Oregon State University, Botany 465 - Spring, 2000

Welcome to our web site.  These pages were prepared by students and faculty at Oregon State University. 

Our goal is to enhance public awareness of the effects and benefits of mosses in our everyday environment. Not only will we identify different species of mosses, but we will also examine the benefits and costs of mosses that exist within human domains -- rooftops, sidewalks, lawns and gardens. In many cases, mosses are both desirable and beneficial to the environment, rather than just a nuisance to be eradicated.

Photo: rock garden in Corvallis, Oregon, with moss-covered basalt, kinnickinnick (Arctostaphylos), and alum-root (Heuchera). The mosses are two species of Racomitrium.

J. W. Bates (p. 248 in Shaw & Goffinet 2000) summarized nicely our relationships with bryophytes in our environment: "Bryophytes are familiar and attractive ingredients in many types of natural landscape. Their shaggy coverings on branches and boughs, crags and boulders, in waterfalls and on woodland banks, add distinction to the larger scene. Less appealingly, they grow occasionally on bizarre materials, like the leather of a discarded boot, or a rusty iron pipe. Even in modern cities where air pollution and the built environment may seem unrelenting, there are bryophytes able to colonize crevices in masonry, soil accumulations in gutters, and to soften the otherwise geometrical wildernesses of roof tiles with their rounded cushions."


Living with Mosses | Basic Biology of Mosses | Mosses on Sidewalks | Mosses on Rooftops | Mosses in Lawns and Gardens | Is There a Need to Control Mosses? | Methods of Control | Encouraging Mosses  | Recommended Links | About Us