Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bog butter

How can you resist an article with the title: Bogosphere: The Strangest Things Pulled Out of Peat Bogs. Don't miss the reference to bog butter.

Sphagnum moss doesn't just live in acidic, nutrient-poor and anoxic  environments it creates acidic, nutrient-poor and anoxic environments thereby shutting out its competitors. From How Sphagnum bogs down other plants, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 10 270-275:

Recent research on the organo-chemical composition of Sphagnum and on the fate of its litter has further clarified how this plant builds acidic, nutrient-poor, cold and anoxic peat bogs. The bog environment helps Sphagnum to outcompete other plants for light. Its morphology, anatomy, physiology and composition make it an effective ecosystem engineer and at the same time benefit the plant in the short term. This may have facilitated the evolution of the genus.

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