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Very little is known about the biology of this species, except for the fact that the last known occasion when it produced fruiting bodies was in 1866. It was believed that the reason for this was because the individual specimens were too far apart to cross-fertilise. However, in the autumn of 2002, Fred Rumsey, a researcher from the Natural History Museum in London, was one of a pair of bryologists who discovered nearly 500 patches of the moss on an old dry stone wall in West Yorkshire. Out of all these, only one patch had produced fruit capsules. Many species of moss fail to reproduce this way, but they can propagate by budding off pieces of themselves. However, to colonise new sites, they need to produce spores as these can travel much further than the moss can achieve by budding. It also improves the species' chances of survival by spreading the populations over a larger area.


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Source: ARKive

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