Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Old Acquaintance

Travelling over Mynydd Llangynidr last week I made a quick roadside stop to see if I could refind Rhodobryum roseum at the site where I encountered it for the first time many years ago whilst recording some quadrat data in good grassland fungi habitat.    Sure enough it was still present – none of the plants was particularly crowded with leaves and so no chance of stringing R. ontariense, which is known from several European countries (Sweden, Finland, France Spain etc).  I am not entirely sure if there are strict habitat preferences between the two species, but R. ontariense may be more of a lowland species.   It is a very long shot, but it is worth bearing ontariense in mind if you ever come across Rhodobryum (differences are mainly number of leaves, leaf shape, extent of recurved margin and costa section – the following link takes you to a pdf of a paper that is probably still valid.... https://helda.helsinki.fi/bitstream/handle/10138/36724/299944_096_1972.pdf?sequence=1

If you search Rhodobryum roseum pics in Google a lot of those originating from America may well be ontariense.

Most Rhodobryum I have seen in the BBNP (Brecks and Mons) has been on high ground (but this may be because this is where the limestone usually outcrops) either in secondary calcareous grassland on old quarry spoil heaps or around natural limestone outcrops and pavement.  I did once show Rhodobryum to a non-bryologist colleague who the very next week came across some in a patch of semi-improved grassland over Old Red Sandstone in the Black Mountains north of Abergavenny! (and it seems Sam and I also recorded it on the ORS above Crickhowell some years ago – of which I only have a very very vague memory-  a bit like a dream).   It should be present on Morlais Hill if you haven’t had it there already.  

A couple of old pics to illustrate this lovely moss. 

1 comment:

  1. The west Gower plants certainly resemble yours rather than ontariense, but I'll collect a few shoots next time I'm down that way and double check. I think that 2p is mine btw, I remember losing one in that area a few years back