11-2-2019 | Site: Camp McDowell, William B. Bankhead National Forest, AL | 59° F, Slightly Cloudy

Observe with Me!

Mosses are incredible at holding onto water. In fact, many organisms rely on mosses to prevent dehydration in their terrestrial ecosystems! Wandering organisms include frogs, salamanders, newts, and various insects! As seen in the video, during a rain event they can be quite the water fountain for small organisms.

Moss itself does not have vascular structures like other plants. As a result, species of mass are highly adapted for water retention and absorption through osmosis.

Osmosis refers to the movement of water across membranes (or thin surfaces on and within the plant). The speed of this process depends on how much moisture is available in the environment, as well as already within the plant.

10-30-2019 | Site: Opacum Pond, Tuskegee National Forest, AL | 73° F, Overcast with Light Rain

Observe with Me!

Identifying tree markings in an ephemeral pond (presence exists seasonally) where nest-guarding (egg protecting) female Ambystomatids were found (Ambystoma opacum).

Observe with Me!

I was so excited to see this little guy that I nearly dropped my phone! Bright coloration such as on this spotted salamander is a form of aposematic coloration. This means predators easily see these regions of the body and view them as a warning against consumption!

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