[Taxacom] moss circles

Ken Kinman kinman at hotmail.com
Thu Mar 22 09:58:26 CDT 2007

    Well, I don't know the answer, but I will add another possibility.  
Given that these were found in late winter, could this pattern be the result 
of slowly receding patches of ice (or snow)?  Each ring of moss could form 
at one favorable time of day along the wet edges of the sheet of ice.  At 
night the thin edges of ice would just evaporate leaving a ring of drier 
wood surface.  The next day another wet ring forms (along the receding ice) 
that would be suitable for the moss.

    Of course, the drier "rings" would eventually get wet and the moss would 
fill in those gaps, but in the meantime you could have a tree-ring pattern 
of alternating moss and drier wood.  I would think this would be more likely 
if the ice patch was in the shade and not in direct sunlight, but this is 
all just an educated guess.
             Ken Kinman
>From: Charles R Parker <chuck_parker at usgs.gov>
>To: <taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu>
>Subject: [Taxacom] moss circles
>Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2007 08:23:34 -0400
>Recently, circles were discovered in moss living on barkless pine logs in
>an area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee.  A good
>number of logs having moss had the circles.  Examples can be viewed at

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