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The low elevation Mojave Desert cryptobiotic crust is dominated by the moss Syntrichia caninervis. In 16 populations of this moss, stem height and population were ificantly associated with sex expression, with longer stems expressing sex more frequently and producing more perichaetia.

The above-ground age of stems ranged up to 10 years, with a mean growth rate across populations of 0. The overall stem sex ratio, as a proportion of the total of stems, was 0.

The probability of expressing sex in a given season was 0. The absence of sexual reproduction no sporophytes and likely absence of the male sex from the area indicate that the non-expressing plants are female individuals. The slow growth rates, low rates of sex expression, absence of male plants, and absence of sexual reproduction in this crustal species may help explain why re-establishment of mosses on desert soils can take decades.

View PDF. Access through your institution Purchase PDF. Author links open overlay panel Lloyd R. Stark a Brent D. Mishler b D. Nicholas McLetchie c. Add to Mendeley Share. Abstract The low elevation Mojave Desert cryptobiotic crust is dominated by the moss Syntrichia caninervis.

Keywords cryptobiotic soil crusts. Recommended articles Citing articles 0. Leviton, A. All rights reserved.