World distribution of Minnesota mosses

Tables 1 and 2 define the phytogeographic affinities and world-distribution types assigned to the moss species occurring in Minnesota. The classification is based on Belland (1987) and Vitt & Belland (1997), and Dr. René Belland kindly sent me a database of species assignments used by him in his papers. I added assignments for about forty additional species based on the world distribution as described in Crum & Anderson (1989). For each moss species occurring in Minnesota the world-distribution code, defined in Table 2, is listed in the Dictionary after the 8-letter species acronym.

Table 1. Phytogeographic affinities defined.

affinity code

affinity name

affinity definition

ARC

Arctic

species found mainly in the arctic bioclimatic zone (Walter 1973)

BOR

Boreal

species found mainly in the boreal bioclimatic zone (Walter 1973)

TEM

Temperate

species found mainly in the temperate bioclimatic zone (Walter 1973)

MON

Montane

species generally restricted to mountains, extending into arctic regions only where mountains exists (Schofield 1969)

COS

Azonal

species that span 3 to 4 of the bioclimatic zones above (Walter 1973)

Table 2. World distributions defined, by Belland (1987)

code

world distribution

world-distribution definition

1

cosmopolitan

nearly continuous world distribution without zonal affinity

2a

circumboreal

nearly continuous world distribution of boreal affinity

2b

boreal disjunct

disjunct to one or more of the following three regions in the boreal bioclimatic zone: eastern Asia, Europe, or western North America

2c

boreal endemic

endemic to eastern North America within the boreal bioclimatic zone

3a

circumtemperate

nearly continuous world distribution of temperate affinity

3b

temperate disjunct

disjunct to one or more of the following three regions in the temperate bioclimatic zone: eastern Asia, Europe, or western North America

3c

temperate endemic

endemic to eastern North America within the temperate bioclimatic zone

4a

circummontane

nearly continuous world distribution of montane affinity

4b

montane disjunct

disjunct to one or more of the following three regions in the montane bioclimatic zone: eastern Asia, Europe, or western North America

4c

montane endemic

endemic to eastern North America within the montane bioclimatic zone

5

arctic-montane

nearly continuous world distribution at high latitudes and extending southward into mountains or coastal regions

The figure "The world distribution of the mosses of Minnesota" illustrates the world distribution of the entire moss flora of the State of Minnesota. More than half of the species have boreal affinity, the largest distribution type being the circumboreal species, then those disjunct to one or several major continental regions, and lastly, a very few restricted to eastern North America. Nearly a third of the species belong to the temperate element, with the disjunct distribution type the most common and the endemic eastern-North American type next. Very few species are circummontane (Bryum alpinum, Hygrohypnum alpestre, and Pohlia drummondii), a single one, Zygodon viridissimus var. rupestris, is montane disjunct, and 10 species are arctic-montane (Amblyodon dealbatus, Brachythecium turgidum, Cynodontium schisti, Cyrtomnium hymenophylloides, Hypnum hamulosum, H. vaucheri, Pseudo-calliergon turgescens, Racomitrium microcarpon, R. heterostichum, and Rhytidium rugosum). Several species (9.5 %) have no zonal affinity and are classified as cosmopolitan.

The world distribution of the mosses of Minnesota
Pie chart depicting the world distribution of the mosses of Minnesota

The figure "The world distribution of the mosses of Minnesota's biomes" illustrates the differentiation of the world-distribution pattern among the three major biomes of Minnesota. The Laurentian Mixed Forest area of Minnesota has a total of 316 of the 358 Minnesota species, the Eastern Broadleaf Forest 249 species, and the Prairie Parkland 118 species. In addition, the proportion of species with boreal affinity, in particular those with a disjunct distribution, decreases when moving from the mixed northern forest through the broadleaf forest to the prairie. The temperate and cosmopolitan elements increase proportionally. The montane species are absent in the broadleaf forest and prairie, and only a single arctic-montane species (Pseudo-calliergon turgescens) is found in the extreme-rich fens in the northern part of the prairie biome. These calcareous fens are very similar in habitat as some of the open coastal peatlands in which the species occurs in the rest of the continent (Miller 1980).

The world distribution of the mosses of Minnesota's biomes. The boundaries of the provinces of Minnesota's Ecological Classification System are plotted on the background map.
Map showing the world distribution of the mosses of Minnesota's biomes.