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Microarthropods mediate sperm transfer in mosses

  • Nils Cronberg
  • Rayna Natcheva
  • Katarina Hedlund
Publishing year: 2006
Language: English
Pages: 1255-1255
Publication/Series: Science
Volume: 313
Issue: 5791
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: The American Association for the Advancement of Science

Abstract english

Among flowering plants, animals commonly act as pollinators. We showed that fertile moss shoots attract springtails and mites, which in turn carry moss sperm, thereby enhancing the fertilization process. Previously, fertilization of mosses was thought to depend on the capacity of individual sperm to swim through a continuous water layer. The role of microarthropods in moss fertilization resembles the role of animals as pollinators of flowering plants but may be evolutionarily much older because of the antiquity of the organism groups involved.


  • Ecology


  • Soil Ecology
  • ISSN: 1095-9203