News from the Moss Farm and the Moss Lab

In early June, they were the “organism of the week” (Lebewesen der Woche) in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, but at Green City Solutions, they are our star all year round: mosses.

For today’s Moss Monday, we have some mossy updates from the Moss Lab and from Cord Riechelmann’s German article on “the peculiarities of mosses, which inhabit nearly the entire Earth in 22,000 species”. They can “practically grow anywhere,” “thrive on soil, bare rocks, wood, and tree bark,” and special mosses can even grow on “heavy metal-rich substrates.”

However, despite their amazing abilities, they are facing a rather barren phase in the coming months due to the predicted drought because “their growth depends directly on water.”
But they are called survivors for a reason! Mosses are capable of losing “up to 98 percent of their moisture” and still survive. “Most mosses are largely immune to death from dryness. There have been instances where mosses, which had been sitting dusty and forgotten in a natural history collection for 40 years, were revived to life with a drop of water in a petri dish!”

The uniqueness lies in the “simplicity of their structure without roots or support and conducting systems.” This, along with their “great tolerance to moisture fluctuations”, has its historical roots: “Mosses, which evolved from green algae, were the first plants to transition from living in water to land 350 million years ago. Undoubtedly, it was advantageous for them to be small, rootless, and adaptable to changing weather conditions. This advantage has persisted until today.”

As UNESCO stated, “Nature is a library from which we can learn.”

Moss is a sensitive and complex plant with astonishing abilities. Therefore, it is crucial to understand these little superheroes.
Moss research constitutes a significant part of our daily work. In the laboratory and moss farm in Bestensee, we search for optimal conditions, new moss species, and their potential to filter pollutants like particulate matter from the air.
Currently, we are also analyzing the ideal pH level for the growth of our moss species.

Being the oldest land plants on Earth, mosses have utilized their long existence to acquire remarkable abilities.
You can find more information about this inconspicuous super plant here and also check out the first article, “Welcome to our Moss Lab“.