[Taxacom] moss circles

releech at telusplanet.net releech at telusplanet.net
Fri Mar 23 09:14:00 CDT 2007


We are probably going to find out that the perp used a small electric razor to 
shave the paths.
Robin

Quoting Dave Jefferies <d.w.jefferies at shu.ac.uk>:

> The patterns are intriguing.
> 
> I think that mollusc grazing, or any grazing on the surface, is unlikely -
> no 'turning circles' for a grazer to move from one track to the next.
> 
> Fungal causes are unlikely, I would expect something more like a fairy ring.
> Of course the lichen comparison does challenge this. (And see below)
> 
> Is there an underlying pattern in the bark or wood? This would give
> variations in the substrate that may be reflected in the moss growth. Fungi
> could then be associated if they had grown out from gaps in the bark, as
> could sub-surface grazing by insects sheltering under the bark. 
> 
> Were there examples of completely brown rings or where the gaps between the
> brown regions were narrower? They may provide better clues.
> 
> Dave
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Ken Kinman
> Sent: 22 March 2007 14:58
> To: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] moss circles
> 
> 
>     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.
>      ----Cheers,
>              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 
> >http://www.discoverlifeinamerica.org/atbi/species/Plantae/Bryophyta/ind
> >ex.shtml
> 
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