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Thread: Interesting paper on Sphagnum spore dispersal

  1. #1
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    Interesting paper on Sphagnum spore dispersal


    Sphagnum Moss Disperses Spores with Vortex Rings
    Dwight L. Whitaker and Joan Edwards
    Sphagnum spores, which have low terminal velocities, are carried by turbulent wind currents to establish colonies many kilometers away. However, spores that are easily kept aloft are also rapidly decelerated in still air; thus, dispersal range depends strongly on release height. Vascular plants grow tall to lift spores into sufficient wind currents for dispersal, but nonvascular plants such as Sphagnum cannot grow sufficiently high. High-speed videos show that exploding capsules of Sphagnum generate vortex rings to efficiently carry spores high enough to be dispersed by turbulent air currents. Spores launched ballistically at similar speeds through still air would travel a few millimeters and not easily reach turbulent air. Vortex rings are used by animals; here, we report vortex rings generated by plants.


    Something pointed out to me by a friend. I thought it was pretty neat.

    PS - Videos are on the accompanying media page.
    Last edited by seedjar; 07-29-2010 at 12:42 PM.
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  2. #2
    Av8tor1's Avatar
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    Very cool Joe.... thanks for the link

    I made a photo thread a while back of some sphag sporophytes.... once I got to paying attention I noticed they were being continually produced for weeks...

    I knew the erupted with some gusto, but had no clue as to how much

    gotta love sphag

  3. #3
    Zero's Avatar
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    I didn't know they did that!
    Very neat and a great way to distribute spores.
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  4. #4
    swords's Avatar
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    Spore mortars! LOL

    Butch did you notice that the Sphagnum created sporophytes at a certain season light hours/temp outdoors or were they indoors under 12/12 and controlled temps?

  5. #5
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Those aren't vortices, they are mushroom clouds: Weapons of Mass Dispersal.
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