Patches of epiphytic Loeskeobryum brevirostre (e.g. within rectangles delimited by white stars)
Sunday, 25 January 2015
Loeskeobryum in conifer plantation (again)
Hilary and I spent an afternoon checking one of NPT's Fir Clubmoss sites. Apart from the well known Craig y Llyn populations, they are all in forestry areas which are currently under threat from careless, collateral damage associated with wind farm development, plantation felling and forestry roadworks etc. The Rheola forest population (one plant!) is a bit of an outlier and occurs in a tetrad with over 100 bryophyte records (virtually all in plantation areas), so we didn't expect to add much - and we didn't. However, we did add Racomitrium heterostichum and we admired some of the roadside willows which were covered in epiphytes; some trees with at least 15 species on their trunks just from leisurely counting. From a distance, one of them looked as if it had some nice patches of Eurhynchium striatum (not unusual). Purely by chance I thought it was worth checking in case it was Loeskeobryum brevirostre. It was.
This is our third record for this species in NPT plantations, but the first time we've seen it as an epiphyte and in this particular case well established fairly high up on the trunk. The apparent association of this species with conifer plantations, also mentioned in the Atlas, is interesting.