Reading Sam's post 'On Headless Hill' (great title for a thriller), I was reminded of a small colony of Leucobryum juniperoideum I found a couple of decades ago in the pine plantation near Pluck Lake in the Lower Swansea Valley. I haven't really been there looking for bryophytes in recent years, so H and I had a stroll in the woods around the lake this afternoon. Unfortunately no sign of the Leucobryum, and we didn't see any headline species, but I was impressed by how much the habitat has changed in the last 30 years or so. Pleurocarpous carpets dominate the woodland floor with lots of Hylocomium splendens and Pseudoscleropodium purum, occasional patches of Rhytidiadelphus loreus and Pleurozium schreberi, and a small amount of Plagiothecium undulatum. I was surprised by the amount of Dicranum majus there. Back in the day when Steve Lavender was the Swansea University LSV Conservator, the woodland floor was rather sterile (but great for fungi in Autumn). What is really pleasing now is the way in which the habitat seems to be taking on the upland flavour of a surrogate Sessile Oak Woodland, much like the Neath Valley (and other) plantations have. Over the decades the pines have grown taller, allowing more light to get to the forest floor, and that has obviously provided better conditions for these bryophytes. I love the way these species colonise and transform conifer plantation habitats.
Dicranum majus growing with Dicranum scoparium, Pluck Lake Pine Plantation
Willows around the lake have a typical epiphyte flora, but we couldn't find any Colura.