Low-altitude pikas survive by eating moss, but very few other animals can do so because moss is a very poor-quality food, says National Geographic. Fairfax County Public Schools reports that a few small mites and crustaceans eat moss, but most small animals use it as shelter material rather than food.Know More
Fairfax County Public Schools reports that moss is very important in the ecosystem, although not as a food source. According to National Geographic, moss is a poor-quality food because it is 80 percent indigestible fiber and does not provide sufficient nutrients. Most mammals cannot survive by eating moss exclusively, although many occasionally nibble at it. Pikas use a tactic called copraphagia to extract maximal nutrition from moss: they eat their own feces and re-digest it.
Caribou and reindeer feed primarily on a plant called caribou moss during mid-winter. However, according to Blue Planet Biomes, caribou moss isn't technically a moss; it's actually a lichen. A true moss, called Arctic moss, is eaten by some migrating birds.
Fairfax County Public Schools reports that many small animals rely on moss as a shelter material, and during droughts they may access it as a source of water. Many birds line their nests with mosses.Learn more about Botany
Spanish moss uses trees for mechanical support, but it does not get any nourishment from trees. Spanish moss does not harm trees, but it can occasionally weigh down weaker branches and become a nuisance to property owners.Full Answer >
Caribou moss, like other Arctic lichens, can make its own food, has strong and hardy tissues, and can survive for long periods of time without water. Caribou moss belongs to the class of lichens. These hardy species have unique adaptations, like many Arctic-dwelling organisms, to endure tough winters and survive in extreme conditions.Full Answer >
Certain groups of organisms known as fungivores feed almost entirely on fungi, while other groups known as omnivores consume it in addition to other types of food. Many different types of animals, including mammals, molluscs, insects and birds feed on fungi.Full Answer >
Diatoms are important food sources for many small plankton species, as well as some snails, crustaceans and fish. When the amount of nutrients in the water is very high, diatoms often experience population explosions, providing a major source of food for the ecosystem. Additionally, some bacteria consume living diatoms as well as their dead bodies.Full Answer >