By C. H. Dickinson
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Additional info for Biology of Plant Litter Decomposition. Volume 1
The faeces, fallen radula teeth and undigested lichen residues together form a deposit for the development of bacteria, blue-green algae and mosses. In most accounts of the life history of lichens, it is left to the imagination as to how they decompose and whether it be by autolysis, weathering or microbial activity. Among the few investigators of microbial agents is Novogrudskii (1949), who isolated cellulose decomposers from lichens in a variety of habitats. He recognized a zoonecral zone in which the algal gonidia are in various stages of dying-off with loss of cell contents, and beneath this an epinecral zone, consisting almost entirely of the dead cellulose membranes of gonidia.
Very few animals feed on mosses and liverworts, although moss cushions harbour a rich and characteristic fauna, including Protozoa (see Stout, Chapter 12), rotifers, nematodes, springtails, mites (see Harding and Stuttard, Chapter 15) and tardigrades (Kühnelt, 1961; Clymo, 1965; Nielsen, 1967). Smirnov (1958, 1961) examined the gut contents of a number of small invertebrates living amongst Sphagnum and concluded that micro-organisms were the main source of food, since significant quantities of the moss were found in only one Tipula species.
W. (1927). Soil Sei. 24, 119-128. PUGH, G. J. , BUCKLEY, N . G. and MULDER, J. (1972). Symp. Biol. Hung. 11, 329-333· REESE, E. , SIU, R. G. H . and LEVINSON, H . S. /. Bacteriol. 59, 485. REICHLE, D . (1971). In "Productivity of Forest Ecosystems" (P. ), pp. 465-477. Unesco, Paris. RODIN, L. E. and BAZILEVICH, N . I. (1967). " English edition. Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh. ROMMELL, L. G. (1935). " Cornell University Agric. Exp. Stn. Memoir, 170. RUINEN, J. (1961). PL Soil 15, 81-109. xliv INTRODUCTION SATCHELL, J.