The Bryologist Series explores the hidden world of moss in our lab and the wild.
If you're wondering, no, we can't use mosses in the wild, especially in protected forests. The only reliable way to gain access to unique moss species is specimen collection from tree barks or moist environments present on private lands, then experiment and cultivate it in our lab.
In this photo, you're looking at mosses growing in the forest. We all know that many different kinds of mosses can be found in the wild. Mosses are excellent indicators of water quality, as they grow in areas with high moisture content and can be easily damaged by pollution and toxins in the surrounding soil and water.
However, mosses also serve another function that has been largely overlooked: they are hosts to many different species of tiny organisms!
As they co-exist with other organisms in nature, we can only use their pest-free variants cultivated, incubated, and preserved in our lab for aesthetics and display purposes.