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Re: Mysteries of the wood Chunk

Paul Krombholz wrote:
>The "Y" shaped growth could be the Java fern adapting the gametophyte form
>of growth.  Java ferns can do that.  It really isn't the true gametophyte,
>which is haploid (one set of chromosomes), but under poor lighting or low
>nutrients, I have seen the java fern revert to this form, even though it is
>a sporophyte and is diploid (has 2 sets of chromosomes).   It is
>ribbon-like, wrinkled, and dark green, having no spongy mesophyll with air
>inbetween the upper and lower epidermis to give it the bright, reflective,
>green color of the usual sporophyte leaves.  I once had a low-light 29
>gallon tank with one rather pink,20 watt light where I had some crypts and
>a literal carpet of the dark green, wrinkley gametophyte form.  Finally,
>the light bulb got so old that it began to flicker, and, when I replaced it
>with a cool white one, the Java fern immediately started growing the bright
>air-filled leaves of the sporophyte form.

That's very intriguing and I suspect you may be on to something because 
these particular growths are near the Java Fern and I just recently 
replaced some old, wore out, normal output fluorescent bulbs (~1 yr 
old).  It's impossible to tell where the growth is coming from because of 
the Christmas Moss so it could very well be part of the fern.  Well, enough 
shooting in the dark.  My curiosity is really worked up now so I'll have to 
pull the wood out today and inspect the growth in detail or I won't be able 
to stop thinking about it.  I'll report back with what I discover.

Chuck Huffine
Knoxville, Tennessee  USA
mailto:grendel at usit_net