Informations et ressources scientifiques
sur le développement des zones arides et semi-arides

Accueil du site → Brèves → Brèves 2016 → This desert moss has developed the ultimate water collection toolkit

This desert moss has developed the ultimate water collection toolkit

ScienceDaily (June 6, 2016)

This desert moss has developed the ultimate water collection toolkit

ScienceDaily (June 6, 2016)

Scientists and mechanical engineers teamed up to understand how a desert moss uses its leaves instead of roots to collect water from the atmosphere. The study reveals how the highly evolved plant has developed unique multi-scaled structures that help it take advantage of any available water resource. Finding water in the desert is a relatively easy task for a species of moss that seems to flourish in even the most arid regions. That’s according to a new study by a team of scientists and engineers who wanted to understand how Syntrichia caninervis succeeds despite its limited and inconsistent water supplies.
The findings show for the first time how the highly evolved bryophyte survives in extremely arid environments thanks in part to its specialized water collection and transportation toolkit.
The four-year-long study uncovers how the moss uses its leaves — not roots — to collect moisture. From molecules to raindrops, S. caninervis has developed specialized structures that take advantage of every available form of water. The findings were published in Nature Plants by researchers at Utah State University’s Splash Lab, Brigham Young University, and Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
The key to the plant’s success is its small leaf hair point, or awn. These 0.5-2 mm-long hair-like structures at the tip of each leaf function like a Swiss Army knife in their ability to collect water from a variety of size scales. Whether the plant gets buckets of rain or only the occasional passing fog, the awn of S. caninervis can exploit any available water resource using four specialized tools.

Story Source  : Utah State University

Pour en savoir plus (ScienceDaily)

Page publiée le 29 juillet 2016