Sunday, 15 May 2016


A day trip to the island with friends yesterday provided a few opportunities to look at bryophytes when not taken in by the spectacular display of Bluebells and the captivating Puffins.
Homage was paid to the Porella obtusata, which was still doing well on The Farmhouse walls, plus a close look at the heavily trampled ground in the enclosure proved to be interesting; a withering Fossombronia was frequent on patches of bare ground, the very thick tubers and purple rhizoids hinting at maritima - only unconfirmed material is mentioned for Skomer in Sam's Pembs Bryoflora, so still awaiting confirmation. Other species noted in the very short, broken sward included Barbula convoluta, Erodium maritimumScleropodium touretii, Riccia sorocarpa, Pseudocrossidium hornschuchianum and perhaps most significant a little Lophocolea semiteres, again very withered, but unmistakable, despite this being a new species for me.
Above: Left - Caught in the act!  Right - Fossombronia sp.
Below: Left - Fossombronia sp.  Right - Lophocolea semiteres   
Lophocolea semiteres was noted in much greater abundance on what looked like a large area of formerly disturbed ground west of The Wick and was occasional in damp ground east of North Pond and seems well-established on the island. I noticed a lot of moss growing in the entrances of shearwater burrows. I grabbed a few samples from safe locations but all I found was frequent Dicranella heteromalla and a little Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus. 28 species were noted in total, but an out of season search is obviously essential for 'off path' exploration of this amazing island.
Area west of The Wick with abundant L. semiteres.
Lophocolea semiteres
Lophocolea semiteres

1 comment:

  1. The appearance of Lophocolea semiteres on Skomer was inevitable given its abundance on Skokholm, but is still very unwelcome news. Lovely Puffins!