GIVE THE ECOLOGICAL & ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF BRYOPHYTES such as mosses; liverworts and hornwort
Below are some of the economic importance of bryophytes:
- mosses are often used for soil conditioning; they increase aeration and water holding capacity of the soil.
- some mosses such as Tillandsia usenoides are indicators of atmospheric pollution.
- some bryophytes indicate copper in soil e.g Mielichhoferia elongata, M. Mielichhoferi and Scopelophilia.
- They are used to prevent soil erosion e.g Barbula spp and Bryum spp.
- Anthocerus can fix nitrogen and can enrich soil nutrients.
- Sphagnum moss is used for the preparation of absorbent bandages and they also have good antibiotic properties.
- Marchantia polymorpha is used in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis.
- some species of Polytrichum have been used for the treatment of kidney stones.
- some mosses like Leptodictium sp are used for Beautification of garden and egg laying substrate in aquarium.
- Polytrichum is used to treat fever by people of Canada, Vancouver islands and also chewed to speed up labour.
- some species such as Bryum and Polytrichum are consumed by vertebrates (birds) and invertebrates (flies, moths)
- nest of some birds like Turdus musicus (song thrush) is constructed primarily from moss.
- plaited strands of Polytrichum spp are used to make rope.
- They are used for decorative purpose in fish tanks to provide oxygen and more natural appearance e.g vesicularia spp.