• Sphagnum;
  • nutrition;
  • vegetative reproduction;
  • morphogenesis


Five experiments are described which were designed to investigate the effects of varying the concentrations of nitrate, phosphate, potassium and carbon dioxide in the culture solution on the morphology and vegetative reproduction of Sphagnum cuspidatum Ehrh. The plants were grown axenically from spores sown on agar containing inorganic salts and then transferred to aqueous culture solutions through which air containing enhanced concentrations of carbon dioxide was passed.

In three of the experiments the plants were grown in a balanced inorganic salt solution at various dilutions and in two of these the concentration of carbon dioxide in the gas bubbled through the solution was varied. The concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium were varied independently and in combination in the remaining experiments while the concentration of carbon dioxide was kept constant.

In some of the experiments the minimum concentrations of nitrogen and potassium supplied were considerably below the minimum average concentrations recorded in rain but the minimum concentration of phosphorus supplied was within the upper part of the range recorded in rain. Within the ranges supplied the concentrations of all three elements and of carbon dioxide affected interfascicle length and vegetative reproduction (innovation formation) but it was concluded that the element limiting innovation formation in natural conditions is phosphorus.