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Sphagnum Bogs

Decent Essays
Sphagnum spp., varying between approximately 120 species, is a diverse Bryophyte genus capable of holding significant quantities of water relative to their size (Jonsson-Ninniss, 2016). These flowerless plants can accommodate around 16-26 times as much water as their dry weight, allowing them to extend into drier environments forming sphagnum bogs or peat lands (Jonsson-Ninniss, 2016).

Economic Importance:
Sphagnum moss are uniquely the only mosses with significant economic value. This can be attributed to their absorptive and antiseptic properties (Jonsson-Ninniss, 2016). Soldiers in World War II had their wounds treated with peat moss, as it served as a sterile wound dressing. A sphagnum based soap coined “toilet and nursery antiseptic”
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Researchers are worried climate change and increase average global temperatures will free large quantities of carbon at an unmanageable rate (Peat bogs "amplify" global warming, 2006). Enzyme activity causes increases in the decomposition of sphagnum moss. When such enzymes are warmed and exposed to air they are permitted to act on peat moss and release carbon compounds into external environments (the atmosphere) (Peat bogs "amplify" global warming, 2006). It is projected that by the end of the century temperatures will increase by an alarming 5.8 degrees Celsius (Peat bogs "amplify" global warming, 2006). As the earth becomes warmer, droughts will increase causing the level of water in the wetlands to decrease, allowing the soil to be exposed to air. If the oxygen within the air gets into contact with phenyl oxidase, the enzymes that break down sphagnum spp., a reaction causing carbon release will occur, allowing carbon leakage into rivers and streams. This carbon pollution can enter in the sea and come into contact with marine bacteria, which will attack the carbon and eventually convert carbon to carbon dioxide. Increased carbon dioxide levels will consequently produce more warming leading to more carbon dioxide production through Greenhouse gas, in a rather cyclic series of environmentally detrimental events (Peat bogs "amplify" global warming, 2006). Researchers have predicted that an extra 60 years of industrial emissions can cause doubling in atmospheric carbon, causing acceleration in global climate change (Peat bogs "amplify" global warming,
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