Koen C.

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Koen C. last won the day on May 16

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  1. Not only dead Sphagnum and peat acidify, living Sphagnum even more. They have a mechanism to capture kations from their environment and in return they release a H+, which acidifies the water around it. Not only do they capture all nutrients for themselves with this mechanism, but they also create the acidic environment in which they thrive and many fungi, plants and bacteria can't grow or compete in those conditions. If you're still talking about Nepenthes seedlings, I'd allow the Sphagnum to acidify. Sphagnum and a lot of other carnivorous plants are used to relatively low pH values and they like growing in Sphagnum. If you want to try other seeds in Sphagnum I wouldn't recommend treating it to raise the pH or to raise the amount of nutrients. Before the seedling benefits from it, the Sphagnum will probably die, algae will bloom or fungus might develop. The low pH is one of the reasons that seedlings don't die from damping off. Good luck!
  2. Hi! I know the feeling, I've lost some Nepenthes seedlings, sown on dead Sphagnum or peat and they died from a fungus ('damping off disease' I believe). I have limited but positive experience with sowing Nepenthes on living Sphagnum. Molds make no chance, and if the Sphagnum is healthy there shouldn't be algae. The seedlings love it, but the moss grows too fast for them. Either you need a slow growing Sphagnum species (some species in bogs, in the mountains or pioneer species are slow growers). Or you need to trim the growing Sphagnum so it doesn't overgrow the seedlings. In my opinion living Sphagnum is the best medium to germinate a huge variety of plants. Even plants that don't like low pH will germinate easily, but they will stop growing after germination if it's too acidic, so they need to be transplanted (which can be tricky to do without harming the roots). Good luck!
  3. Fantastic pictures! Do you know what tree this is? I'm not sure if it's a pine or an Araucaria
  4. Nice pictures, glad to see it works for you. And the pictures that disappear are probably not those of Flickr but people probably mean those of Photobucket, a site that indeed suddenly removed all pictures unless you would pay for it. This should not be the case with flickr.
  5. Posting pictures takes a bit of time but it's not that bad either. You can make a flickr account (free website), only need to do that once. There you can upload pictures, that site is made to store pictures of thousands of people. When you go to photostream and click on a picture, you have an arrow that says 'Share'. This will give you a link that allows to be pasted in a forum. It will not display as the link but it will display as the actualy picture in pretty good quality. No need to reduce the picture size. If you have a question about it, feel free to message me, because i'd love to see more people post pictures here.
  6. Koen C.

    My Sphagnum

    After almost a year i was able to obtain a lot of Sphagnum species, which nearly all grow well (Remember they shouldn't be collected in the wild). I have 5 species that are making sporophytes now and I'm sharing some pictures of them. Also notice how different they look in close up. The features that distinguish for example S. papillosum from the others become really obvious through a macro lens(robust structure and branches, broad and hooded leaves, branches are more blunt than in S. palustre, which is the most common Sphagnum among CP growers), . The same goes for S. squarrosum (the outward pointing leaves (spikey look) and big apical bud in the center) and S. fimbriatum/girgensohnii (slender plant, with a really clear apical bud in the center). Sphagnum fimbriatum or girgensohnii (I didn't check it yet), may 28 and juni 9. S. squarrosum may 28 and juni 9 S. papillosum, june 9. I forgot to remove the net in this picture. All of my mosses are covered with this or birds would destroy the collection within a day if not less. , S. rubellum may 28 and june 9 (It seems I didn't get this in focus) S. russowii may 28
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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
  10. I'd love to see your results as well :)
  11. Koen C.

    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.
  12. Koen C.

    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!
  13. 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.
  14. 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: