• Influence of Two Common Bryophytes on Acidity and Divalent Cation Concentrations in Standing Spring Water

      Bland, Stephen N.; The College at Brockport (2002-04-15)
      This laboratory experiment examines the influence of two common mosses on the pH and solute dynamics of water from a spring brook. Bivariate analysis of variance tests (MANOVA) revealed significant changes in concentrations of H+ and the combined variable, divalent cations (Ca++ & Mg++) over a three week incubation period in microcosms containing Thuidium delicatulum and Brachythecium rivulare, mosses commonly found in low order woodland streams. Divalent cation concentrations in the presence of moss were 36% higher, on average, than in similar microcosms with moss absent. In microcosms containing decomposing wood, W concentrations were 15% lower in the presence of moss. There were approximately 7 mg of divalent cations in every gram of moss tissue (AFDM), while a gram of wood contained 1-2 mg of divalent cations, values similar to those reported elsewhere in the literature. I suggest reversed cation exchange is the mechanism responsible for elevated divalent cation concentrations and changes in solute dynamics. A hypothesis concerning expected responses of fungal enzymes to the observed changes in solute dynamics is discussed.