Sunday, 15 January 2017

The far east

Glamorgan's two easternmost tetrads, ST28M and N, have a lot in common: both are on the inside of a bend in the River Rhymney, have less than a quarter of a monad of their area in VC41, and until Friday neither had any bryophyte records. Luckily a riverbank footpath gives access to both from a lane to the south.
On Friday lunchtime I spent a while on the lane and riverbank footpath in ST2485 (tetrad ST28M). Nothing remarkable was recorded but 44 species seemed a reasonable total (probably an adequate level of recording for this cross-border tetrad; Sam may have extra records from the VC35 side of the river in any case). The riverbank sycamores hosted abundant Leskea polycarpa (photo) and there was a nice big patch of Cirriphyllum piliferum (photo) at the base of a hedge bank. I always find the bryoflora of flailed hedges quite interesting as it seems to differ from typical epiphytic communities (perhaps due to higher light levels?) and you're never quite sure what will turn up - this time around there was, among others, Orthotrichum stramineum and Syntrichia montana on sycamore and Dicranoweissia cirrata on hazel.
Of more interest than the bryos, though, was my first 'bryoparasitic Pezizales' ascomycete, growing on Amblystegium serpens on the silty base of a sycamore on the riverbank. According to the website there is only one species associated with this moss: Octospora wrightii. The apothecia and spores were a very good match to descriptions for this species so I think the ID is fairly safe. There are no other South Wales records shown on the BMS and LERC databases, but these may not be comprehensive.

1 comment:

  1. Well done notching up a decent total for this boundary square George and for spotting the fungus, which in some ways is the hard part.