Sphagnum Moss Disperses Spores with Vortex Rings

  title={Sphagnum Moss Disperses Spores with Vortex Rings},
  author={Dwight L Whitaker and Joan Edwards},
  pages={406 - 406}
Fluid dynamics similar to those known to drive smoke rings shoot moss spores far and wide. Sphagnum spores, which have low terminal velocities, are carried by turbulent wind currents to establish colonies many kilometers away. However, spores that are easily kept aloft are also rapidly decelerated in still air; thus, dispersal range depends strongly on release height. Vascular plants grow tall to lift spores into sufficient wind currents for dispersal, but nonvascular plants such as Sphagnum… 
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The authors thank D. C. Smith and C. D. Mitescu for comments; R. Andrus for species identification
    Materials and methods are available as supporting material on Science Online