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Sphagnum moss

Sphagnum moss is the main ingredient of a bog: both as the living top layer that carpets the bog, and as dead peat moss in the bottom layers. It creates the bog by either terrestralization or paludification. Sphagnum moss is extremely porous and can hold a lot of water (up to 20 times its dry weight). Its sponge-like structure helps to keep the bog wet. Sphagnum moss contributes to the acidity of the bog by releasing hydrogen ions into the bog as it takes up calcium and magnesium in its metabolic process. The acidity of bog water also inhibits the growth of microbes. Along with a low oxygen content, this leads to an extremely low rate of decomposition in a bog.

Comparison of the weight of dry and moist sphagnum moss.
Classification Sphagnum moss is also called peat moss. It is a bryophyte with great economic importance. It has 160 species and is in the only genus in the subclass Sphagnidae.
Stem structure branches cluster together as fasicles around main stem. Dimophic branches:
Spreading branches: give plant structure.
Hanging branches: help to draw water.
Young branches are packed into a capitulum (head) near the apex of the plant.
Leaf structure
The most distinctive feature of sphagnum moss is its unique arrangement of two different kinds of cells in its leaves:
Green cells: small, living cells with chlorophll for photosynthesis.
Hyaline cells: large, dead, structural cells with large pores. These cells make sphagnum moss very porous and are responsible for its water-holding ability.
Reproduction asexual reproduction by fragmentation.
sexual reproduction by heteromorphic alternation of generation.
Usage many different usages: peat moss can be dried and used as fuel, as a packing material, as a seed bed cover, and as a soil additive; earlier usages included surgical dressings, diapers, etc.

An individual peat moss


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