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."