Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Sphagnum quinquefarium in the Black Mountains

I have to confess I've scarcely looked at any bryophytes for a few months, but a pretty pink and green banded Sphagnum caught my eye earlier this week, while I was surveying for Welsh Clearwing moth in the Black Mountains. I hoped this might be Sphagnum russowii, but my samples have three spreading branches per fascicle - so I think this must be S. quinquefarium.
Sphagnum quinquefarium
There was an extensive patch of this moss growing in bilberry heath on a NE-facing slope above the Grwyne Fechan (SO217234). Perhaps not an unusual sight in the Brecon Beacons National Park, but it's the first time I've seen this moss away from woodland.
Sphagnum quinquefarium habitat

1 comment:

  1. I don't see it that often away from woodland in BBNP either George - I guess that is to be expected as we are edge of its range, especially in SE Wales, so it makes your record all the more interesting. I have a strong feeling that Sphagnum capillifolium has become more frequent on the hills in the Brecon beacons over the past 20-odd years, presumably as a result of changing climate or improving air quality and if this is the case I wonder if S. quinqefarium might respond in a similar fashion and make its escape from woodland habitat?