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NZ Plants

Mosses in extreme environments

Thermal areas

A few mosses thrive in the warm soil and water of thermal areas in New Zealand.

Campylopus pyri
(photo, J Beever)

Campylopus pallidus on heated ground, Craters of the Moon thermal area, Rotorua.- This moss is found world-wide and is common on old logs and rotting vegetation and on the soil. It is also found on the heated ground of geothermal areas in New Zealand and the Antarctic.  Formerly C. pyriformis.

See Find by Genus page for Campylopus species.  

(photo, I MacDonald)

Campylopus palliidus - Detail of stems.



The Antarctic

Some mosses are so hardy that they grow in the Dry Valleys region and on the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula where the daily temperatures in summer frequently range from -10°C to -30°C! 

(photo, S Alexander)

Taylor Valley, Commonwealth Glacier - Mosses in the foreground.

(photo, S Alexander)

Bryum subrotundifolium - Taylor Valley, surface view of moss cushion growing on sandy glacial soil 

(photo, S Alexander)

Bryum subrotundifolium - Stems continually grow to keep from being buried by shifting substrate