Tortula desertorum (Gintzburger et al., 2003)

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Rheum turkestanicum
Gintzburger et al., Rangelands in Uzbekistan, 2003
Tortula desertorum (Gintzburger et al., 2003)
Ceratocephalus falcatus
Tortula desertorum

Tortula desertorum Broth.

Local name:

  • Russian: Тортула пустынная, дашт тортуласи - tortula pustynnaja, dašt tortulasi
  • Uzbek: Dasht Tortulasi

Chromosome number: 2n = 24 (Mamatkulov 1990).

Description and morphology: Small annual moss (height 2–4 cm), sporiferous, dioecious. Leaves: oblong, two-celled layers thick with long colourless hairs. Leaf cells strongly papillate. Stem: simple or branched.

Reproduction: Sporogenesis: April–June. Spores: glabrous (10–13 m in diameter).

Habitat: Psammophyte. Covers the soil with a crusty superficial black mat. Occurs on sand and often on sierozem, mostly on Artemisia rangeland. Also, frequently found on inter-dune flats of Calligonum-Haloxylon plant associations in sandy areas. Destroyed by trampling and overgrazing. When abundant, it is a good indication that the range is undergrazed.

Distribution: Middle and Central Asia (Pamir-Alai, Kopetdag and Tien Shan). Endemic of Central Asia, but extends to Syrian Artemisia steppe.