The Northern Hemisphere moss Tetraphis pellucida (Pellucid Four-tooth Moss - Pellucid Four-tooth Moss - Viertandmos) inhabits decaying wood, in particular coniferous wood. This moss forms rather short, upright tufts or loose, wide patches composed of slender, delicate, individual shoots. Moist patches are yellow-green, but they take on a slightly bluish-green metallic sheen when dry.
The sterile shoot tips often have gemmae cups formed from larger, crowded leaves, within which sit many disc-shaped gemmae. These can be seen in this picture.
In its forest habitats this species may produce abundant spores and gemmae. Decaying wood is a rather unstable and relatively short-lived substrate, with fragments liable to fall off at any time to expose new, bare wood. Tetraphis pellucida is a very successful exploiter of such a habitat, with reproduction predominantly vegetative in low density colonies of this moss, but sexual in high density colonies.
Image: Schilde (Be) - 11/03/2010
© Johan Dierckx
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