Koen C.

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  1. Report of my spore germination experiment

    Thanks, and indeed Karsty, that is what the authors of the article propose. They tried out natural resources of phosphorus like moose dung and birch litter, both setups gave germination. Contrary to big seeds, small spores don't have a reserve amount of nutrients with them. It isn't too surprising that they need some help to get started.
  2. Hello everyone, last spring I had my first sporophytes on Sphagnum. They appeared on Sphagnum fimbriatum, a monoicous species. This means a single plant can produce both male and female reproductive cells (Both eggs and sperm cells). In order to have sporophytes on the dioicous Sphagnum species, you will need both a female and a male clone, but not for this S. fimbriatum. I decided to do a little experiment and grow Sphagnum from spores. While looking in the literature I read this article: 'Habitat requirements for establishment of Sphagnum from spores' (Sundberg et al., 2002). The authors found out that Sphagnum spore germination is limited by nutrients (phosphate). This means that Sphagnum spores germinate on places where there are more nutrients then where adult Sphagnum plants occur (usually nutrient-poor soils). I decided to do the experiment in three different setups. 3 small containers with blonde peat that has been cooked to kill all spores present. In one I added fertilzer but no spores, in the other I added spores of S. fimbriatum but no fertiliser and in the last one, both spores and fertilser (really low amount) was added. The experiment started somewhere halfway june 2017. Now we are 5 months further. Cooking the peat seemed effective as no growth is observed in the container without sown spores. Also the outcome of this little experiment is perfectly in line with Sundberg et al.: not a single spore germinated on bare peat without any nutrients available. This is how the containers looked like 5 months ago: How they look like today (the container on the bottom contains nutrients and spores, in both others not a single plant appeared) They are still not looking like adult Sphagnum, but last week I could watch them under a microscope and they show the typical characteristic hyaline cell structure like any other Sphagnum, so now I'm finally sure it's not a random moss. Now I'll show some pictures from the development of the little plants. Sporophytes are almost ripe, 7th of June First germination a month after sowing: these are really small thallose protonemata from Sphagnum fimbriatum, 17th of July Growth of the protonemata 2 months after sowing, 14th of August Development of the gametophyte on a protonema, 28th of August Young gametophytes, 11th of October Young gametophytes of S. fimbriatum 5 months after sowing, 4 months after germination, 14th of November. I consider this experiment as over now, but I might add a picture once the plants shows adult characteristics of S. fimbriatum. Enjoy the pictures, I had a lot of fun following up these little creatures!
  3. Sphagnum propagation/regeneration experiment

    Nice pictures. Indeed if you have 4 liter of it, you should plant the heads for muc hfaster growth. If you only have small samples of one species, it might be worth planting single branches and have some more patience. I prefer a layer of peat because it's easier to keep wet all the time, and I personally don't make drainage holes, but just empty the trays after heavy rains. Luckily the moss isn't that picky so the method doesn't matter that much
  4. My Sphagnum

    Perfect :) Lovely to see, especially keeping in mind that theres a huge distance between Belgium and Sweden. Both species look exactly the same on our pictures. Over here, S. squarrosum seems specialized in more wooded areas with birch (Betula). I have no idea how the spores seem to find their way to such a small birch forest, because S. palustre could perfectly grow there as well,, and S. squarrosum could perfectly grow in a more open bog too. A true mystery for me unless they get distributed by certain animals or so.
  5. My Sphagnum

    For the people interested in Sphagnum ID: The first picture of this thread shows Sphagnum with leaves that seem squarrose at first glance (upper part of the leaf bent back abruptly so they point away from the stem). As forum member JCZ pointed out, the plant is not Sphagnum squarrosum like I thought, but probably S. palustre. The habit of Sphagnum mosses to grow like this is called 'subsquarrose' by some authors. I was lucky enough to find Sphagnum 2 days ago that is most probably true S. squarrosum and I'll give a quick comparison. The picture above is Sphagnum palustre (or at least in the section Sphagnum). As they were kept in a rather shady condition, the leaves seem squarrose at first glance. The leaves are still hooded though, typical for this section ('cucculate'). The leaves are not really narrow at the end. In the middle of the capitulum, there is no stem bud visible through the branches. The picture above is the one and only: Sphagnum squarrosum. Notice how the stem bud emerges in between the young branches. This apical bud is easy to see with a 10x maginying lens, with a more white green color then the surrounding branches. The leaves are actually squarrose, the tip of the leaves is narrow and the plant looks even more spikey then the subsquarrose form of S. palustre. Below pictures of a squarrose leave and a spikey branch of S. squarrosum. Friendly reminder that Sphagnum should never be harvested or taken from the wild, at most take one single strand if you want to identify a species using a lens or microscope. The plants are really rare and struggle to survive where humans interfere. Have a nice day!
  6. Macro pIcture of a sporophyte

    Crazy, I wonder how complex the inner structure of that capsule has to be in order to reach this effect. The explosion of the capsule on itself is already impressive. Funny what big efforts this tiny plant has to do to ensure its existence and reproduction.
  7. Macro pIcture of a sporophyte

    Thank you all for the kind words. Update: A lot of the protonemata are dying or becoming white instead of green. I'm not sure what's wrong, maybe I should try to put them in higher light, they are quite shady at the moment. But quite a bit of them have formed gametophores (Adult moss plants). They are still really young and I don't see any resemblence with Sphagnum yet, but I'm almost 99 pcnt sure it should be Sphagnum. I'm really curious to see how it keeps developing. 6th of september 2017:
  8. Sphagnum propagation/regeneration experiment

    Update to show final result. I'm rather pleased with the result but I won't be using it considering Sphagnum multiplies fast enough for me. Experiment started at begin of April 2017, pictures above are taken at the end of april. Now in september, 5 months later, the plants are adult and look like this. (They are adult after a month or two but I've not been treating them well, they stood in partial shade. That is also the reason why their red color hasn't returned) This method may be worth trying if you want to multiply a small amount of Sphagnum, let's say only 2 little plants.
  9. Anyone guess what these are?

    Great pictures, interesting combination!
  10. My heliamphoras

    Thanks for sharing, your collection is eye candy. What a magical genus this is...
  11. Spaghnum starting on peat

    Cool. Whether it's from spores or from a sleeping moss plant in the peat, the result is the same :) I wonder how many species could come out of the peat.
  12. Trip Borneo!

    Really nice to see them like this, thanks for sharing
  13. My sphagnum moss project.

    You probably need a microscope to make a difference between S. palustre and for example S. papillosum, although you can determine to the level of section with just a 10x magnifier.
  14. That's true, you can't cover it and then put it in full sun, it turns completely white even when wet and just dies. There is no need to cover Sphagnum but as they are fresh cuttings you can raise the water level