Bryophytes associated with termite mounds on the Northeastern Nigerian Highlands

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Department of Biological Sciences


Eighteen termite mounds on a stretch of undulating continuously grazed and burnt grasslands on the Mambilla Plateau, Eastern Nigeria, were surveyed for bryophytes. Bryophyte mats were present on all mounds investigated except one. The bryophyte mats were located at the base of the mounds, on a depression etched by raindrops and apparently serving to keep erosion at bay. We suggest that on grasslands with frequent fire episodes, the bryophyte mats may also play a role in fireproofing the mounds. In all, eight bryophytes species across five families were collected on the termite mounds. All species were new to the region but had been collected elsewhere from different substrates in Nigeria, except Fissidens ezukanmae Brugg.-Nann., which is a new species collected for the first time from termite mounds on Eastern Nigerian Highlands. Two species, Campylopus obrutus Thér. & P. de la Varde and Fissidens intramarginatus (Hampe) A.Jaeger, with estimated frequency of 24% each, were the most abundant species on the termite mounds.

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© Publications scientifiques du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.5252/cryptogamie-bryologie2019v40a5

Publication Title

Cryptogamie, Bryologie