Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Bad news for Leucodon

At lunchtime today I cycled down to Bute Park to make my annual visit to the Leucodon sciuroides patch discovered in 2014. Last year I reported that it seemed to have made some minor advances (see here), but this year the news is much less good. Not only has the centre of the patch almost completely gone, much of what remains looks sickly and it doesn't seem to have made any gains at the colony margins (scroll through the photos below, from 2014 to 2016).

I suspect this is mostly physical damage caused by tree climbers (as the sycamore is almost horizontal it's an easy one to climb) - note the Frullania in the top right has also gone.

The sickly remaining shoots (photo below) may be due to them being isolated from the rest of the colony.

Only the left hand side looks in reasonable nick. The future of Glamorgan's only known patch of Leucodon hangs in the balance. Time for someone to find some more!


  1. Great little monitoring exercise George. - this could turn into a bryological soap opera! And yes, it's about time we discovered it elsewhere...

  2. I hope it does recover George, it's such an elusive species.

  3. I fear the soap opera won't have a happy ending, but you never know. I was trying to think of a way to deter kids from climbing on the branch - I think the only was would be to saw off the parallel branch above, which acts as a handrail - but this would seem a little drastic.