Original paper

Life strategies in bryophytes - a prime example for the evolution of functional types

Kürschner, Harald; Frey, Wolfgang


The review presents on overview of the current state of knowledge of life strategies and plant functional types in bryophytes, with a focus on vegetation types (bryosociological communities) and common adaptive trends. The first part introduces in key stone characters and the concept used in the integraded system of bryophyte life strategies, followed by a description of the seven main categories distinguished at present (e.g., annual shuttle species, colonists, fugitives, geophytes, perennial shuttle species, perennial stayers, short-lived shuttle species). An analysis of more than 140 bryophyte communities and c. 1,300 taxa of the temperate and tropical regions of the world reflect the response of these functional types towards environmental demands and allow to outline adaptive trends for corticolous, saxicolous and terrestrial bryophytes.


adaptive trendsbryophytacorticolous bryophytesdispersallife formslife strategiesmarchantiophytaplant functional typesreproductionsaxicolous bryophytesterrestrial bryophytes