Friday, 29 January 2016
I've got a bee in my bonnet about Knot-hole moss Zygodon forsteri. The NBN map shows why this mega rarity isn't too ludicrous a prospect in the Forest of Dean, as there are historic records from north Devon and Worcestershire and nobody else would be fool enough to search specifically for it in FoD. A little bit of the Forest lies in Wales, including Lady Park Wood NNR and Reddings Inclosure, and there are plenty of beech knot-holes (albeit on younger trees than in Epping Forest, the New Forest or Burnham Beeches. Anyway, I have spent a couple of lunch breaks searching and haven't found any Z. forsteri yet, though my list of Beech epiphytes is growing nicely!
Prize among them was more Pylaisia polyantha - two patches on a massive fallen Beech branch - although some almost ripe Orthotrichum striatum was nice too. Pylaisia was also present on a willow trunk, the first time I've seen it on that species.
Another lunchtime walk, in the Woodland Trust's Priory Grove today, revealed a base-rich Brownstones outcrop with Neckera crispa, Eucladium, Plagiochila britannica, Orthothecium intricatum and Metzgeria conjugata, as well as Heterocladium flaccidum and Fissidens pusillus on smaller sandstone rocks. More epiphyte recording revealed Orthotrichum striatum, O. stramineum and O. tenellum on willows, but the Orthotrichum and Ulota sporophytes are still slightly too unripe for spotting scarcities to be possible.