Mosses are tiny plants often ignored or treated as the scourge of perfect lawns, and yet they are superheroes of the plant world. The mosses are a powerful force in the plant world. They fight pollution, the climate crisis and keep the soil healthy.
They lack proper roots and absorb all their nourishment like sponges through their leaves, which makes them particularly good at feeding on pollutants and fine particles of dust in the air. They soak up to 20 times their own weight in water, and when this evaporates it cools the surrounding air by up to 2C.
A recent global survey found that mosses were estimated to take up and store 6. 43bn tonnes more carbon in the soil layer than is stored in bare patches of soil, representing six times the annual global carbon emissions caused by changes in land use such as agriculture, global deforestation, urbanisation and mining.
Moss-covered soil has higher levels of key nutrients, faster rates of organic matter decomposition, binds soil particles together avoiding erosion, and fewer cases of soil-borne plant diseases on average than soil without mosses.