Why are they threatened?

Bryophytes in Europe seem to be particularly threatened by habitat loss and habitat degradation. Degradation reduces the quality of the habitat and sensitive species are rapidly lost. Some aspects of modern agriculture and forestry threaten bryophyte diversity through a variety of processes, including physical disturbance of the soil by heavy machinery, excessive use of fertiliser resulting in eutrophication of aquatic habitats, and excessive herbicide use; in forest, clear felling of trees eliminates the bryophytes. Since most species of this plant group are also sensitive to pollution and climate change, it is more important than ever to revise and maintain an up to date  European Red List of bryophytes. Europe supports a significant proportion of the world’s bryophytes, and therefore has a great responsibility to protect this group.




Clear felling with dense weed vegetation near Kelemér, Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén County, Hungary Threatened habitat in agricultural landscape, Scragh bog, Co. Westmeath, Ireland
© B. Papp © R. Thompson