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Published In: Species Muscorum Frondosorum 89. pl. 18: f. 6–10. 1801. (Sp. Musc. Frond.) Name publication detail
 

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 9/29/2009)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 5/2/2013)
country distribution: Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, NW Argentina
EcoRegions: Páramo, Puna, Montane Forest
elevation: 500-1000, 1000-1500, 1500-2000, 2000-2500, 2500-3000, 3000-3500, 3500-4000, 4000-4500, 4500-5000
substrate: soil, rocks
frequency: common

Notes     (Last Modified On 5/2/2013)
Notes:
Ecology: Throughout the open montane, páramo and puna; exposed sites, on soil and rocks, common in disturbed areas. Elevation: 540-4980 m (Venezuela: 1000-4500 m, Colombia: 950-4680 m, Ecuador: 800-4600 m, Peru: 1150-4700 m, Bolivia: 1230-4980 m, Argentina: 540-2900 m). Distribution: Widespread.
 
Plants vary considerable in stature, from 1 cm to 15 cm tall, short plants are often associated with wind swept, exposed localities in the páramo and puna. This species is treated broadly here; it seems possible that there are elements within what is called Polytrichum juniperinum in South America that could be recognized at some level (cf. Walther, 1934) but this needs a critical reappraisal. It seems rather amazing the Carl Müller only described five species belonging to P. juniperinum. A good number of collections approach the form called var. affine (Funck) Brid., e.g. Ramírez P. 2326 (NY, PSO) in which the stems are rather densely covered by whitish rhizoids, however numerous other collections, often mixed, contain plants that are both partially covered by whitish rhizoids and others naked. Some authors refer to this species as “weedy” with some distain, however in the tropical Andes I prefer to think of this species as one of the great conservation plants, aiding in the stabilization of exposed mountain slopes due to natural causes such as landslides or human caused disturbances such as cut banks along roads and trails.
 
Ecología: En toda la región montana, páramo y puna; en sitios expuestos, sobre suelo y rocas, común áreas perturbadas. Elevación: 540-4980 m (Venezuela: 1000-4500 m, Colombia: 950-4680 m, Ecuador: 800-4600 m, Perú: 1150-4700 m, Bolivia: 1230-4980 m, Argentina: 540-2900 m). Distribución: Ampliamente distribuida.
 
Esta especie es tratada ampliamente aquí; parece ser posible que haya elementos dentro del llamado Polytrichum juniperinum en Sudamérica que puedan ser reconocidos al mismo nivel (cf. Walther, 1934) pero esto necesita una revalorización critica. Algunas colecciones se aproximan a la forma llamada var. affine (Funck) Brid., e.g. Ramírez P. 2326 (NY, PSO) en que los tallos están algo densamente cubiertos por rizoides blanquecinos, sin embargo otras numerosas colecciones, generalmente mezcladas, contienen plantas que están parcialmente cubiertas por rizoides blanquecinos y otras desnudas.

 

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Polytrichum juniperinum Hedw., Sp. Musc. Frond. 89. 1801. Type: Europe.

Polytrichum aristiflorum Mitt., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 12: 620. 1869. Syntypes: numerous collections cited from the Andes and southeast Brazil. Most collections at NY, and with few exceptions also at the BM.

Polytrichum equisetiforme Müll. Hal., Linnaea 38: 579. 1874. Type: Colombia. Antioquia, Paramo de Sonson, 10,000 pedes, 1872, Wallis s.n. (herb.?). Fide Messmer and Frye (1947: 260).

Polytrichum rhynchomitrium Müll. Hal., Linnaea 38: 577. 1874. Type: Colombia. Antioquia, Paramo de Sonson, 10-12,000 pedes, 1872, Wallis s.n. (BM, NY). Fide Messmer and Frye (1947: 260).

Polytrichum thysanomitrium Müll. Hal., Linnaea 38: 578. 1874. Type: Colombia. Antioquia, Paramo de Sonson, 10-12,000 pedes, 1872, Wallis s.n. (BM). Fide Messmer and Frye (1947: 260).

Polytrichum cuspidigerum Schimp. ex E. Britton, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 23: 490. 1896. Type: Bolivia. Unduavi, 4000 ft., 1885, Rusby 3155.

Polytrichum angusticaule Müll. Hal. ex E. Britton, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 23: 491. 1896. Type: Bolivia. Near Yungas, 18000 ft., October 1885, Rusby 3156c.

Polytrichum tumescens Müll. Hal., Hedwigia 36: 91. 1897. Polytrichum juniperinum var. tumescens (Müll. Hal.) Herzog, Biblioth. Bot. 87: 104. 1916. Type: ?

 

 


 

 
 
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