Friday, 3 July 2015

Ptilidium ciliare on coal tips

The distribution of this attractive liverwort in Glamorgan is slowly unravelling. Its appearance in natural and semi-natural habitats is rather sporadic, but it seems to be an almost constant component of broken swards on older coal tips. Yesterday I made a pit stop and Ffos y Fran to add some records to SO00S & SO00T and found it in both, though P.c. was only new for the latter. Other typical species of these pseudo-CG1 tip communities [have you ever NVC'd these communities Sam?] noted included Filago minima, Festuca ovina, Carlina vulgaris, Thymus polytrichus, Cladonia spp., Pilosella officinarum, Racomitrium lanuginosum, R. ericoides, Polytrichum piliferum, Hypnum cupressiforme var. lacunosum, etc. Good to see a couple of pairs of Lapwings with well-grown chicks there too.


  1. I'm surprised there was any coal spoil left intact in SO00T! It looked like something out of Mordor when I drove past last week.

    The map also suggests an eastern bias to the distribution, hinting at a rather continental distribution, as Sam mentions in his Pembs flora.

  2. Yes it is a bit bleak up there, but still a few remnants to look at ... for the time being!

  3. PS. The Ptilidium growing on Rhossili Down defy the continental model!

  4. I found P.ciliare on various tips around Merthyr and Aberdare, around ten years ago, but not having MapMate then, I can't now remember where I sent my records.

  5. I saw plenty of it on tips at Dare Valley CP a few weeks ago.

  6. It's very western in VC35 (see map), but that's where the hills are. There's a lot on the coal tips around Blaenafon and Brynmawr. It looks as though someone has VC35 MapMate records of this species that I don't have in my dataset!

  7. I spoke to Dave yesterday who said he's hoping to send me more bryo records very soon (mostly your missing ones Sam), so we should be then be able to track down other data gaps.
    Mark I have 10 records for you in MapMate:
    12-Oct-06 Dare Valley CP (east), Aberdare In Lichen Bryophyte heath on coal waste tip. SN98200225
    04-Nov-06 Dare Valley Country Park (alder wood) On Bwllfa coal waste tip. SN96980240
    06-Dec-06 Cwmaman On vegetated coal waste, near old Llanwynno road. ST00609905.
    08-Dec-06 Merthyr, (Dyffryn Fawr - Pentrebach) On Coal waste tip. SO07100390
    08-Dec-06 Merthyr Tydfil - Ffos-y-fran/Cwmblacks. In Lichen Bryophyte Heath, on vegetated coal spoil tip. SO06980593.
    02-Apr-10 Gellideg North Fields SO02580708. In Bryophyte community amongst Caluna. North side of tip.
    07-Nov-10 Tarren y Bwllfa SN9638501799. In grassland and heath, around small outcrop, near cliff top.
    09-Jan-11 Cefn Cadlan (west) SN9623611792. Present on and around millstone grit outcrop.
    06-Dec-14 Miskin Forestry (south), Mountain Ash ST0411898385. Daranlas. Amongst bryophyte community, around rock outcrop.
    06-Dec-14 Miskin Forestry (south), Mountain Ash ST0411898385. Amongst mosses, in turf around Daranlas rock outcrop.

  8. PS. There are no VC35 records on my system