P. 424-445 in L.H. [29], Several of the world's largest wetlands are sphagnum-dominated bogs, including the West Siberian Lowland, the Hudson Bay Lowland and the Mackenzie River Valley. Today, this tiny, star-shaped plant is known for its use in horticulture and biofuel, not to mention its starring role in preserving thousands-year-old "bog bodies" like the Tollund Man, which Smithsonian Magazine revisited last month. She is also the author of The Last Voyageurs: Retracing La Salle's Journey Across America. India's first moss garden has been developed at Khurpatal in Nainital district, officials said on Saturday. Sphagnum Moss is designed to kill germs but it does have some cleaning properties. So why aren’t we still using moss bandages today? Sporophytes are raised on stalks to facilitate spore dispersal, but unlike other mosses, Sphagnum stalks are produced by the maternal gametophyte. Native North American babies often spent their first two years carried around in a moss-lined bag of rabbit or moose skin. A distinction is sometimes made between sphagnum moss, the live moss growing on top of a peat bog, and 'sphagnum peat moss' (North American usage) or 'sphagnum peat' (British usage), the latter being the slowly decaying matter underneath.[24]. In the field, most Sphagnum species can be identified to one of four major sections of the genus—classification and descriptions follow Andrus 2007 (Flora North America):[10], The reciprocal monophyly of these sections and two other minor ones (Rigida and Squarrosa) has been clarified using molecular phylogenetics. 1985. Their northernmost populations lie in the archipelago of Svalbard, Arctic Norway, at 81° N. In the Southern Hemisphere, the largest peat areas are in southern Chile and Argentina, part of the vast Magellanic moorland (circa 44,000 square km). The acceleration of the spores is about 36,000G. Besides their role in global climate change, peatlands are rich ecosystems in their own right, boasting rare species like carnivorous plants. [36] Extraction of Sphagnum in Chile is regulated by law since 2 August 2018. Editor's Note, May 1, 2017: This article originally stated that peat moss releases protons (it releases positively charged ions, known as cations). And nowhere does the giant moss grow better than in the swamps of the West Coast, where the fiercely independent locals are fuelling an industry with a future as impressive as their own landscape. In the case of sphagnum moss, you can quite literally wring it out and drink the water that you get from it. Cookie Policy Sphagnum, like all other land plants, has an alternation of generations; like other bryophytes, the haploid gametophyte generation is dominant and persistent. 11.8. crushed, was a strong antibiotic compound, and ground green sphagnum moss (Sp. [39] The construction of each wind turbine usually implies the removal of vegetation and the alteration of the soil, changing by the way also of the local hydrology. Tetrahedral haploid spores are produced in the sporophyte by meiosis, which are then dispersed when the capsule explosively discharges its cap, called an operculum, and shoots the spores some distance. [18], As with many other mosses, Sphagnum species disperse spores through the wind. Peat moss refers to the product gardeners purchase in bales or large bags for use as a soil amendment. Civilians and even Allied prisoners of war were conscripted to gather the moss.”, Each country had its own method for making the bandages, with the British stations filling bags loosely while the American Red Cross provided precise instructions for how to layer the moss with nonabsorbent cotton and gauze. Because of its absorptive properties, it makes an excellent wound dressing and has been widely employed for this purpose in the past. One organizer in the United Kingdom instructed volunteers to “fill the sacks only about three-quarter full, drag them to the nearest hard ground, and then dance on them to extract the larger percentage of water.”, At Longshaw Lodge in Derbyshire, England, the nurses who tended convalescing soldiers trooped out to the damp grounds to collect moss for their wounds. Accumulations of Sphagnum can store water, since both living and dead plants can hold large quantities of water inside their cells; plants may hold 16 to 26 times as much water as their dry weight, depending on the species. Between 100 AD and the present, they were drained and converted to agricultural land.[8]:Fig. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. Sphagnum Moss was also used during the War in conjunction with Garlic, one of the best antiseptics. The latest estimates for wetland loss in New Zealand are 90% over 150 years. These areas provide habitat for common and rare species. Communities around the United Kingdom and North America organized outings to collect moss so the demand for bandages could be met. 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Yes, moss, the plant. Individual peat moss plants consist of a main stem, with tightly arranged clusters of branch fascicles usually consisting of two or three spreading branches and two to four hanging branches. Walker (2019) describes Sphagnum thus as 'habitat manipulators'. But humans have also used it for at least 1,000 years to help heal their injuries. [20] High-speed photography has shown vortex rings are created during the discharge, which enable the spores to reach a height of 10 to 20 cm, further than would be expected by ballistics alone. Schofield, W. B. Peatlands full of spaghnum and other mosses spend thousands of years accumulating carbon in their underground layers. [39], Europe has a long history of the exploitation of peatlands. Under the right conditions, peat can accumulate to a depth of many meters. Sphagnum Moss, Northern Ireland Prior to the 20th Century sphagnum moss was used in the treatment of boils and the discharging of wounds. [40] And from the Allies’ perspective, they were a renewable resource that would grow back without much difficulty. [45] This "farming" is based on a sustainable management program approved by New Zealand's Department of Conservation; it ensures the regeneration of the moss, while protecting the wildlife and the environment. Coir is sustainable alternative to peat moss in the garden. Sewell of the General Hospital in Alexandria, Egypt wrote approvingly that, “It is very absorbent, far more than cotton wool, and has remarkable deodorizing power.” Lab experiments around the same time vindicated his observations: Sphagnum moss can hold up to 22 times its own weight in liquid, making it twice as absorptive as cotton. That’s a good thing, because the real value of this plant goes far beyond bandages. 2010. Thus tissues are thin and usually one cell thick to allow these to diffuse easily. 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