These plants are very important in the ecosystem as they create a significant buffer system for other plants around them (Speck 1941). Plants from this family can also be a distinct indicator of the quality of the environment surrounding them, as most of them can be sensitive to the moisture present in the atmosphere (Small 1933). Mosses and liverworts contain several secondary metabolites being investigated for various agricultural, phytochemical, and pharmacological products.
This experiment was aimed at comparing phosphatase enzyme rate in moss species Hypnumjutlandicum, having received prior treatment of nitrogen and phosphate. Two different hypotheses were tested on two different variables, the nitrogen, and the phosphate. The first hypothesis was that phosphate will increase the rate of the phosphatase activity and the second was that nitrogen would decrease the rate of the phosphatase activity.
The test tubes containing different moss sample nutrient treatment were labeled to avoid contamination of the solutions. About 2 cm of each moss sample was placed in each of the labeled test tubes followed by 2.5 ml of deionized water and the contents of the test tubes mixed. A total of 2.5 ml of 10 mm nitrophenyl phosphate (NPP) was then added to the mixture and the stopwatch started to record time. The mixtures were left to stand for thirty minutes at room temperature to ensure that the enzyme substrate does not denature since enzymes have a working optimum temperature beyond which they denature. The test tubes were shaken at an interval of five minutes.
A solution of 5 ml of 0.2M NaOH was placed in each of the six labeled test tubes. A pipette was used to draw 0.5 ml of the NPP/moss/ water assay solution into each of the test tubes containing 5 ml of NaOH the test tubes were then shaken for the mixture to combine. A shade of yellow was used as an indicator of a complete reaction.