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Drying Without Dying - Desiccation Resistance

Discussion in 'General Plant Topics' started by Tim Harrison, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Lifetime Member
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    I was surprised to see Fissidens growing on the DW below since I didn't put it there. However, the wood below had Fissidens growing on it in a previous scape.

    Prior to its reuse the DW was scrubbed clean, dried, and stored in the garage for several months.

    After a bit of research in to the phenomenon of drying without dying, I discovered that desiccation resistance is relatively common in bryophytes.

    For example, F. minutifolius can apparently survive desiccation and remain viable for around 6 years, and Riccia macrocarpa can survive 23 years.
    http://www.bioquest.org/summer2008/Alpert_00.pdf

    Has anyone else had a similar experience, perhaps with moss seemingly spontaneously appearing out of nowhere?

    To this...
    24097575417_da5794f1f7_b.jpg

    From this...
    25090984638_efaa81d026_b.jpg
     
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  2. Dennis Singh

    Dennis Singh SynKing!

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    I've been mocked many of times for saying moss can recover from the dead.....
     
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  3. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Lifetime Member
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    Well...I could scarce believe it myself. But Google reveals a host of peer reviewed papers on the subject, so as I've mentioned above it's well documented and nothing particularly groundbreaking, at least to the initiated.
    ...so it looks like you may have the last laugh ;)
     
  4. Allwissend

    Allwissend Article Editor
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    Wait till it attaches to small aquasoil pebbles and grows out of nowhere when you recycle the aquasoil for a new aquarium.

    This means that Phoenix moss is perfect for tartigrades... :)

    If this moss can go from dead to alive, the real question is...

    Was the moss ever alive?
     
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  5. Tim Harrison

    Tim Harrison Lifetime Member
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    Ah...tardigrades or water bears, another example of drying without dying, but this time form the animal kingdom. Ain't nature amazing :)

    upload_2017-12-12_11-16-27.png
     
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  6. toads74

    toads74 Lifetime Member
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    Looks like something from sewing class.... with a little Dalek in there....
     
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  7. ForTheHalibut

    ForTheHalibut Member

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    I suppose the name "phoenix moss" is very fitting!

    Many moss species can do this. I believe it is a required trait for survival in temperate climates. I ordered some weeping moss from ebay a few months ago, and it was sent in a snail mail envelope: arrived completely dried up, seemingly by design. It revived perfectly. In fact, I'm willing to bet moss has a better shelf life dry than wet. Not sure if that would work for most tropical mosses, though.
     
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  8. Dennis Singh

    Dennis Singh SynKing!

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    I've experienced brown dead dried xmas moss revival, it did take about 2 months to get growing, but the tank was in my back yard and I never really took care of it or looked at it, it was also in the 60s outside. After this later on....
    It was Dr. Benito Tan that told me if i wanted to grab mosses from another country just dry them up and carry over. If you don't know the late passed Dr. He was the pro in mosses, and stated that we should be injecting o2 rather than co2 for mosses.
     
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