What are the economic importance of bryophytes?

GIVE THE ECOLOGICAL & ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE OF BRYOPHYTES such as mosses; liverworts and hornwort

Below  are some of the economic importance of bryophytes:

  • mosses are often used for  soil conditioning; they increase aeration and water holding capacity of the soil.
  • some mosses such as Tillandsia usenoides are indicators of atmospheric pollution.
  • some bryophytes indicate copper in soil e.g Mielichhoferia elongata, M. Mielichhoferi and Scopelophilia.
  • They are used to prevent soil erosion e.g Barbula spp and Bryum spp.
  • Anthocerus can fix nitrogen and can enrich  soil nutrients.
  • Sphagnum  moss is used for the preparation of absorbent  bandages and they also have good  antibiotic properties.
  • Marchantia polymorpha is used in the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis.
  • some species of Polytrichum have been used for the treatment  of kidney stones.
  • some mosses  like Leptodictium sp are used for Beautification of garden and  egg laying substrate in aquarium.
  • Polytrichum is used to treat fever by people of Canada, Vancouver islands and also chewed to speed up labour.
  • some species  such as Bryum and Polytrichum are consumed by vertebrates (birds) and  invertebrates (flies, moths)
  • nest of some birds like Turdus musicus (song thrush) is constructed primarily from moss.
  • plaited strands of Polytrichum spp are used to make rope.
  • They are used for decorative purpose in fish  tanks to provide oxygen and more natural appearance e.g vesicularia spp. 

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