Thursday, 13 November 2014

St Fagans churchyard, and Fissidens query

Yesterday lunchtime I took the short drive over to St Fagans to record a few more species in ST17I, where the existing total on Barry's latest map was 30 species. I spent a while in the churchyard and found a good range of common species but nothing unusual.
St Fagans Churchyard
 Grimmia pulvinata was probably the most abundant species on gravestones.
Grimmia pulvinata
There was also a surprising amount of Dicranoweisia cirrata on presumably more acid stones, and one small patch of Frullania dilatata on a granite (?) grave. I see that Sam mentions in his Pembs flora that it was recorded 12 times on graves in that county.
Frullania dilatata on a stone grave
I made a brief diversion into a nearby woodland which had some promising-looking limestone outcrops, but almost every stone, log and tree base was smothered in Thamnobryum alopecurum, leaving little space for anything else.
Thamnobryum alopecurum
I did eventually find a couple of patches of Anomodon viticulosus, and this small Fissidens which was growing through wefts of Amblystegium serpens on thin soil over limestone. 

It is not very clear from the photo but the one nearly mature capsule I found was inclined and the leaves were bordered. I was fairly convinced this was F. incurvus, but I'm puzzled by the seta arising from the base of the stem rather than being terminal. Also, the young sporophyte in the photo arises laterally rather than terminally. Maybe I'm being dim, but I thought all the bordered leaved species had terminal setae?


  1. Bordered Fissidens are notoriously troublesome. The sporophyte comes from a dwarfed branch, but is terminal on that branch. I'm pretty sure this is atypical of any of the British species, so that plant is likely to be a mere oddity. I can't see any reference to this happening in Martin Corley's 1980 paper on bordered Fissidens in J Bryol 11:2. If the capsule was properly inclined then it's F incurvus.

    My dataset has no records from ST17I at all. Further evidence that we need to merge somehow (and also sort out the BBS data for VC41).

  2. Thanks Sam. Yes, capsule was properly inclined - not apparent in the pic as it was inclined away from the camera.

    I made some records in Fairwater Park on the other side of ST17I earlier this year, so you'll get these records at the year end. The others are a rag tag collection of older records in the SEWBReC dataset. As you say, these all need sorting out and the datasets merging, especially now that there's so much active recording going on.