There is something marvelous and magical about the delicate things of Life, don't you think? Like spider webs these mosses and lichens cling and hang from the trees like dripping jewels. The symbiotic relationship between the mosses and lichens and the forest and trees is fascinating. Mosses and lichens are important components of forests. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I am familiar with the wide diversity and variety of these organisms. Some things that mosses and lichens contribute are:
- They absorb moisture from fog and rain and slow the rate at which moisture evaporates.
- They reduce erosion.
- They help maintain a humid environment in a forest even after the rainfall has ceased.
- Lichens convert nitrogen gas directly from the air, unlike vascular plants, into a useable form.
- Many organisms depend on lichens for food.
The next time you are in a forest or are hiking among the trees, take a look around you at all of the mosses on the ground as well as the mosses and lichens clinging to the trees. You'll be astounded by how much variety and diversity you see.
Check out this article about the magic of moss and the art of attentiveness.