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Road ecology is an area of study that has been put more and more in the spotlight. Roads in the United States as well as globally are the impetus for many ecological issues such as habitat fragmentation, disturbed landscapes, and chemical and heavy metal pollution. In particular de-icing salts are spread along roads in 26 states in the USA during winter and have been linked with significant impacts on ecosystems adjacent to said treated roads. Much of the existing research has focused on impact on vertebrates as well as on stream ecology, but little to none has been on bryophytes, specifically mosses. Our research is looking at how these road salts impact the germination success of two species of moss collected from Stissing Mountain, an area which has never been exposed to deicing salts, thus eliminating and preexisting acclimation to de-icing agents. Our results show preliminary findings that the germination rates of the mosses are impacted by the addition of even low concentrations of road salt, opening the door for additional and deeper research on the topic.
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Delliquanti, Rock Valentino, "The Bryo-Fight to Survive: The Impact of the De-Icing Agent Sodium Chloride on Germination Rates of Two Genera of Moss: Tetraphis and Orthotricum" (2015). Senior Projects Fall 2015. 12.
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