Many of us have seen, the green dense clumps at the shady locations of trees. Crossing the moss, we possibly have thought of the non-usability of the green little leaves which hardly get any exposure to the sunlight being at the shade of giant trees. But now, As per the latest research by scientists from Japan, delicate mosses found on rocks and trees in cities around the world can be used to measure the impact of atmospheric change and could prove a low-cost way to monitor urban pollution. Researchers found that moss- the “bioindicator”- responds to pollution or drought-stress by changing shape, density or disappearing, allowing scientists to calculate atmospheric alterations.
Mosses are small flowerless plants that typically grows in dense green clumps or mats, often in damp or shady locations where reach of sunlight is minimal. The individual plants are usually composed of simple leaves that are generally only one cell thick, attached to a stem that may be branched or unbranched and has only a limited role in conducting water and nutrients. Although some species have conducting tissues, these are generally poorly developed and structurally different from similar tissue found in vascular plants. Mosses do not have seeds and after fertilization develop saprophytes with unbranched stalks topped with single capsules containing spores.
Since Mosses are a common plant in all cities so this method can be used in many countries. They have a big potential to be bioindicators. Mosses generally absorb water and nutrients from their immediate environments – are often cheaper to use than other methods of environmental evaluation, and can also reflect changes to ecosystems.