indicators of human disturbances in forests.

Keywords: Bryophytes, Indicators, Poikilohydric, Rainforests, Shade-loving.

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