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Pleurozium schreberi


Table of Contents

Schreber's big red stem moss. Wikimedia image By HermannSchachner.

 


INTRODUCTORY


Introductory

SPECIES: Pleurozium schreberi
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Tesky, Julie L. 1992. Pleurozium schreberi. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: https://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/bryophyte/plesch/all.html []. Revisions: On 2 March 2018, the common name of this species was changed in FEIS from: Schreber's moss to: Schreber's big red stem moss. Images were also added.
ABBREVIATION : PLESCH SYNONYMS : Calliergonella schreberi (Brid.) Grout NRCS PLANT CODE : PLSC70 COMMON NAMES : Schreber's big red stem moss feather moss red-stemmed feather moss Schreber's moss TAXONOMY : The scientific name for Schreber's big red stem moss is Pleurozium schreberi (Brid.) Mitt., J. Linn. [16,24,37]. LIFE FORM : Bryophyte FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Pleurozium schreberi
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Schreber's big red stem moss is a widespread and common moss ranging from Greenland to Alaska south (principally in uplands) to North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, South Dakota, Colorado and west to Washington, California and Oregon.  It also is found in South America, Europe, and Asia [16,35]. It occurs in the Cordilleran Ranges and southward to Costa Rica, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and Patagonia [35].  Schreber's big red stem moss is new to Mexico, where it has been found on the Cofre de Perote Volcano [18].
Distribution of Schreber's big red stem moss. Map from Flora of North America: Map courtesy of the Flora of North America Association [38] [210, March 23].

ECOSYSTEMS : 
   FRES10  White - red - jack pine
   FRES11  Spruce - fir
   FRES18  Maple - beech - birch
   FRES19  Aspen - birch
   FRES20  Douglas-fir
   FRES22  Western white pine
   FRES23  Fir - spruce
   FRES24  Hemlock - Sitka spruce
   FRES25  Larch
   FRES26  Lodgepole pine
   FRES44  Alpine


STATES : 
     AL  AK  AZ  AR  CA  CO  CT  DE  ID  IL
     IN  IA  KY  ME  MD  MA  MI  MN  MT  NH
     NJ  NY  NC  ND  OH  OR  PA  RI  SD  TN
     UT  VT  VA  WA  WV  WI  WY  AB  BC  MB
     NB  NF  NT  NS  ON  PE  PQ  SK  YT  MEXICO



BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : 
    1  Northern Pacific Border
    2  Cascade Mountains
    3  Southern Pacific Border
    4  Sierra Mountains
    5  Columbia Plateau
    6  Upper Basin and Range
    8  Northern Rocky Mountains
    9  Middle Rocky Mountains
   11  Southern Rocky Mountains
   12  Colorado Plateau
   13  Rocky Mountain Piedmont
   15  Black Hills Uplift
   16  Upper Missouri Basin and Broken Lands


KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS : 
   K001  Spruce - cedar - hemlock forest
   K002  Cedar - hemlock - Douglas-fir forest
   K003  Silver fir - Douglas-fir forest
   K004  Fir - hemlock forest
   K005  Mixed conifer forest
   K008  Lodgepole pine - subalpine forest
   K013  Cedar - hemlock - pine forest
   K014  Grand fir - Douglas-fir forest
   K015  Western spruce - fir forest
   K020  Spruce - fir - Douglas-fir forest
   K021  Southwestern spruce - fir forest
   K093  Great Lakes spruce - fir forest
   K094  Conifer bog
   K095  Great Lakes pine forest
   K096  Northeastern spruce - fir forest
   K097  Southeastern spruce - fir forest
   K107  Northern hardwoods - fir forest
   K108  Northern hardwoods - spruce forest


SAF COVER TYPES : 
     1  Jack pine
     5  Balsam fir
    12  Black spruce
    13  Black spruce - tamarack
    18  Paper birch
    30  Red spruce - yellow birch
    31  Red spruce - sugar maple - beech
    32  Red spruce
    33  Red spruce - balsam fir
    34  Red spruce - Fraser fir
    35  Paper birch - red spruce - balsam fir
    37  Northern white-cedar
    38  Tamarack
   107  White spruce
   201  White spruce
   202  White spruce - paper birch
   204  Black spruce
   205  Mountain hemlock
   206  Engelmann spruce - subalpine fir
   225  Western hemlock - Sitka spruce
   226  Coastal true fir - hemlock
   251  White spruce - aspen
   253  Black spruce - white spruce
   254  Black spruce -  paper birch
   256  California mixed subalpine


SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : 
NO-ENTRY


HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : 
Schreber's big red stem moss typically occurs as a dominant or codominant ground
cover in stands dominated by white spruce (Picea glauca) or black
spruce (P. mariana).  The black spruce-Schreber's big red stem moss forest community
described by Foster [13] is the most widespread vegetation type in
southern Labrador and occupies a wide range of sites from poorly drained
outwash plains to convex slopes and hill crests.  In the black spruce/
bog blueberry (Vaccinium uliginosum)-bog Labrador tea (Ledum
groenlandicum)/Schreber's big red stem moss community type described by Foote [12],
Schreber's big red stem moss commonly covers about half of the forest floor.
Published classification schemes identifying Schreber's big red stem moss as a
ground cover dominant or codominant are as follows:

Some forest types of central Newfoundland and their relation to
  environmental factors [7].
Forest community types of west-central Alberta in relation to selected
  environmental factors [6].
Classification, description, and dynamics of plant communities after
  fire in the taiga of interior Alaska [12].
A review of forest site classification activities in Newfoundland and
  Labrador [25].
Preliminary classification of forest vegetation of the Kenai Peninsula,
  Alaska [28].
Vegetation types and environmental factors associated with foothills gas
  pipeline route, Yukon Territory [30].
Flood-plain succession and vegetation classification in interior Alaska [33].

MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES: Pleurozium schreberi
IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : NO-ENTRY PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : OTHER USES AND VALUES : In the past, Schreber's big red stem moss was collected and used to block chinks in the walls of homes in Scandinavia.  It is still used for chinking log homes in Russia.  It was also used for lining fruit and vegetable storage boxes [29]. Schreber's big red stem moss is used as an indicator of heavy metal deposition [11,29].  It is often used in locating pollution sources and determining levels of pollution of heavy metals in the environment.  It absorbs metals over its entire surface and is little influenced by variations in substrate mineralization.  Close to the source, this moss accumulates high levels of metals [29]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Schreber's big red stem moss is known to efficiently intercept nutrients contained in precipitation and throughfall.  It therefore can prevent rapid leaching of nutrients to lower horizons of the soil.  In view of its storage capacity, the moss carpet can act as a reservoir in which a large proportion of the potentially available nutrients found in the ecosystem is sequestered.  However, it has also been recognized that mechanisms may exist for the transfer of nutrients from the moss carpet to the trees.  Mycorrhizal roots of some trees grow in close association with mosses such as Schreber's big red stem moss.  Phosphate (32P) and carbon (14C) applied to Schreber's big red stem moss shoots were absorbed by mycorrhizal mycelia and transferred to infected lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) roots and then to their shoots [4]. In 100-year-old stands of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), artificial acid rain with a pH of 2.5 to 3.0 caused severe damage to Schreber's big red stem moss [27].

BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Pleurozium schreberi
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Schreber's big red stem moss is a perennial, relatively large, robust moss with a weave growth form.  It is usually prostrate or partly erect, freely branched, and grows in mats rather than tufts [24].  The stems are 2.4 to 4.5 inches (6-15 cm) long, and the leaves loosely imbricate [16]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM : NO-ENTRY REGENERATION PROCESSES : Sexual reproduction:  Schreber's big red stem moss is a dioecious, pleurocarpous (producing the sporophytes laterally from short, lateral, specialized branches rather that at the stem tip) moss.  The spores are shed 9 to 12 months after fertilization [24].  The period of gametangial (structure containing the gametes) development in Schreber's big red stem moss is approximately 7 months for archegonia (female gametophyte) and 9 months for antheridia (male gametophtye).  The timing of gametangial development in spring may be influenced by the duration or severity of the winter [24].

Schreber's big red stem moss capsules (A) and spores (B). Wikimedia images By HermannSchachner.


Figure courtesy of Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.

Vegetative reproduction:  Schreber's big red stem moss reproduces vegetatively by
branching laterally.  The main stems of this moss are perennial and
appear to be capable of indefinite growth.  There is a growth resting
phase in the winter [24].


SITE CHARACTERISTICS : 
Schreber's big red stem moss often occurs in closed to semi-open coniferous forests
predominantly in boreal and cool temperate climates.  It also occurs in
damp woods, swamps, or margins of bogs.  Although Schreber's big red stem moss is
most abundant in old, closed, mesic stands, it is also found in dry,
nutrient-poor, open, black spruce-lichen stands in suitable areas at the
base of birch (Betula spp.) and black spruce [19,21,35].  In Alabama,
Schreber's big red stem moss is found growing abundantly on a large soil island over
granite beneath Georgia oak (Quercus georgiana) [35].

Soils:  Schreber's big red stem moss occurs on humus and exposed mineral soil and
coarse fragments or rocks [21].  It is often abundant on nitrogen-poor,
acidic soils throughout much of its range and is sometimes used as an
indicator of acidic soils [24,35].  The pH at one Schreber moss site is
5.7 [35].  Soil textures range from course to fine sand, loam, or
clay-loam [17].  It normally does not grow on calcareous soils [2].

Plant associates:  Schreber's big red stem moss is often associated with the
following species:  mountain fern moss (Hylocomium splendens), salal
(Gaultheria shallon), big huckleberry (Vaccinium membranaceum),
pachistima (Pachistima myrsinites), queencup beadlily (Clintonia
uniflora), ptilium (Ptilium crista-castrensis), Labrador-tea, mountain
cranberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea minus), bog blueberry, black crowberry
(Empetrum nigra), and peat mosses (Sphagnum spp.) [12,21].


SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : 
Obligate Climax Species

Schreber's big red stem moss is very shade tolerant and typically occurs in stable
late stages of succession.  After the canopy closes, Schreber's big red stem moss
will generally form a continuous carpet on the forest floor [5].  Given
a shady, humid, high-nutrient environment as is found on the cool, basal
slopes of black spruce-white spruce-feather moss stands, Schreber's big red stem moss
is a very effective competitor against other species.  It can quickly
spread over and eliminate other ground cover such as lichens [19].


SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : 
The beginning of blooming in mosses occurs when one or two archegonia
open.  In North America, Schreber's big red stem moss blooms in August and September
[24].  The gametangial develop in spring of the following year.  In
Germany, fertilization generally occurs in May, while in Sweden it is
delayed until July.  The spores are shed throughout the year following
fertilization.  The dates given for capsule dehiscence in three
countries are as follows [24]:

        Sweden: May
        Holland: February to May
        Germany: February to March or March to April

Capsules may persist on stems for at least twelve months after dehiscing
[24].

FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES: Pleurozium schreberi
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Schreber's big red stem moss is not well adapted to fire.  It typically occurs in wet stands of white or black spruce that have a fire regime of 200 to 400 years [34].  When they do burn, the moss/lichen layer provide the major source of fuels.  These fuels take only minutes to reach equilibrium moisture content when the relative humidity changes; therefore, they are very flammable [36]. FIRE REGIMES: Find fire regime information for the plant communities in which this species may occur by entering the species name in the FEIS home page under "Find Fire Regimes". POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY : NO-ENTRY

FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES: Pleurozium schreberi
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Schreber's big red stem moss is generally killed by fire because it often lacks connection with the substrate [31,32].  Some moss species can survive on burned sites as fragments in the soil [1]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Schreber's big red stem moss recovery after fire is very slow [32,34].  It is not until favorable edaphic conditions and a closed or nearly closed canopy is established that Schreber's big red stem moss can spread and form a continuous moss cover.  It therefore often takes several decades before Schreber's big red stem moss will recover to prefire densities [32]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE : Twenty-four years after a fire in a northern Swedish forest, Schreber's big red stem moss was still very rare in the severely burned areas [32].  The percent cover values of Schreber's big red stem moss in a jack pine (Pinus banksiana)-black spruce forest in northeastern Minnesota at different intervals after fire were as follows [1]:
Years after fire 1-4 5 10 15 20 30 50 80
Cover (%) 0 1 2 3 3 3 9 5
For information on prescribed fire and postfire response of many plant 
species, including common liverwort, see Hamilton's Research Papers  
(Hamilton 2006a, Hamilton 2006b) and this Research Project Summary:

FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : 
NO-ENTRY

References for species: Pleurozium schreberi


1. Ahlgren, C. E. 1974. Effects of fire on temperate forests: north central United States. In: Kozlowski, T. T.; Ahlgren, C. E., eds. Fire and ecosystems. New York: Academic Press: 195-223. [7198]
2. Bates, Jeffrey W.; Farmer, Andrew M., eds. 1992. Bryophytes and lichens in a changing environment. New York: Oxford University Press. 352 p. [28342]
3. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434]
4. Carleton, T. J.; Read, D. J. 1991. Ectomycorrhizas and nutrient transfer in conifer - feather moss ecosystems. Canadian Journal of Botany. 69: 778-785. [14956]
5. Carleton, T. J.; Wannamaker, Brenda A. 1987. Mortality and self-thinning in postfire black spruce. Annals of Botany. 59: 621-628. [7879]
6. Corns, I. G. W. 1983. Forest community types of west-central Alberta in relation to selected environmental factors. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 13: 995-1010. [691]
7. Damman, A. W. H. 1964. Some forest types of central Newfoundland and their relation to environmental factors. Forest Science Monograph 8. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 62 p. [14281]
8. De Grandpre, Louis; Gagnon, Daniel; Bergeron, Yves. 1993. Changes in the understory of Canadian southern boreal forest after fire. Journal of Vegetation Science. 4: 803-810. [23019]
9. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905]
10. Fleming, R. L.; Mossa, D. S. 1994. Direct seeding of black spruce in northwestern Ontario: seedbed relationships. Forestry Chronicle. 70(2): 151-158. [23576]
11. Folkeson, Lennart. 1981. Heavy-metal accumulation in the moss Pleurozium schreberi in the surroundings of two peat-fired plants in Finland. Ann. Bot. Fennici. 18: 245-253. [19525]
12. Foote, M. Joan. 1983. Classification, description, and dynamics of plant communities after fire in the taiga of interior Alaska. Res. Pap. PNW-307. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 108 p. [7080]
13. Foster, David R. 1985. Vegetation development following fire in Picea mariana (black spruce) - Pleurozium forests of south-eastern Labrador, Canada. Journal of Ecology. 73: 517-534. [7222]
14. Foster, N. W.; Morrison, I. K. 1976. Distribution and cycling of nutrients in a natural Pinus banksiana ecosystem. Ecology. 57: 110-120. [8515]
15. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998]
16. Ireland, R. R. 1982. Moss flora of the Maritime Provinces. Publications in Botany No. 13. [Ottawa, ON]: National Museum of Natural Sciences. 738 p. [18662]
17. Jameson, J. S. 1961. Observations on factors influencing jack pine reproduction in Saskatchewan. Technical Note No. 97. Ottawa: Department of Forestry, Forest Research Division. 24 p. [7284]
18. Jeglum, J. K. 1975. Classification of swamp for forestry problems. In: Fraser, J. W.; Jeglum, J. K.; Ketcheson, D. E.; [and others], technical coordinators. Black pruce symposium: Proceedings of a symposium; 1975 September 23-25; Thunder Bay, ON. Symposium Proceedings 0-P-4. Sault Ste. Marie, ON: Department of the Environment, Canadian Forestry Service, Great Lakes Forest Research Centre: 227-241. [8837]
19. Johnson, E. A. 1981. Vegetation organization and dynamics of lichen woodland communities in the Northwest Territories, Canada. Ecology. 62(1): 200-215. [19244]
20. Jonsson, Bengt Gunnar; Esseen, Per-Anders. 1990. Treefall disturbance maintains high bryophyte diversity in a boreal spruce forest. Journal of Ecology. 78: 924-936. [14217]
21. Klinka, K.; Krajina, V. J.; Ceska, A.; Scagel, A. M. 1989. Indicator plants of coastal British Columbia. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press. 288 p. [10703]
22. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384]
23. Lesquereux, Leo; James, Thomas P. 1884. Manual of the mosses of North America. Boston, MA: S.E. Cassino & Co. 447 p. [18656]
24. Longton, R. E.; Greene, S. W. 1969. The growth and reproductive cycle of Pleurozium scriberi (Brid.) Mitt. Annals of Botany. 33: 83-105. [28340]
25. Meades, W. J.; Roberts, B. A. 1992. A review of forest site classification activities in Newfoundland and Labrador. Forestry Chronicle. 68(1): 25-33. [19262]
26. Norum, Rodney A. 1983. Wind adjustment factors for predicting fire behavior in three fuel types in Alaska. Res. Pap. PNW-309. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 5 p. [14618]
27. Oswald, E. T.; Brown, B. N. 1990. Vegetation establishment during 5 years following wildfire in northern British Columbia and southern Yukon Territory. Information Report BC-X-320. Victoria, BC: Forestry Canada, Pacific and Yukon Region, Pacific Forestry Centre. 46 p. [16934]
28. Reynolds, Keith M. 1990. Preliminary classification of forest vegetation of the Kenai Penninsula, Alaska. Res. Pap. PNW-RP-424. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 67 p. [14581]
29. Richardson, D. H. 1981. The biology of mosses. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications. 220 p. [18658]
30. Stanek, Walter. 1980. Vegetation types and environmental factors associated with Foothills Gas Pipeline route, Yukon Territory. BC-X-205. Victoria, BC: Environment Canada, Canadian Forestry Service, Pacific Forest Research Centre. 48 p. [16527]
31. Uemura, Shigeru; Tsuda, Satoshi; Hasegawa, Sakae. 1990. Effects of fire on the vegetation of Siberian taiga predominated by Larix dahurica. Canadian Journal of Forestry Research. 20: 547-553. [11808]
32. Uggla, Evald. 1959. Ecological effects of fire on north Swedish forests. Stockholm, Sweden: Almqvist and Wiksells. 18 p. [9911]
33. Viereck, Leslie A. 1989. Flood-plain succession and vegetation classification in interior Alaska. In: Ferguson, Dennis E.; Morgan, Penelope; Johnson, Frederic D., compilers. Proceedings--land classifications based on vegetation: applications for resource management; 1987 November 17-19; Moscow, ID. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-257. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 197-203. [6959]
34. Viereck, Leslie A.; Schandelmeier, Linda A. 1980. Effects of fire in Alaska and adjacent Canada--a literature review. BLM-Alaska Tech. Rep. 6. Anchorage, AK: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Mangement, Alaska State Office. 124 p. [7075]
35. Wyatt, Robert; Stoneburner, Ann. 1982. Range extensions for some cryptograms from granite outcrops in Alabama. The Bryologist. 85(4): 405-409. [28366]
36. Norum, Rodney A. 1982. Predicting wildfire behavior in black spruce forests in Alaska. Res. Note PNW-401. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Fire, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 10 p. [10463]
37. Crum, Howard A.; Anderson, Lewis E. 1981. Mosses of eastern North America. Vol. 2. New York: Columbia University Press. 1328 p. [28341]
38. Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 2018. Flora of North America north of Mexico, [Online]. Flora of North America Association (Producer). Available: http://www.efloras.org/flora_page.aspx?flora_id=1. [36990]

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