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Ascomycetes on bryophytes: systematics and biology

Host ranges

Many ascomycetes on mosses or hepatics have narrow host ranges. They may be specific to a certain host species or group of hosts. The following list details just a few examples: Bryocentria brongniartii and Calonectria frullaniae are only known on Frullania dilatata, Epibryon deceptor and Ticonectria perianthii on Radula flaccida, E. metzgeriae on Metzgeria pubescens, Lizonia sexangularis on Polytrichastrum sexangulare, E. turfosorum on Sphagnum sp. div., Dactylospora heimerlii on many foliose hepatics, the ubiquitous Bryochtion perpusillus on 21 species of Polytrichaceae, and Acrospermum adeanum on a variety of pleurocarpous mosses. The parasites of the common Frullania dilatata and those of the sympatric F. tamarisci (belonging to a different subgenus) scarcely overlap. Polytrichadelphus magellanicus in southern South America, P. innovans in Australasia (formerly included in P. magellanicus), and P. aristatus in the northern Andes have quite different fungal parasites. Bryophyte species that grow together or even intermingle merit special attention. They constitute natural infection experiments by which host specificity often can be demonstrated easily and conclusively.