Sunday, 4 January 2015

Penclawdd copperworks slag ridge

This bulbiferous Pohlia was growing on a slag ridge on the saltmarsh at Penclawdd. Associates included an interesting mix such as Archidium alternifolium, Didymodon fallax, Riccia sorocarpa, Scapania irrigua & Bryum cf gemmiferum (tbc). The Pohlia bulbils appeared to be restricted to singles in axils and were 350µm long, the plants were all very small with striking red stems and yellowy leaves.
[NB. I previously posted a short note on the Gower Wildlife blog about this site HERE]
Bryum dichotomum (barnseii form)
Archidium in spring tide inundation zone amongst Plantago coronata


  1. None of the Pohlia I collected is very good material, but there are a couple of shoots which appear to have 2 or more bulbils, so I'm pretty sure this is annotina. I can't find any Dichodontium in my sample so I'll forget for now that and the Bryum cf gemmiferum looks more like dichotomum from my phone pics, but I have no sample to check - any thoughts? Other additions of interest for what is essentially saltmarsh fringe included Gymnocolea inflata and Cephaloziella divaricata. I'll be back to look at this spot more carefully as I was actually on a hunt for Jack Snipe (saw 8) and ended up just popping a few samples in a crisp packet I found!

  2. I was going to say it looks more like dichotomum before I saw your comment.

  3. Is that the site with the massive lumps of slag? I've recorded there before, and found Lophozia excisa (from memory) plus various other bits and pieces. A really intriguing site.

    Pohlia annotina bulbils get larger if they don't fall off, so it's not uncommon to find large single bulbils on that species (leading to erroneous records of P drummondii).

    Your Bryum is of the many-bulbilled B dichotomum form that is sometimes split as Bryum barnesii - discussed in the Carms Flora I think.

  4. Thanks - I think my previous two records of gemmiferum are erroneous and both refer to 'barnesii' (which I have seen at a few other sites too). The day I was with George, when he found the real deal at Cosmeston, it was strikingly obvious and started me wondering if I'd goofed. Please delete/amend my record for Overton Mere, SS463849, 41, 27 Feb 2013 & I'll amend this years record from Swansea Vale (flood alleviation area), SS676988, 41, 09 Sep 2014. The only other record on MM other than George's is from KNNR on 30-Dec-2007 curiously labelled as 'Kenfig NNR - public reports'! I'll ask Dave Carrington if he has any more details, but it sounds a bit suspect too? This makes your record all the more significant George - glad I was there to enjoy it ;-)

  5. PS, yes it is the site with the massive lumps of slag. There's quite a few things on there not on your list (nothing unusual), so guess it was only a quick look or you weren't recording everything. One you never noted was Tortella flavovirens, which is abundant, but it's slightly odd in that the leaf shape almost resembles Barbula unguiculata, many leaves being almost tongue-shaped with broad, rounded tips and an excurrent nerve. I can post some pics if this is unusual, but I can't see what else it could be. The habitat is right, even if the substrate is odd?

    1. when I say nothing unusual, I'm not inferring that it's not unusual for you to miss things ;-), but that there was nothing unusual among the additional species I recorded! FYI interesting vasculars recorded on the blocks have included Filago minima, Spergularia rupicola, Torilis nodosa and Ornithopus perpusillus, all of which are remote from the other Gower sites

  6. Sam, I've just realised that the bank shown in the photo is where you recorded Plagiomnium cuspidatum, so well worth a closer inspection.