The outstanding abilities of moss can be explained by the fact that this inconspicuous plant lacks something crucial compared to other land plants: conductive tissue. Most of the water conduction does not take place inside, but capillary in the narrow spaces between the dense leaflets. Moss can therefore hold an enormous amount of water, similar to a sponge. Mosses do not need real roots, but absorb water and nutrient minerals through the green surface of the plant. So it is all the more important that there is a lot of surface area. Due to their finely branched structure, mosses have a 30 times larger absorption surface compared to a smooth surface. The following pictures show the enormous absorption capacity in fourfold magnification:
The mosses can bind an enormous amount of fine dust via electrostatics, which is then processed.
The deposited dust particles are not only bound, dissolved salts are absorbed together with water directly through the cell membrane. In addition, soluble substances are broken down by bacteria that are abundant on the moss leaflets.
Mosses are amazingly resistant and can even ‘digest’ heavy metals. The special thing about a moss filter: the mosses are regenerative, no filter waste is produced!