Gender differences and a new adult eukaryotic record for upper thermal tolerance in the desert moss Syntrichia caninervis

Lloyd R. Stark, D. Nicholas McLetchie, Stephen P. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


1.Two competing hypotheses relating to thermostress were proposed to understand skewed sex ratios in Syntrichia caninervis, a reproductive investment hypothesis and a wildfire selection hypothesis.2.Nearly all shoots from both sexes remained viable (regenerated in culture) following exposure to 120 °C for 30 min, thus setting a new upper thermotolerance record for adult eukaryotic organisms for a minimum 30 min exposure time.3.Males regenerated faster than females, produced more biomass, and suffered less fungal attack than females. Findings support the wildfire selection hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-137
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thermal Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2009

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank John Brinda for field assistance and conceptual discussions, Lorenzo Nichols II and Terri Nelson for assistance in the laboratory, Christina Lund for providing collecting permits on federal lands, Robin Stark for graphical assistance, Markus Mika and Jennifer Horsley for translating critical German articles, Stan Smith and Brian Hedlund for bibliographic assistance, Richard Zander for determining the correct name for Didymodon rigidulus var. gracilis, and Lynn Fenstemaker and Eric Knight for oversight assistance at the Nevada Test Site. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant nos. IOB 0416407 (DNM), IOB 0416281 (LRS), and IOS-0725030 (SPR). LRS was supported by a UNLV faculty sabbatical leave during part of this project.


  • Bryophyte
  • Gametophyte
  • Protonema
  • Regeneration
  • Syntrichia
  • Thermal stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (all)
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Gender differences and a new adult eukaryotic record for upper thermal tolerance in the desert moss Syntrichia caninervis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this