The capacity of feathermosses to release mineral N to water and eventually re-capture it back from the solution was periodically measured in several 64-hour tests. Mosses were collected from 13 locations in western Alberta, Canada, and given several pre-treatments in the days leading up to the submersion of mosses in aerated distilled water. In a factorial experiment, the pre-extraction conditions were fertilized or left as controls and kept moist or allowed to dehydrate. The concentration of mineral N in the solution was monitored by withdrawing small samples of the solution for colorimetric analysis at pre-determined time intervals. To assess the effects of microflora and handling damage to the moss tissues on the rate of N exchange between moss and solutions, the test was repeated firstly using a solution of antibiotics instead of water and secondly using mosses that were not given time to recover from handling. No perceptible leakage of N was recorded from fully hydrated moss tissues. Dehydrated mosses lost as much as 8% of their total N content to the solution within two hours after re-hydration, but had recovered two thirds of it within the next 16 hours. Moss tested immediately after normal handling released 0.7% of their total N and recovered it at the same rate as the desiccation-damaged mosses. Application of antibiotics affected neither leakage nor re-absorption rate. During the gradual drying of moss, N apparently shifted from NO3− to NH4 . The strong ability of mosses to quickly re-absorb released N from surrounding solutions suggests that leakage of N from dried moss after rewetting, as a source of N to the ecosystem, is not as large as suggested by previous literature.