Mosses, liverworts, and hornworts : status survey and conservation action plan for bryophytes

Bryophytes are of great importance in their ecosystems and for human well-being. They stabilise soil crust through colonisation of bare grounds and rocks; they are essential in nutrient recycling, biomass production, and carbon fixing; they control water through an effective retention mechanism; and they have economic value as peat for fuel, horticulture, oil absorption, and as sources of a wide variety of chemical compounds. Bryophytes have long been used for medicinal purposes and provide a food-source for reindeer, geese, ducks, sheep, musk-ox, lemmings, and other rodents. Threats include deforestation, cultivation of forests, reclamation of land, urbanisation, roads, dam-building, mining, drainage of wetlands and over-grazing. This plan reviews the situation world-wide and proposes a variety of initiatives. It is aimed at those who work with and care about nature conservation, including governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as politicians and the general interested public.