Thursday, 1 October 2015

Phascum cuspidatum (Cuspidate Earth-moss)

Compared to Gower and east Glamorgan, there's not much arable land in Neath Port Talbot. But there are some promising sites on the southern edge of the county between Margam and the Kenfig River, although unofficial access to most of them is not possible. However,H and I managed to look around 2 small patches near the east gate to Margam Park yesterday. Both support a nice mixture of common arable species such as  Dicranella staphylina, D. schreberiana, Oxyrrhynchium hians, Trichodon cylindricus, Tortula truncata and an assortment of common Bryum species e.g. argenteum, dichotomum, rubens). Sadly, we couldn't find any crystalworts or hornworts, but one of the fields had a substantial population of Phascum cuspidatum (= Tortula acaulon in Ron Porly's excellent field guide to Arable Bryophytes).

Phascum cuspidatum (Cuspidate Earth-moss) in arable field near Margam, 

Tortula truncata (Common Pottia) in arable field near Margam

Phascum cuspidatum is often described as a common arable species, but there are few records of it in VC41. Roy described it as rare in Glamorgan and Sam has commented on its scarcity in Carmarthenshire (compared to Pembrokeshire). However, there's lots of arable land in the Vale of Glamorgan that must be suitable for this predominantly lowland species. 

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