Saturday, 25 March 2017

Kenfig revisited ...

Note the footpath through the scrub around the western margin of the pool is now flooded!
My quest for Petalophyllum at Kenfig continues without success, though I've still not given up hope of refinding it. This is one of a small suite of species that have either disappeared, or are at critically low levels at the site, despite much good work having been done to restore and create favourable habitats. In addition to an apparent absence of Petalophyllum, I've not encountered any populations of the following:
Abietinella abietina - last recorded by Smith in 1963.
Distichium inclinatum - a small amount recorded by Sam in 2012, so possibly still present.
Moerckia flotoviana - last recorded in tiny quantities at two sites by Sam and the SAC monitoring team in 2012. I have looked briefly at these sites but failed to relocate any plants.
Preissia quadrata - the last records were of two tiny colonies noted by Sam in 2012.
Racomitrium canescen - last recorded by Peter Jones in 1984.

Species which would appear to be critically low include:
Leiocolea badensis - still present but highly localised.
Riccardia incurvata - the population found by Sam in 2012 is still present, but appears to have declined markedly.

Thankfully there is some good news and those species species holding their own, or possibly even doing well include:
Amblyodon dealbatus - since its discovery at the site by Sam and Clive Hurford in 2012, at least six sites have now been identified. Last Thursday I came across a new colony with lots of developing capsules (in fact this is the first colony I've found with capsules). I'll be back to photograph it in a few weeks after they ripen and I have marked a couple of patches (white plant label tops in photo), should anyone feel inclined to check it out for themselves [8+ patches (largest 10cm x 6cm) in 2m x 1m area SS7914881233].

Bryum intermedium - first recorded by Sam in 2012 and then by David Holyoak in 2015. Last year I noted plants at David's site with young fruit, which looked good for this species, but unfortunately the site has been destroyed (only temporarily I suppose) by bikers, who are a constant presence in this area.
Campyliadelphus elodes - added to the site list this year.
Drepanocladus sendtneri - locally frequent in a dozen or more slacks.
Pseudocalliergon lycopodioides - frequent in nine or more mature slacks.

To date 157 bryophyte taxa have been recorded at KNNR. Amongst my casual records last Thursday I was surprised to find both Thamnobryum alopecurum (photo) and Brachythecium rivulare were additions to the reserve list, so next time you visit this large site, don't assume it's all been done.
If anyone knows what species of Hypoxylon this is I'd be interested to know (on Salix)


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Excellent work Barry.
    Hypoxylons can be difficult to identify on the basis of macroscopic characters alone and although the host identity is useful, quite a few species grow on a number of different species. In your photo the ostioles look papillate and that suggests Hypoxylon multiforme - although it grows mainly on Birch and Alder it is found occasionally on other species. The asci of H. multiforme are relatively small (60-90 microns in length and 5-7 microns wide) compared to most of the other species in the genus, so if you have a specimen you cold check that. H. cohaerens is similar, but only grows on Beech.