Thursday, 10 November 2016
Parc Lodge Wood bryology
Graham and I needed to visit Parc Lodge Wood - in the Sugarloaf Woodlands SAC of NW Monmouthshire - to see whether water abstraction from a series of springs has been damaging the woodland. This gave me a chance to look for bryophytes at a SSSI that I had last visited in August 2000, when I found 66 species. This time I missed Trichocolea, Lophozia ventricosa and Thuidium delicatulum, but added 37 species to the site total: a useful visit!
The Old Sessile Oak woodland is rather impoverished compared with its analogues in the Nedd & Mellte valleys or Meirionnydd (!) but holds locally abundant Dicranum majus and occasional Rhytidiadelphus loreus and is therefore more western feeling than most woods in Monmouthshire. The stream in the valley bottom supported some Lejeunea lamacerina, Heterocladium flaccidum and Jungermannia pumila, all of which are uncommon in the county, and a spring held Sphagnum fimbriatum and S. palustre. I completely missed epiphytes in 2000 (or perhaps there weren't any), so 10 common species such as Metzgeria furcata and 3x Ulota were new.
As we left the woodland we passed a small spring with Anagallis tenella, Briza media, Ctenidium molluscum, Campylium protensum and Fissidens adianthoides, and then a stream with Marchantia polymorpha, Scapania irrigua, Dicranella staphylina and Bryum violaceum. The tetrad needs another visit, to a churchyard and bridge in the east of the square, but today's visit has bumped it up above the 100 mark.