Mosses are fuzzy, squishy warriors in the fight against climate change

By Sheri McWhirter
Michigan Live
May 24, 2023
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US East

Mosses play a crucial role in fighting climate change, new research shows. Researchers learned that through photosynthesis, mosses sequester around 6.43 billion metric tons more carbon into the soil than what is stored in bare patches of soil without any plants. That calculates to six times the annual global carbon emissions caused by worldwide changes in land use, such as deforestation, urbanization, and mining. The study published in Nature Geoscience and was led by a dryland ecologist in Australia and an ecosystem ecologist in Spain. One of the scientists who co-authored the recent study was forest ecologist Peter Reich, director of the Institute for Global Change Biology at University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability. …The study found that moss-covered soil not only enhances carbon storage in soil, but also accelerates rates of organic decomposition and leads to fewer cases of soil-borne plant pathogens.

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