Overview

Brief Summary

Taxonomy

The tightly packed shoots of this species form light green tufts 2–6cm tall, usually with abundant capsules. The leaves are 3–5mm long with a smooth margin (entire). They are drawn out to a long, thin wavy tip (ovate-lanceolate). Upright, cylindrical capsules are borne on a long, thick seta up to 3 cm long, and have a conspicuously long, thickened neck. T. mnioides resembles Tetraplodon angustatus but can easily be distinguished as T. angustatus has
  • strongly toothed leaves
  • shorter setae - less than 5 mm long
Splachnum species have more shortly pointed leaves. Their capsules have different shapes and are borne on a more slender, often wavy, seta.
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Introduction

Tetraplodon mnioides belongs to a family of mosses called the Splachnaceae, or dung mosses. It is a dung loving species– coprophilous - like many other species in the family. It grows on dung, animal remains, and regurgitated pellets of birds of prey. The Splachnaceae are unique among seedless plants, because many species in the family - including T. mnioides - rely on insects rather than wind for spore dispersal. Like flowering plants that use insects to disperse pollen, these mosses display several adaptations to attract flies
  • they produce a tall, highly visible sporophyte which produces foul smelling compounds mimicking those of faeces or carrion
  • their spores are sticky and adhere to the visiting flies ‘hitching a lift’ to the next suitable substrate.
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Comprehensive Description

Biology

Reproduction
Tetraplodon mnioides produces both male and female sex organs - called antheridia and archegonia - on the same plant. It is known as autoicous.Capsules are common and its spores are mature and ready for dispersal in spring and summer.

Dispersal
Tetraplodon mnioides, together with other dung mosses, depends on flies to disperse its spores.When flies land on its capsules - attracted by odours that mimic those of dung and carrion - the sticky spores at the mouth of the capsule become attached to the flies and are carried off by them.
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Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Ecology

General Ecology

Distribution ecology

Distribution
Tetraplodon mnioides distribution is circumpolar, and stretches as far north as the northern-most forests of the Arctic (Boreoarctic Montane).It can be found
  • from Svalbard – an Arctic archipelago - south to Spain, Italy and central Europe
  • through Asia to the Russian Far East (Sakhalin), Japan, Borneo and New Guinea
  • also in N. America, Greenland, Colombia, Ecuador, southern S. America, Tanzania


Habitat
This moss lives on bones and dung.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Tetraplodon mnioides

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Tetraplodon mnioides

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G4 - Apparently Secure

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Conservation

Because of its chosen substrate - dung and bones - Tetraplodon can disappear from a known site after a few years. Tetraplodon mnioides is generally rare in lowland areas and has now almost disappeared from south-eastern England.It was recorded from Thursley Common in 1970, and Bagshot Heath in Surrey in 1975, and was last recorded from Hampshire at Yateley Heath in 1986. During the 1990s, there were no records of this moss from the area. But in 2001 one patch of T. mnioides was re-discovered on Thursley Common. Unfortunately, following a devastating fire in 2006, Tetraplodon mnioides has now disappeared once again from Thursley Common.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: (G4 by Oregon Heritage).

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