Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Home tetrad, ST17P

My home tetrad is mostly suburban houses and gardens, but the Taff river corridor passes through it, and Llandaff Cathedral lies within it, so it probably has a higher potential species list than most of the urban Cardiff tetrads. Currently, the species list is in the low 60s, a figure which has been built up incrementally while recording a few species here and there while exercising the kids. A visit to the cathedral by Barry also helped and added some interesting species such as Scorpiurium circinatum.

Yesterday I was pushing a sleeping toddler round Hailey Park in the pushchair and noticed that a large patch of bare earth, created when a new path was put in last year, had started to become colonised by bryophytes. This added not only a new species for the tetrad, Tortula truncata, but also one new for me Pleuridium subulatum. The latter was non-fruiting and I was concerned it might just be young D. heteromalla with straightish leaves, but after poking around under the microscope I found some of the dwarf male branches.It was growing alongside the Tortula and also Funaria.

The soil can't have been particularly acid but perhaps just a bit leached allowing T. truncata to thrive. I've not found any other acidophiles locally (except Ceratodon).


  1. P. subulatum s a nice record George. Only 6 previous Glam records in MM, few and far between.

  2. I think Pl. subulatum has been somewhat misunderstood by bryologists until the last 15-20 years, as it seems to be much more frequent than Pl. acuminatum in most areas I visit. Perhaps the latter has declined (as many acidophiles have) whilst the former has been increasingly found because of its preference for arable and suburban disturbed ground.

  3. Thanks both. I'll certainly now have my eyes open for it whenever I check recently disturbed ground.