Growing a moss conservation conversation

Photo by R. Hagerty and courtesy of USFWS

Photo of moss on a tree trunk by R. Hagerty and courtesy of USFWS

I’ve been looking into our options for helping with moss conservation and, honestly, the list is about as long as moss is tall, which suggests that moss conservation really isn’t on many people’s radars at this point.

Here’s what I did find-


Slim pickings, right? So, after the reading I’ve done on moss research and conservation, I’d like to add a few more recommendations.

  • When camping, consider leaving woody debris lying in the forest where it lies rather than collecting it for firewood
  • Mosses are particularly sensitive to edge effects, so stay on hiking trails and use the same paths when walking through the woods in your area- that way you keep the disturbance localized
  • When buying wood or managing a forest, push for long-term rotations in the cutting schedule so that a greater variety of moss species have a chance to recover before the next cutting
  • When you find moss growing in your yard, consider it another microhabitat that enriches the ecosystem, rather than a weed

And keep your eyes and ears open- based on the trend in the literature, more and more people are paying attention to mosses, so it’s likely that there will be more opportunities for organized conservation work in the future.