Bryophytes:Economic Importance

Bryophytes are often known as Lilliputians among land plants. Since Prehistoric man used feather moss, they have demonstrated its economic worth. Some important uses are discussed below

1. Soil conservation
The Mosses prevent sheet erosion of soil. They develop a mat or carpet-like texture when they grow in thick stands. this thick moss carpet serves a two-fold function.

2. Soil formation
The Lichens and Mosses play a vital role in soil formation. The Mosses are involved in soil formation. On rock surface, the Ist community are lichens which are replaced by Mosses thus they need the power to assemble soil. To sum up, within the development of vegetation cover over rocky surfaces, the Mosses play an important role.

3. Rock Builders
Certain Mosses growing in association with other aquatic plants play a noteworthy role as rock building. these plants grow in shallow waters of lakes, streams, and come which contain an oversized amount of hydrogen carbonate.

4. Peat
Sphagnum often grows in acidic marshes where there’s little decay. Over thousands of years, the dead sections of Moss and other marshy plants are slowly carbonized, compacted, and fossilized, resulting in a dark spongy material known as peat.

It is compressed, dried, and moved from blocks. Peat is employed pretty much as good manure to beat soil alkalinity and it increases water retention similarly to aeration of the soil.

5. Water retention
Some bryophytes or Mosses can absorb water like Sphagnum which may retain or absorb 18-26 times water of its weight. This water retention capacity is utilized by gardeners to stay seedlings and cut plants moist during transportation and propagation. The Sphagnum was also referred to as cotton Moss to its ability to soak up water.

6. Medicinal uses
Marchantia polymorpha has been accustomed cure TB and afflictions of the liver. The leaves of Sphagnum were employed in the treatment of wounds and cuts. the employment of Sphangum for creating absorbent bandages within the treatment of boils.

7. Research purposes
The liverworts and Mosses have played a very important role as research tools in various phases of botany like genetics, experimental morphology, and physiology. The mechanism of sex determination in plants was discovered for the primary time in a very liverwort Sphaerocarpos.

8. Pollution Indicators
The air-dried Mosses particularly Sphagnum can absorb metals. The accumulation of heavy metal cations in mosses allows them to be employed as pollution indicators in the atmosphere and water, as well as in mineralogical surveys.

9. Antibiotic activities
Polytrichum and Sphagnum showed pronounced antibiotic activity. Barbula and Timella, are antibiotically active against 33 different bacterial species, including gram-negative, gram-positive, and acid-fast bacteria. During the last decade several unsaturated lipids, carboxylic acid esters, flavonoids, triterpenoids, phenolics, and other chemical substances are reported to be present within the bryophytes.

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