Moss, Pacific Northwest
Mood moss grows all over the Pacific Northwest Coast and is quite lovely to look at. Mood moss like most other mosses’ is an ancient plant that first appeared around 400 million years ago. It was one of the first pioneering plants to grow on land, today, moss is still one of the first plants to return to disturbed earth. Moss is non vascular and has no means to carry water throughout the plant. Instead, moss grows where it is moist. Moss needs little or no soil, so it can grow on a rock or on tree bark.
Over a very long time, moss can help create new soil by slowly breaking down the rock. In addition, moss holds water just like a sponge, so it so it retains moister that can be used by other plants.
A bed of moss is a miniature ecosystem within the forest. A carpet of moss is a habitat for many other types of plants, as well as insects, amphibians and even small mammals like mice, shrews or voles.
Mosses like other plants convert sunlight into sugar by photosynthesis using the chlorophyll in its cells. Plants are a critical part of the energy conversion system that makes life possible. By converting electromagnetic energy from the sun into chemical energy, plants are at the base of food chains, and thus provide energy to higher organisms.