Bryophytes play an important role in providing global ecosystem services such as carbon storage and primary production, but their response to recent climate warming is still largely unknown. In a study conducted in Switzerland, permanent observation plots were analysed over a 20-year period along an altitudinal gradient to compare the thermophilisation of moss and vascular plant communities. The study found that moss communities had a thermophilisation rate 2.1 times higher than vascular plant communities, and that their responsiveness to climate warming may be due to their poikilohydration and dispersal ability. The data also showed that managed grasslands had higher thermophilisation rates than forests, probably due to the buffering effect of microclimatic conditions in forests. The study highlights the heterogeneity of climate warming impacts on plants, with response dynamics varying between taxonomic groups, land use types and altitudinal gradients.

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Kiebacher, T., Meier, M., Kipfer, T., & Roth, T., 2023: Thermophilisation of communities differs between land plant lineages, land use types and elevation. Scientific Reports, 13(1), 11395.