Experiment on the interaction between mosses and soil in water absorption

If you irrigate a soil substrate covered with moss, how is the water absorption working?  How much water is stored in the soil and how much in the moss? And are there any differences between moss species?

We, the PhD students Sonja Thielen (working group of Invertebrate Paleontology and Paleoclimatology) and Corinna Gall (working group of Soil Science and Geomorphology), try to answer these questions with a new experiment. During the irrigation process we measure moisture in the moss cover, soil surface and in 3 cm depth of the soil with a biocrust wetness probe (BWP). First, we observe the hydration process by adding six liters of water to each sample, and then we monitor the desiccation process over 72 hours. Afterwards we detach the mosses from the soil substrate and test the maximum water absorption of the different moss species. Furthermore, we took a soil sample with a core cutter and also test the maximum water absorption of the different soil substrates. In total we compare three soil substrates and four moss species.