Moss and Succession
September 26, 2010
Photographer: Timur Repin
Summary Author: Timur Repin
The photo above showing moss covering an iron hatch illustrates how ecosystems can develop with few resources. The moss is the second stage of plant succession. The initial succession stage involves lichen and algae which basically require only sunlight and water to thrive. To hold onto their tenuous position lichen have the ability to make the surface they're infringing upon more friable with the help of acids they manufacture specifically for this purpose. You can see two different lichen species in the photo (look on the hatch itself). After lichen are established, mosses are then able to "root" (rhizoids) However, mosses require more water than do lichens, and if there's a lack of moisture, succession stops at the first stage. If conditions continue to be suitable, then succession goes further. Decomposition of the dead moss bodies, which occurs with the aid of bacteria and fungi, makes a soil base appropriate for vascular plants. Photo taken on July 30, 2010 near Novaya Ladoga, Russia.
Photo details: Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION; Camera Model: NIKON D70; Focal Length: 34.0mm (35mm equivalent: 51mm); Aperture: f/3.8; Exposure Time: 0.0040 s (1/250); Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Matrix; Exposure: aperture priority (semi-auto); White Balance: Auto; Light Source: Unknown; Flash Fired: No; Color Space: sRGB.