Wednesday, 27 January 2016

West Glamorgan progress update

After all the recent scarcities, it seems appropriate that some of our commonest species should get a mention. Having now achieved the nominal tetrad coverage for Swansea, I thought a check of the coverage of our most widespread species might help identify where follow-up effort is required. There are 276 tetrads in West Glamorgan and the following table lists the most widespread species in terms of the number of tetrads recorded, along with the same figure as a percentage.
Species League Table (Tetrads)   # %
Kindbergia praelonga 232 84
Calliergonella cuspidata 230 83
Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus 223 81
Brachythecium rutabulum 220 80
Hypnum andoi 212 77
Metzgeria furcata 209 76
Frullania dilatata 200 72
Bryum capillare 199 72
Ceratodon purpureus 192 70
Mnium hornum 189 68
Ulota bruchii 189 68
Atrichum undulatum 180 65
Dicranum scoparium 179 65
Lophocolea bidentata 178 64
Dicranella heteromalla 177 64
Hypnum jutlandicum 177 64
Polytrichastrum formosum 176 64
Pseudoscleropodium purum 175 63
Barbula unguiculata 174 63
Orthotrichum affine 172 62

The following selection of maps highlights the distribution gaps in these widespread species. It's probable most can be taken above 90% with some additional targeted effort, bearing in mind a some of the NPT squares are still to be visited. Charles and Hilary's systematic monad recording is most impressive for species in key NPT habitats, such as forestry and mires, as shown in the second batch of maps below:

A few selected species frequent in forestry and mire habitats:


  1. Good work. So, where next Barry? Assuming C & H have NPT covered, will you mainly be topping up Swansea tetrads or venturing east into the badlands of RCT?

  2. Well done Barry, Swansea done and dusted. NPT still needs some work, so please don't assume that we have it all covered. Tetrads in the Port Talbot area need a bit of attention (the poorest numbers are for the Steel Works, where only Barry has official access), some parts of the Dulais valley (lots of private land), and parts of the Upper Tawe and Amman valleys.There are about 30 tetrads in NPT which have <30 species and pushing some of them up to or above 60 might be difficult. It seems to me that RCT and Bridgend are where we need a coordinated effort next. We've tackled a few RCT squares over the last month or so, but we're only hacking away at some near tetrads.

  3. I'm planning on starting on the eastern Vale once Cardiff is out of the way (not many tetrads left to do here), plus some of south-east RCT. Help with nibbling away at the giant white hole in central Glam will certainly be appreciated!

  4. The nominal totals may have been reached in Swansea but there are still lots of glaring blanks when looking at species maps. Some early squares were done when my experience was limited, so will benefit from a revisit, however, all Swansea squares are no more than 30mins from home so can be done when I have the odd hour spare or as a morning dog walk. If I have a spare couple of hours, my first aim will be to knock off some of the NPT squares, but I'll also do some East Glam recording whenever the opportunity presents. Rest assured George, East Glam won't be neglected, but there's something oddly satisfying about extending coverage rather than blitzing squares randomly - your results to date suggest you migh have a similar mentality ;-)

  5. Yes it's quite satisfying extenting the Cardiff super square outwards row by row!