Sunday, 30 November 2014

Rhossili Bay

Some casual observations during a walk to the Old Rectory at Rhossili this afternoon produced two new species for me: Pogonatum nanum and Weissia perssonii, both being found on the fine loamy soils around Devonian Sandstone & Conglomerate outcrops.  The Weissia was locally frequent and was fruiting freely. Although the capsules were unripe, pulling them apart under the microscope revealed a rudimentary peristome and the strong costa with elongated, smooth adaxial cells.
Pogonatum nanum
Also noted were a few robust patches of Saccogyna viticulosa in one of the gulleys, a few patches of Riccia subbifurca on anthills otherwise dominated by Ceratodon and a little Reboulia hemisphaerica among the Rectory walls assemblage. Given these really were just casual observations (I was pushing Alfie in his ‘doggyhut’ most of the time!), there must be scope for plenty other discoveries along this section of coast, which is geologically very different from much of Gower’s Limestone coast.
Riccia subbifurca
ant hill in foreground location of R. subbifurca

Garnswllt (north)

Yesterday morning a few small patches of Jungermannia pumila growing on the reinforced banks of the Afon Cathan SN621102 were the highlight of the 62 species recorded during a brief sojourn into the small part of SN61F that belongs to Glamorgan.

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Mobile mosses

While walking past an old (W-reg) landrover in Llandaff North today I noticed a few moss tufts growing from joins in the bodywork. There was no-one around so I grabbed a few tufts and stuck them in an empty crisp bag in my pocket. Checking the specimens when I got home revealed four species: three Bryum (no prizes for guessing which: capillare, argenteum and dichotomum) and Ceratodon purpureus.

I'm never quite sure how to record plant species which are literally mobile - I guess the car probably spends most of its time outside its owners house, which would be the best place to pin the records to, but without knowing this the best one can do is record the location where the species were seen. Sam, I note that you mention two species recorded growing on your car in your Pembs flora, but didn't add records of them for all the county tetrads though the mosses would have visited them all :-)

Radyr arable: part 2

I've now finished trawling through the cereal stubble specimens I gathered last week, and added a few extra species to those I  listed in the previous post: Tortula truncata, T. modica, Dicranella varia and Trichodon cylindricus. This takes the list for the fields to 17 species, though I have to confess to giving up on most of the Bryum spp!

Friday, 28 November 2014

Cololejeunea and Colura in Glamorgan

Cololejeunea miutissima (Minute Pouncewort), Afan Forest

After reading Graham's excellent update on Breconshire bryophytes, and particularly his comments on Cololejeunea minutissima, I thought it might be a good idea to review the apparent, current status of these two liverworts in VC41, at least according to Map Mate records.
Hilary and I encounter Cololejeunea quite a lot in NPT, and it's beginning to look as if it is distributed widely in the county. The apparent gaps in its distribution are probably more a reflection of recorder effort than anything else. You are as likely to see it on a tree in a park as on willow in a conifer plantation and I think we should look for it in every tetrad.

Cololejeunea minutissima is easy to identify particularly when it's in fruit. The perianths resemble the heads of a small Phillips screwdriver (fairly clear in photograph above). But even when it's not in fruit, the dense clusters, sometimes forming little mounds, are very distinctive. The rise and rise of this species in South Wales is very significant.
The rise and rise of Colura calyptrifolia is also significant.

Much of the distribution of Colura shown in the map above corresponds with the distribution of Sitka Spruce plantation in NPT. Sam's highly plausible theory that mature conifer forests provide the cool, moist conditions that this hyperoceanic liverwort enjoys, and also have acted as very effective traps for spores than have rained in on westerly weather fronts, goes  a long way in explaining the phenomenal expansion of this species' range in South Wales. Hilary searches diligently for Colura almost everywhere we go, so the gaps in its distribution in NPT at the very least suggest that it is rarer in lowland squares away from plantations. The exception seems to be areas in the vicinity of Crymlyn Bog and the nearby Tennant Canal where it occasionally grows on willows. It's apparent rarity in Gower is interesting; Barry tells me that he has searched for it, without success, in suitable places. In contrast, Cololejeunea minutissima, another hyperoceanic species, seems to be more common in lowland areas and its distribution does not correspond specifically with the occurrence of conifer plantation.
As the density of Colura increases in and around plantation areas, the increased propagule pressure may  generate a second phase of expansion. This may already be happening in areas of mid and east Glamorgan. 
Colura is often found on willows, particularly Salix cinerea, but it can be found on virtually any tree (conifer or hardwood, including Buddleja) in suitable locations. It also grows on Ulex spp., Calluna vulgaris and Vaccinium myrtillus in NPT, which are common hosts for it in Ireland. It has even been recorded growing on glass.
As the data base of records for South Wales bryophytes increases, I think it will reveal some very interesting and detailed patterns in the distribution of species like Cololejeunea and Colura. Since they are both bellwether species, whose current range expansions are indicating significant changes in our climate, we shouldn't underestimate the wider value of our efforts. 

Little bears


Not a mega liverwort from VC44 - this photo from the Paramo in Colombia (2006) reminds me of a group of little bears bending over with their arms outstretched.  I have no idea even what genus it is!


In reply to Charles' request for habitat lists - that is something I have been doing to a certain extent during my south Wales recording over the last 15 years.  It's all a bit imprecise, with my habitats and substrates being rather muddled up.  They include various things such as Churchyard, dune slack, tarmac, rocks by stream (and rocks by river), plus virtually every common tree species.  The trees are tabulated in the Pembrokeshire Bryo Flora, against all the regular epiphytes.

Anyway, there are 130,000 bryophyte records from Carms and Pembs in my dataset, 1900 of which have Tarmac as substrate. The following lists the 81 species that I have recorded at least once on Tarmac in SW Wales, plus the number of records of that species.  Rather few species are regular and the 'tail' of one-offs is very long.

Bryum argenteum 306
Bryum dichotomum 298
Didymodon nicholsonii 253
Ceratodon purpureus 116
Cratoneuron filicinum 93
Bryum capillare var. capillare 85
Barbula unguiculata 77
Syntrichia intermedia 72
Syntrichia latifolia 69
Didymodon insulanus 63
Syntrichia ruralis 56
Brachythecium mildeanum 29
Leptodictyum riparium 29
Calliergonella cuspidata 25
Funaria hygrometrica 22
Didymodon luridus 20
Orthotrichum diaphanum 20
Brachythecium plumosum 19
Didymodon sinuosus 19
Schistidium crassipilum 19
Brachythecium rutabulum 17
Tortula truncata 16
Syntrichia ruraliformis 13
Brachythecium albicans 12
Rhynchostegium riparioides 11
Cinclidotus fontinaloides 9
Dialytrichia mucronata 9
Pseudocrossidium hornschuchianum 8
Syntrichia papillosa 8
Barbula convoluta var. commutata 7
Bryum ruderale 7
Philonotis fontana 7
Scleropodium cespitans 7
Tortula muralis var. muralis 7
Barbula convoluta var. convoluta 6
Pohlia wahlenbergii var. wahlenbergii 6
Amblystegium serpens var. serpens 5
Didymodon rigidulus 5
Grimmia pulvinata var. pulvinata 5
Schistidium apocarpum s.s. 5
Bryoerythrophyllum recurvirostrum 4
Bryum capillare 4
Campylopus introflexus 4
Didymodon fallax 4
Encalypta streptocarpa 4
Eurhynchium hians 4
Hypnum cupressiforme 4
Orthotrichum anomalum 4
Orthotrichum cupulatum var. cupulatum 4
Plagiomnium rostratum 4
Brachythecium rivulare 3
Plagiomnium undulatum 3
Schistidium apocarpum 3
Bryum rubens 2
Homalothecium sericeum 2
Hypnum lindbergii 2
Leskea polycarpa 2
Rhizomnium punctatum 2
Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus 2
Scorpiurium circinatum 2
Syntrichia virescens 2
Tortella nitida 2
Amblystegium tenax 1
Barbula convoluta 1
Bryum pseudotriquetrum s.l. 1
Dichodontium sp. 1
Didymodon vinealis 1
Homalothecium lutescens 1
Hygrohypnum luridum var. luridum 1
Hypnum lacunosum var. lacunosum 1
Orthotrichum cupulatum 1
Plagiomnium affine 1
Plagiomnium cuspidatum 1
Rhynchostegium confertum 1
Rhynchostegium murale 1
Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus 1
Schistidium elegantulum 1
Schistidium rivulare 1
Syntrichia laevipila var. laevipila 1
Syntrichia laevipila var. laevipilaeformis 1
Trichostomum crispulum 1

Recording in Breconshire - don't be afraid to get stuck in.

Recording in the county by Ray Woods and myself has been rather opportunistic.  Unfortunately there is only one car in our household and my wife has to use it for work most days and works every other Saturday, so unfortunately I can't really attack the county in a systematic way.  I don't expect i'll be able to go off on bryological excursions more than a couple of times each year, so rely largely on spotting stuff during site visits through work (unfortunately I spend most of my time at the desk these days).  So, if you are out bryologising near to Breconshire then please do step into the county - despite having a good list it is very under-recorded and even Craig Cerrig-gleisiad, which is arguably the most bryologised locality in south Wales, keeps producing new species.  Still, even if I don't get out, I have rather a large quantity of unopened packets, collected over past few years and i'll be slowly be working through them this winter and hopefully turn up something good.

Good luck


Tracking down missing records

In an attempt to to help identify the records missing from the MM data set, I've set up a temporary page on the tabs above labelled 'VC41 data status'. This combines Sam's VC41 list with the list generated by MapMate. The columns provide summaries of the number of records in MM, together with first and last dates for each species.

The Pogonatum challenge Glam-style

It appears the two common Pogonatum species are much scarcer in the lower lying areas of Glamorgan as well as Carmarthenshire. The maps suggest both are absent from the Vale (George's challenge!) and lower land of the Gower peninsula (my challenge). Charles and Hilary have recorded them in a good proportion of the monads they have visited in NPT, so I guess altitude and geology are important factors? Finding P. nanum is of course the real challenge! It's on the county list, but we have no records in MapMate yet.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Fewer than 100 to do!

I did one tetrad in central Carms (SN52S) yesterday and one in NW Carms (SN12Y), taking the total number of Carms tetrads that I have never visited to 99 (out of a total of 678).  Both scored ca. 80 species, thanks to a combination of bridges over streams/rivers in wooded valleys with steep lane banks.  One species united them - Hygrohypnum luridum on bridge walls.  This is mighty uncommon in Carms and is always a surprise find away from the upland calcareous rocks, whereas it is pretty frequent in much of lowland Britain.

Other stuff of vague interest included abundantly fruiting Metzgeria furcata on an Ash trunk, and some Ctenidium molluscum on a rather base-poor bank with Kindbergia.  Is the latter the mysterious 'var. sylvaticum', characterised by "branch tips strongly hooked, branches stout, not crowded" or just var. molluscum growing in an odd place?  It looks rather different to limestone grassland var. molluscum.  Perhaps it is var. condensatum "robust, with hooked branch tips; stems creeping, pinnately branched" but that is usually found on upland crags.  I find Ctenidium very confusing!


A challenge for Ian

Why is Pogonatum aloides so much more scarce in the Llanelli area (SE Carms) than the rest of VC44?  At the time of the Flora we assumed this was the result of selective collecting by Ian and Nigel, and that somehow their bags of moss hadn't included Pogonatum.  Subsequently I have recorded in the majority of the tetrads in SE Carms and have only found a few P. aloides sites.  So, Ian's challenge is to find some more populations of this very distinctive species!  It grows as a colonist on more or less bare soil on lane banks.

Most of the gaps in the north-west are unvisited tetrads, whereas most of those in the south-east have been looked at to some degree by me.

Arable adventure

Inspired by Barry's and Sam's recent posts, I took my first tentative steps into arable bryophytes yesterday lunchtime, when I took a trip to the nearest arable fields to my house in my lunch hour. These are at Radyr, Cardiff (ST1279) and only 3 km from home.

I wasn't expecting much but the cereal stubbles were stuffed with bryophytes. I really felt like I'd stepped back in time two years and was a complete bryo novice again, the species were so unfamiliar - apart from a few waste ground regulars like Barbula unguiculata.

I've still a pile of material to go through but species identified so far include Phascum cuspidatum var cuspidatum, Ephemerum minutissimum (spores checked) and lots of crystalworts. Most were Riccia sorocarpa but there was also a second, less glaucous species, see photos below. I thought this might be R. subbifurca rather than R. glauca, based on the small size of the thallus branches (only just over 1mm wide), but I'm really not sure.

Any thoughts? Thanks again.

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Draft update to Breconshire Bryophyte Flora

Below is the draft text of the update i'll put on BBS site soon - I hope to include maps and a few pics.

Hopefully I will have a few vouchers for some of the species mentioned in Appendix lurking in my herbarium or in packets I haven't looked through yet.  Sam - possible you might have a few of these?  I thought one of us had sent things like Diplophyllum obtusifolium in, but I can't see any published record.  One of my tasks this winter then will be to fill these holes.



      G S Motley, November 2014

The Mosses and Liverworts of Brecknock (Woods, 2006) is an essential read for anyone with an interest in the bryophytes of the county.  At the time of writing it is still available from the supplier listed on the British Bryological Society web site:

This short note updates Woods’ Flora, describing those moss and liverwort species recorded new to Breconshire (V.-c 42) since its publication.  Most records have been made by Sam Bosanquet (SDSB) and Graham Motley (GSM), with many of the records arising from surveys of National Nature Reserves (NNR) and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) (Bosanquet & Motley, 2008, 2009, 2013). Voucher specimens for many of the new records are held in the British Bryological Society Herbarium (Hb. BBSUK) and other herbaria.    

Since 2006, a total of 28 species, sub-species and variety of bryophyte have been added to the county, with one modern record of a species thought to be extinct and one species removed from the county list.  Species are listed in Census Catalogue order (Hill et al., 2008).

A list of bryophytes reliably recorded from the county, but which have not had a voucher specimen deposited in the BBSUK herbarium, is given in an Appendix.  Hopefully visiting bryologists who see any of the species on the list will collect a small specimen and submit it to the BBS Moss and Liverwort Recorders.    



Riccardia incurvata Lindb. (Lesser Germanderwort)
Recorded growing with Haplomitrium hookeri on a steep stream bank south of Craig y Fro (SN977203) near Storey Arms.   It was also seen in streamside turf at Nant Sere (SO026231).  Material likely to be this species has been noted in similar stream-side habitat at other sites in the Brecon Beacons National Park.
Fruiting: both male and female plants present, sporophytes not seen.
Altitude (range): 355-450 m.
First recorded: Craig y Fro, Bosanquet 2009 (Hb. BBSUK).

Cololejeunea minutissima (Sm.) Schiffn. (Minute Pouncewort)
This diminutive species has only been recorded in the county near Cwm Carngafallt (SN954640), to the south-west of Rhayader, and at Blackrock (SO218127) on the southern side of Mynydd Llangattock.  At the latter site it was abundant on two Fraxinus trunks in a humid section of the quarries.  This is a mainly coastal and southern liverwort, but it has been spreading inland in recent decades, presumably in response to changing climate or improving air quality.  As it is similar in appearance to Microlejeunea ulicina it may  be overlooked.
Fruiting: perianths consistantly present.
Altitude (range): 240-250 m.
First recorded: Near Cwm Carngafallt, R Knight, M Lawley & RG Woods 2008.

Plagiochila bifaria (Sw.) Lindenb. (Killarney Featherwort)
The first record in the county came from near Pont Melin-fach (SN908106) in the humid valley of the Afon Nedd, where it was growing on a Fraxinus trunk.  Since then the species has been found at several scattered localities in the extensive oak woodlands to the north of Pontneddfechan.  It should be present elsewhere in the county, in particular the oak woodlands in the far north and north-west.
Fruiting: female plants present, sporophytes not recorded. 
Altitude (range):  180-185 m.
First record: Pont Melin-fach, Bosanquet & Motley 2010 (Hb. BBSUK).

Plagiochila exigua Taylor (Petty Featherwort)
The smallest and the most humidity-demanding member of this genus occurs at its most southerly British location in the valley of the Afon Nedd (SN912117) near Ystradfellte.  Six patches grow on sandstone rocks with a calcareous element, where associates include Neckera crispa and Tortella tortuosa.  It may also be present in woodlands in the far north-west of the county as it is known from sites in Carmarthenshire close to the Breconshire boundary.
Fruiting: sporophytes not recorded, male plants with abundant antheridia present. 
Altitude (range): 220 m.
First record: above Pont Rhyd-y-cnau, Motley 2011 (Hb. BBSUK).

Pedinophyllum interruptum (Nees) Kaal (Craven Featherwort)
The UK headquarters of this liverwort is the upland Carboniferous Limestone areas of northern England.  If one was to have a guess at where the first Welsh record of this species might turn up, Craig y Cilau (SO189156), on the northern edge of Mynydd Llangattock, might have been near the top of the list of sites.  It was recorded during a survey of the NNR, where it was found growing on a periodically wet limestone face below Fagus.  Its presence here raises the possibility that a 1963 BBS record from limestone in the Nedd Valley near Ystradfellte may have been based on plants correctly identified in the field but then vouched with a specimen of Plagiochila (as it was determined by Jean Paton in 1965/66).
Fruiting: sporophytes not recorded.
Altitude (range): 400 m.
First recorded: Craig y Cilau, Bosanquet & Motley 2009 (Hb. BBSUK).

Barbilophozia hatcheri (A.Evans) Loeske (Hatcher’s Pawwort)
Although a rare species in Wales, the finding of this liverwort at Craig Cerrig-gleisiad NNR (SN959222) in the Brecon Beacons was not unexpected as it is known from sites just north of Builth Wells in Radnorshire.  It was found growing on top of a large block of Old Red Sandstone situated in a boulder field in a landslip on the upper part of the slope at the western end of the corrie.  The rocks in this part of the reserve appear to be more acid than over much of the rest of the site.  The only nearby associate was Hypnum cupressiforme.  This represents the most southerly location for this species in Britain.  
Fruiting: sporophytes not seen, abundant gemmae present.
Altitude (range): 575 m.
First recorded: Craig Cerrig-gleisiad, Motley 2012 (Hb. BBSUK).


Discelium nudum (Dicks.) Brid. (Flag-moss)
The only Breconshire record is from the banks of the Afon Cledan (SN879452) near Waen Rhydd, Llanwrtyd Wells, where it grows on sticky grey clay.  It may well be present in similar habitat on the heavy soils of the Coal Measures in the south of the county.
Fruiting: sporophytes present.
Altitude (range): 200 m.
First record: by the Afon Cledan, Bosanquet 2012 (Hb. BBSUK).

Grimmia decipiens (Schultz) Lindb. (Great Grimmia)
Recorded during a 1999 BBS field excursion growing on mortar on the bridge over the Grywne Fawr at Coed-dias (SO273244).  The bridge straddles the Breconshire – Monmouthshire boundary and the species is present in both counties.  This is a rather shady damp valley, a rather unusual habitat for a species which likes the sun, and considering the taxonomic revisions that have occurred in the genus Grimma over the past ten years, the specimen is probably worth re-checking.
Fruiting: not noted.
Altitude (range): 250 m.
First record: Coed-dias, NG Hodgetts 1999 (Hb. BBSUK).

Seligeria donniana Sm. (Donn’s Rock-bristle)
First noted in the county on a rather poorly vegetated, damp limestone rock face by the Afon Sychryd (SN916080) near Pontneddfechan in 2008.  This river runs along the Breconshire-Glamorgan boundary and it is likely the species also occurs on the Glamorgan side of the river.  It also occurs nearby in the Mellte valley where it grows on a small limestone outcrop above the footpath by the river with S. acutifolia and also on limestone chippings on the woodland floor. S. donniana was also found on a damp limestone cliff at the northen end of Cwm Llam-march (SO2112) in Cwm Clydach NNR in 2012, where associates included S. patula, and at Chwar Mawr in Craig y Cilau NNR (SO194155) in 2008.
Fruiting: ripe sporophytes noted at all locations.
Altitude (range): 130-430 m.
First record: by the Afon Sychryd, Bosanquet & Motley 2008 (Hb. BBSUK).

Seligeria oelandica C.E.O.Jenson & Medelius (Irish Rock-bristle)
One of the most surprising bryological UK discoveries in 2009 was the finding of this species at Craig y Cilau NNR (SO11).  It has a disjunct world distribution, with populations known in Europe only from NW Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Spitsbergen and Czechoslovakia and also Alaska.  At Craig y Cilau the entire population consists of eight small patches growing amongst S. patula on a vertical limestone rock face, which is constantly irrigated with water.  A few sporophytes with the distinctive thick seta were present.  As it occurs only on this one area of cliff, the population is very vulnerable should there be a large rock fall.  The population is extremely small and should not be collected under any circumstances.
Fruiting: mature sporophytes present.
Altitude (range): 380 m.
First record: Craig y Cilau, Bosanquet & Motley 2009 (Hb. BBSUK).

Ditrichum lineare (Sw.) Lindb. (Dark Ditrichum)
Noted on thin soil crust over a rock by the Afon Arban (SN849634) south of Claerwen reservoir.  This tiny moss of bare acid soils is liable to disappear in drier parts of the year and no doubt it has been overlooked in other parts of the county with suitable acid soils.
Fruiting: not noted.
Altitude (range): 375 m. 
First record: by the Afon Arban, JW & JM Bates 2012 (Hb. BBSUK).

Weissia controversa var. crispata (Nees & Hornsch.) Nyholm (a Beardless Moss)
This variety occurs on the north-facing limestone crags at Craig y Cilau NNR (SO187157).  It is also present on limestone ledges of the railway cutting at the north-east end of Cwm Llam-march (SO2112) and on mortar of a nearby retaining wall.  Although this moss is only regarded as a variety in Britain, it is treated as a full species (W. fallax) in much of Europe.  It is known from similar habitat in other south Wales counties and is likely to be present elsewhere along the limestone outcrop in southern Breconshire. 
Fruiting: sporophytes present on all collections.
Altitude (range): 275-420 m.
First record: Craig y Cilau, Bosanquet & Motley 2009 (Hb. BBSUK).

Weissia brachycarpa var. obliqua (Nees & Hornsch) M.O.Hill (Small-mouthed Beardless-moss)
SDSB has recorded this variety in an eroding gully at Fan Frynach (SN955228), in calcareous turf at Danydarren (SO023093) and on thin soils over limestone at Ty-yn-y-coed (SO220130).  
Fruiting: ripe or old sporophytes on all collections.
Altitude (range): 330-560 m.
First record: Fan Frynach, Bosanquet 2008.

Tortella bambergeri (Schimp.) Broth. (Bamberger’s Crisp-moss)
Although this species does not appear in the Mosses and Liverworts of Brecknock, it has been known to be present in the county since 2004.  During a revision of herbarium material by SDSB for his paper describing T. bambergeri as an addition to the British flora (Bosanquet, 2006), he uncovered earlier collections (as T. tortuosa) made by EW Jones from Cwm Du (SN9241) in 1937 and by EC Wallace from Tarren yr Esgob (SO23) in 1954.  This moss is widespread across southern Breconshire, particularly on Mynydd Du, the Central Beacons and the Black Mountains, where it usually grows on insolated Old Red Sandstone boulders, often with T. tortuosa nearby.  A few cushions on a coarse-grained limestone boulder at the north-east end of Chwar Mawr (SO196157) was unusual and represent the first occurrence of T. bambergeri away from Old Red Sandstone in south Wales.  
Fruiting:  sporophytes not recorded.
Altitude (range): 330-650 m.
First record: Cwm Du, Afon Senni, EW Jones 1937 (Hb. NMW).
Gymnostomum viridulum Brid. (Luisier’s Tufa-moss)
This strong calcicole was recorded on damp soil over limestone on a northeast-facing bank in a small disused quarry at Blackrock (SO219128) on the southern slopes of Mynydd Llangattock.  It is likely this small moss has been overlooked in similar calcareous habitat elsewhere in the county.
Fruiting: not recorded.
Altitude (range): 280 m.
First record: Blackrock, Bosanquet 2009 (Hb. BBSUK).

Barbula convoluta var. sardoa Schimp. (Lesser Bird’s-claw Beard-moss)
Woods (2006) did not split the two common varieties of this moss which are generally regarded as separate species.  The records that have been identified to variety show var. sardoa  to be scattered widely, but thinly, across the county.  
Fruiting: not recorded.
Altitude (range): 110-530 m.
First record: Pwll-y-wrach (SO1632), HJB Birks 1968. Examination of old herbarium specimens of B. convoluta would no doubt reveal earlier records.

Syntrichia papillosa (Wilson) Jur. (Marble screw-moss)
S. papillosa was reported from Breconshire in 2004 (Field Bryology 83), but the specimen was actually collected from Glamorgan.  As this moss is present in all other counties in south Wales, it seemed only a matter of time before it was recorded in Breconshire.  Known to be something of an urban species, GSM conducted a specific search of trees and shrubs around the village of Llangynidr (SN147198) in the Usk valley, which eventually resulted in the discovery of a small population of the moss on a branch of Sambucus.  The main associate was Orthotrichum affine.  It is likely to be present in lowland and urban areas elsewhere in the county.    
Fruiting: not recorded, but gemmae abundant.
Altitude (range): 130 m.
First record: Llangynidr, Motley 2014 (Hb.  BBSUK).

Ulota drummondii (Hook. & Grev.) Brid. (Drummond’s Pincushion)
In Britain, this species is most common in northern Scotland, but there is also a cluster of records in mid- and north-west Wales.  In 2011 this moss was found growing on branches of a sessile oak in woodland at Allt Ddu (SN936651) near Elan Village and also nearby at Crwnnalt (SN932639).  It will be interesting to see whether this species responds to changing environmental factors and expands its range in a similar manner to that of U. calvescens and some other epiphytes.     
Fruiting: sporophytes present.
Altitude (range): 250 m.
First record: Allt Ddu, DA Callaghan 2011 (Hb. BBSUK).

Ulota calvescens Wilson (Balding Pincushion)
This moss appears to be spreading rapidly eastwards in Britain.  It was unknown in south Wales before 2007, but has since been found in Pembrokeshire (2007), Carmarthenshire (2010) and Ceredigion (2012).  The first record for Breckonshire was of several patches growing with U. crispa on stunted Sorbus aucuparia at the edge of a conifer plantation at Coed Taf Fawr (SN991114) near Penderyn.   Further specimens have since been found on Corylus avellana and Crataegus monogyna in the upper Nedd valley (SN9113 & SN9114) north-west of Ystradfellte.   The Breconshire specimens seem more stunted than material seen earlier by GSM in Ceredigion, perhaps indicating that environmental conditions in Breconshire are sub-optimal at present.    
Fruiting: mature sporophytes present on all springtime collections.
Altitude (range): 300-380 m.
First record: near Coed Taf Mawr, Motley 2012 (HB. BBSUK).

Bryum donianum Grev. (Don’s Thread-moss)
Several patches were recorded on an anthill by the path at Blackrock (SO219128) on the southern slopes of Mynydd Llangattock, where the geology is Carboniferous Limestone. Also present on the anthill was B. torquescens.  The only other Breconshire population was found on the opposite side of the Clydach valley, growing mortar on the retaining wall of the railway line in Cwm Llam-march (SO218123).  When moist it looks a lot like B. capillare and is no doubt present elsewhere in the county.
Fruiting: sporophytes not recorded.
Altitude (range): 275-280 m.
First record: Blackrock, Bosanquet 2009 (Hb. BBSUK).

Bryum torquescens Bruch & Schimp. (Twisting Thread-moss)
This species was  recorded with B. donianum on an anthill on a track through quarries at Blackrock (SO219128), on the southern slopes of Mynydd Llangattock.  This is another B. capillare look-alike and is probably present at other site in Breconshire.
Fruiting: sporophytes present.
Altitude (range): 280 m.
First record: Blackrock, Bosanquet 2009 (Hb. BBSUK). 

Bryum gemmiferum R. Wilczek & Demaret (Small-bud Bryum)
This Bryum has undoubtedly been overlooked in Breconshire.  It is frequent on eroding banks of the River Usk around and downstream of Abergavenny, in neighbouring Monmouthshire, and is likely to be present at many locations along the Breconshire part of this river and possibly other rivers with  sandy riverbanks.  The only definate V.-c 42 records are from by the R. Usk at Crickhowell (SO213183), Pencelli (SO105243) and Sennybridge (SN92).
Fruiting: sporophytes not recorded.
Altitude (range): 110-200 m
First record:  River Usk, Sennybridge, BBS 1984. 

Bryum tenuisetum Limpr. (Yellow-tuber Thread-moss)
A member of group of similar-looking Bryum species that form root tubers. During a recent revision of Bryum specimens by David Holyoak, he confirmed this species for the county from a collection made by GW Garlick in heathland near the Sennybridge Ranges (SO0338) north of Lower Chapel.  
Fruiting: sporophytes not recorded, but the yellowish tubers presumably present.
Altitude (range): 320 m.
First record: north of Beili-griffith, Lower Chapel, GW Garlick 1980 (Hb. NMW).
Orthothecium rufescens (Dicks. ex Brid.) Schimp. (Red Leskea)
The finding of this strongly calcicolous and rather conspicuous species close to a small waterfall on cliffs in the upper Tawe valley (SN842180) was something of a surprise, as the next nearest Welsh site was on Cadair Idris.  A 30x30 cm large bright red patch, with a few smaller satellite colonies, was present on a damp Old Red Sandstone crag, with a few smaller satellite colonies nearby.  In 2013 a further population, consisting of four patches, was located in the Clydach Gorge (SO2112) near Brynmawr, high up on limestone cliffs, mostly on the south side of the river. Two of the patches here were growing on permanently flushed limestone cliffs and another on a large tufa block.
Fruiting: sporophytes not recorded.
Altitude (range): 215-410 m.
First record: top crag above Cwm Tawe, Bosanquet 2006 (Hb. BBSUK).  
Plagiothecium cavifolium (Brid.) Z.Iwats (Round Silk-moss)
Found beneath an overhang on the lower part of the Old Red Sandstone crags at Craig Cerrig-gleisiad NNR (SN967218).  It may well be present on other crags in the central and western parts of the Brecon Beacons.   
Fruiting: sporophytes not noted.
Altitude (range): 450 m.
First record:Craig Cerrig-gleisiad, Bosanquet 2013 (Hb. BBSUK).

Thamnobryum maderense (Kindb.) Hedenas ( a Feather-moss)
A poorly understood species, which requires further detailed study.  The second British record of T. maderense was discovered in a deep limestone gorge at Cwm Clydach (SO212123) near Brynmawr, where it occupies a wet limestone outcrop a few metres long at the base of a cliff and below a cave from which issues a stream.  Most plants in the population appear to be constantly irrigated.  A few small patches also occur on limestone blocks in the splash zone below the issuing stream.  Between this area and the river, T. maderense is replaced by the common T. alopecurum
Fruiting: sporophytes not recorded.
Altitude (range): 230 m.
First record: Coed Fedw-ddu, Cwm Clydach, Bosanquet 2013 (Hb. BBSUK).

Rhytidiadelphus subpinnatus (Lindb.) T.J.Kop. (Scarce Turf-moss)
SDSB found the first modern south Wales record of this species in Carmarthenshire in 2005.  Shortly afterwards the GSM visited the site to learn the features of this rather subtle moss.  Since then, SDSB and GSM have found populations of the moss at several other locations in south Wales, adding it to the Breconshire, Glamorgan and Pembrokeshire county lists.   The first Breconshire record came from Pont Melin-fach (SN910108) in the ‘Neath Waterfalls’ area north of Pontneddfechan, where it has subsequently been found to be widespread in the valleys of the Afonydd Nedd, Nedd-fechan, Mellte and Pyrddin.  It is locally abundant, mainly on the ground floor of humid Quercus woodland, but also in ash woodland over limestone in the upper Nedd-fechan valley.  This area probably holds the strongest population of R. subpinnatus in the UK. Smaller populations have also been found in the county at Nant Llech (SN8419), another humid Quercus woodland site, and Cwm Padest, Crai (SN873226), a small woodland with an otherwise average bryophyte assemblage.
Fruiting: this species seems to be shy to fruit in Britain, but sporophytes have been seen on several occasions in the Neath Waterfalls area, perhaps indicating that the population is healthy there.
Altitude (range): 150-270 m.
First record: Pont Melin-fach, Motley 2006 (Hb. BBSUK).



Moerckia flotoviana (Nees) Schiffn. (Irish Ruffwort)
This species appears as Moerckia hibernica in Woods (2006).  Recent studies have found that most British M. hibernica is the related M. flotoviana, with true M. hibernica confined to Scottish mountains.   

Bazzania tricrenata (Wahlenb.) Lindb. (Lesser Whipwort)
Woods (2006) reports that this species was last recorded in the county in 1927 by HH Knight and HA Hyde at Craig Cerrig-gleisiad.  As this liverwort also seems to have disappeared from other south Wales counties, there was good reason to suspect that it was extinct in Breconshire (see Woods, 2006).  However, in 2011 a population was rediscovered on a soil pocket beneath a rock near Claerwen Reservoir (SN893618) in the north of the county.
Fruiting: sporophytes not noted.
Altitude (range): 290 m.
First modern record: south of Claerwen, RV Lansdown 2011 (Hb. BBSUK).


Seligeria patula (Lindb.) I.Hagen (Triangular Rock-bristle)
S. patula was recently split from S. trifaria and appears under the name of S. trifaria in Woods (2006).  At Craig y Cilau NNR, this tiny moss occurs at about nine localities on the tall west crag of the reserve (SO183165), more or less at every place where there is significant seepage of water from above. It forms rather anonymous, dark green, often alga-impregnated patches that are appressed to rock faces. Three patches were also located on wet limestone above the tramroad to the east at Chwar Mawr (SO194157).  A very small population is also present on a flushed, sloping limestone rockface on the west side of the mouth of Cwm Llam-march (SO21661251) in Cwm Clydach NNR.  A massive tufa block below Tarren yr Esgob also supports S. patula, which was fruiting abundantly when visited by SDSB in 2013 – it was first recorded at this locality (as S. trifaria) during a BBS excursion in 1965.     
Fruiting: sporophytes frequent.
Altitude (range): 200-380 m.
First record: The first record collected as S. patula came from Craig y Cilau, Bosanquet 2009 (Hb. BBSUK), although a revision of herbarium specimens of S. trifaria would no doubt reveal earlier records.  

Bryum archangelicum Bruch & Schimp. (Archangelic Thread-moss)
This Bryum appears as B. imbricatum in Woods (2006).  There are several post 1960 records.

Heterocladium wulfsbergii I. Hagen (Wulfsberg’s Tamarisk-moss)
Woods (2006) mentions that Crundwell & Smith (2000) make reference to a Brecknock specimen, but he was unable to trace one in either the NMW or BBSUK herbariums.  It appears though that the reference is to a specimen held at the British Museum (Hb. BM), collected by Rev. A. Ley from hills above Nant Gwyllt (SN96) in 1881.  This moss was also recently been reported from a cliff face by the Afon Mellte, in the south of the county in 2012 and at various locations along the Nant Irfon in the north of the County in 2013. Deliberate searching in rocky river gorges, would no doubt turn up more records. 
Fruiting: sporophytes not noted.
Altitude (range): 160-310 m.
First record: above Nant Gwyllt, A. Ley 1881 (Hb. BM).


Schistidium papillosum Culm. (Rough Grimmia)
Although listed in Woods (2006), re-examination of the voucher material by SDSB has revealed it to be S. strictumS. papillosum is therefore deleted from the county list. 


Many thanks to Sam Bosanquet for adding extra detail to the species accounts and a big thank you to all those bryologists who have recorded in Breconshire and have passed on their records.  


Bosanquet, S. D. S. (2006).  Tortella bambergeri (Schimp.) Broth. in the British Isles.   Journal of Bryology 28: pp. 5–10.
Bosanquet, S. D. S. & Motley, G. S. (2008).  The bryophytes of the upland sandstone cliffs in the Western and Central Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales.  CCW Science Report No. 08/7/4.
Bosanquet, S. D. S. & Motley, G. S. (2009).  The bryophytes of Mynydd Llangatwg SSSI and Craig y Cilau NNR, Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales.  CCW Science Report No. 09/7/1.
Bosanquet, S. D. S. & Motley, G. S. (2013). A survey of the bryophytes of Cwm Clydach SSSI, Monmouthshire/ Breconshire.  CCW Science Report No. ?

Crundwell, A.C. & Smith, A.J.E. (2000).  Heterocladium wulfsbergii I.Hagen in the British Isles.  Journal of Bryology 22: pp. 43-47.

Hill et al., (2008).  A Checklist and Census Catalogue of British and Irish Bryophytes.  British Bryological Society.
Woods, R. G. (2006).  The Mosses and Liverworts of Brecknock. Privately published, Llandrindod Wells.


Species bracketed (i.e. with no post-1959 voucher) in the Census Catalogue (Hill et al. 2008).  Some of the species listed below have been recorded post-1959 but no voucher submitted.    

Bryum algovicum
Bryum archangelicum - modern records exist (as B. imbricatum)
Bryum creberrimum
Bryum turbinatum
Dicranella cerviculata – modern records exist
Enthostodon fascicularis
Frullania microphylla var. microphylla
Kurzia sylvatica – modern records exist
Marsupella emaginata var. aquatica – modern records exist
Marsupella emarginata var. pearsonii – modern records exist
Marsupella sphacelata
Mylia taylorii – modern records exist
Myrinia pulvinata
Oedipodium griffithianum
Oxyrrhynchium speciosum – modern records exist
Pterygynandrum filiforme
Racomitrium elongatum
Sphagnum compactum – modern records exist

Species reliably recorded in the county and appearing in Woods (2006) but with no voucher and therefore not listed for V.-c 42 in the Census Catalogue (Hill et al., 2008)

Anthoceros punctatus
Dicranum tauricum
Diplophyllum obtusifolium
Fissidens gracillifolius
Harpanthus scutatus
Philonotis caespitosa
Plagiothecium laetum
Sphagnum girgensohnii

Honorary V.-c 42 species occurring as sub-fossils in peat and listed in Woods (2006)

Sphagnum austinii
Sphagnum magellanicum