My fairly uneducated theories based on "just enough knowledge to be dangerous:"
1. the shape of the vases allow for sun to be refracted in different ways through the glass which causes more/less evaporation & otherwise changes the intensity of the light inside the vases -- I bet if you put a thermometer in there one would get warmer than the other
2. the substrate gives nutrients somewhere to gather/something to "cling" to
3. the moss is sucking in the nutrients so the algae doesn't have as much food
4. though they're side by side, one is probably getting more sunlight than the other
It's not a mystery...snails are the BEST!
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