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Willbilly1221 t1_j1kh6y7 wrote

Sadly Marimo moss balls are in danger and have been for a while. The Aquarium hobby is an unlikely yet surprising champion in the conservation of them. They are in fact not an aquatic moss, but a species of macro algae, and some marimo balls have been known to live for over 100 years if kept properly. They get their round ball shape by tumbling under water like tumble weeds do in the dessert. They even produce extra pearling (or oxygen bubbles) to promote buoyancy in the morning to help them float and grab up more sunlight durring day time hours and then slowly float back down in the evening and rest at the bottom.


snemand t1_j1kj2en wrote

These only lived in the wild in two places. Japan and Mývatn, Iceland. They're very recently extinct in Iceland now. Mostly just a hobbyist plant.


BurnerAcc2020 t1_j1lfw3o wrote

Eh, the article is a real stretch. It's about research in an MDPI journal (MDPI is one of the lower-tier publishers), whose actual title is Effects of High Irradiance and Low Water Temperature on Photoinhibition and Repair of Photosystems in Marimo (Aegagropila linnaei) in Lake Akan, Japan. It only discusses climate change very obliquely.

> In the present study, as we used the dissected filamentous cells, the results might be only valid at the cellular level. In fact, we did not consider the effects of the morphological structure of the spherical marimo on the protection of PSII against the exposure to high illumination. Nonetheless, our results provide an indicator or clue to what may happen to the spherical marimo in Lake Akan. The fact of the cell death caused by the photoinhibitory treatment for only 6 h at 2 °C suggests that photoinhibition would be a serious threat to the surface part of marimo in the lake when global warming proceeds. The natural habitat of marimo receives more than 10 h of sunlight, even in winter. > > If the damage of the surface cells increases under the longer exposure to direct sunlight per day due to the thinning of ice or ice collapse, in an extreme case, this may affect maintenance of their round bodies and lead to the disappearance of giant marimo. There is another possibility. It is known that phytoplankton in lake water increases when the lake surface is unfrozen. This suggests a greater absorption of sunlight by the lake water, and it might alleviate photoinhibition in marimo at low temperatures. Nonetheless, the irreversible photoinhibition of PSII in the filamentous cells indicated by this study suggests that this may cause survival of marimo to be more difficult in the near future. If global warming proceeds, there must be a stage where ice will melt away to allow high light penetration to the lake bottom while the water temperature is still low. We need to monitor the environmental conditions in Lake Akan continuously and to examine characteristics of the photoinhibition and repair at low temperatures in the spherical marimo themselves. Furthermore, we must urgently deal with protecting the marimo habitat.

So, as far as this sort of research goes, it's very much preliminary. They have identified a set of environmental conditions which is dangerous to the marimo in the lab, but they do not actually how much warming there needs to be in order for those conditions to occur in the real world (any journal of greater quality than MDPI would have demanded that from them) - or even if they would necessarily occur at all.


ThoraciusAppotite t1_j1ltm2g wrote

If I'm remembering correctly, Iceland was the only other place on the planet where this species existed. We made ours go extinct by redirecting a (filthy) glacial river into its pristine lake in order to generate power for a transnational's aluminum smelter.


CMDR_omnicognate t1_j1mcuzd wrote

Oh hey marimo! These things are really popular aquarium plants, though often they’re some similar but different type of moss that’s a lot cheaper


FailOsprey t1_j1nbjov wrote

Why did the m0ds essentially rem0ve every comment in this post?


NeonMarimo t1_j2589h5 wrote

Ukraine as well which is where all the commercial Marimo sold in pet stores and online were harvested from until the Zebra Mussel infestation took over.

They were also known to be in northern regions of the U.S too but very rare to find now.