Friday, 14 December 2018

Cephaloziella integerrima in Crofty...

stacked image in natural light of perianths
stacked image in natural light of gemmiferous shoots
1' high tump with patches of C. integerrima
1' high post hole tumps with patches of fruiting C. integerrima
another line of tumps behind the bund also hold patches
...well, I think so! A brief stop today to look at some semi-interesting flora growing on a few spoil tumps in the middle of an abandoned building plot revealed a good quantity of a richly fertile Cephaloziella. With angular gemmae, edentate lobed perianth bracts that are connate, I'm pretty confident this must be integerrima, a potential first for Wales. If confirmed I'll need to determine how extensive the population is. I have a feeling building works were stopped ~6 years ago, as the developer did not have planning permission. This is a highly vulnerable population, but best we get the id confirmed first before looking at safeguarding the species at this site. There is no referee listed for this genus in the latest FB, so Sam, I wonder if you can suggest someone who would be willing to examine a voucher, yourself perhaps? [I called in very briefly again the following day and noted integerrima to be present on a few additional tumps, the mounds being the ground excavated for a series of post holes about 10 years ago!].
phone pic of abundant perianths

The list of direct associates noted so far includes:
Anthoxanthum odoratum
Archidium alternifolium
Brachytheciastrum velutinum
Bryum dichotomum
Calliergonella cuspidata
Cephaloziella divaricata (photo of female perianth below, male plants also present)
Ceratodon purpureus
Cladonia chlorophaea agg.
Cladonia furcata subsp. furcata
Cladonia cf. ramulosa
Cladonia rangiformis
Cynosurus cristatus
Didymodon fallax
Festuca ovina
Fossombronia sp.
Lotus corniculatus
Pilosella officinarum
Plantago coronopus
Plantago lanceolata
Pleuridium cf. acuminatum
Poa trivialis
Trifolium dubium
Trifolium repens
C. divaricata

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

another little look at Cefn Bryn

I spent an hour and a half on Cefn Bryn in the rain on Saturday and recorded 53 species in an area of flushed ground to the north of Arthur's Stone.  Kurzia pauciflora was more frequent here than I've seen elsewhere on Gower, typically growing through mounds of Sphagnum papillosum. Amongst eight Sphagnum, tenellum was the only species of any note.
Kurzia pauciflora
I only came across one base-enriched flush, where there were small quantities of Palustriella falcata and Sarmentypnum exannulatum mixed in the short turf, which held frequent Campylium stellatum and Scorpidium cossonii.
Scorpidium cossonii
Grimmia trichophylla & Racomitrium heterostichum were present on several of the rocks in the area, surprisingly this being the first time the latter has been recorded on the Gower peninsula.
Racomitrium heterostichum
Racomitrium heterostichum
Grimmia trichophylla

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Syntrichia virescens

Finally an update on this Syntrichia from Llanishen in February. I have now prepared a nerve section as recommended by Nagy in the comments. This appears to confirm S. virescens new for Glamorgan. Not the best prep or photo - but compared to my usual nerve sectioning abilities I'm pretty chuffed! I'll send a voucher to Tom Blockeel.
 A small Syntrichia growing on the trunk of a street lime caught my eye as I was walking to the woodland south of Llanishen Reservoir for a quick square bash. It looks reasonably convincing for S. virescens, with toothed hairpoints and notched leaf apices, though the length of the basal cells (30-62 microns, averaging 37-45 microns) straddles the ranges given in Smith for differentiating S. virescens and S. montana. It was certainly smaller than typical montana, but as virescens would be new for VC41 I'm being cautious and seeking the opinion of others - thoughts welcome.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Sphagnum russowii in Glamorgan

On 15th September Glamorgan Botany Group paid a visit to Blaenrhondda. As we didn't quite cover as much ground as we'd have liked, a couple of us made a return visit on 4th October. Whilst mainly focusing on the vascular plants, I was drawn to a patch of reddish Sphagna on a north facing Vaccinium dominated slope, near the waterfall on the Nant Melyn stream (SN917016).
This is exactly the sort of habitat where I have seen Sphagnum russowii in Scotland and it had the right jizz. Microscopic examination confirmed it had the lingulate rather than triangular stem leaves, with a mostly plane apex, and 4 rather than 5 branches, which separate it from most other possibilities. (The specimen has also now been confirmed by Tom Blockeel). We saw it in at least two locations on this north facing bank, but there could be more as we subsequently returned our attention back to the crags, so it would be good to do a follow up visit and get a handle on its distribution. 

The benefits of SMNR


I have spent the last two days attending a course on Sustainable Management of Natural Resources (SMNR) with some NRW colleagues at Beechwood House in Newport. This venue is in the middle of a large and varied Victorian park in ST38J - a completely un-recorded tetrad for bryophytes. Searching during two half hour lunchbreaks revealed a remarkable diversity of mosses and liverworts in Beechwood Park: 74 species!  Highlight was a patch of Platygyrium repens on a Sycamore, new for Newport county and the southern half of VC35.  Epipterygium tozeri was also new for Newport, I think, but has 30 widely scattered previous VC35 records.  Other species of vague note included Syntrichia virescens on a Lime trunk, Scleropodium cespitans on tarmac, Gyroweisia tenuis on a damp wall, Didymodon vinealis on drier walls, Microlejeunea ulicina on a Holly (2nd Newport record), Riccia glauca on a bank, and Fissidens crassipes, Rhizomnium punctatum and Pellia epiphylla in the stream valley.  I still haven't explored the nearby St Julian's Park, which looks to have even more diverse habitats.

Monday, 26 November 2018

More Entodon

I helped out with a habitat management work party in Pant St Brides today, in a part of the site I've not spent much time in previously. The limestone turf just above the B4265 looked ideal for Entodon concinnus and it only took a minute or two to locate a fairly large patch of it at SS89627588.

This is a new subsite for this moss at its only South Wales station with recent records, and also a new tetrad. The habitat is very similar to the site found in 2016 (approx. 600m further north), though the aspect is more or less easterly rather than southerly.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

The unusual inter-tidal niche of the rare moss Bryum marratii Wilson

Just thought id share a link to the recent paper about Bryum marratii based on study sites in south Wales as useful to have it on the blog too. It was great working with Des, although the 4am start to film a high tide submerging the mosses was a bit of a struggle ! Hopefully there are more collaborations in the pipeline. Im sure you have all seen it but worth adding to the blog anyhow. There is a follow up paper in press and ill share that too. If you need an electronic copy drop my a line at

Link to Journal of Bryology

Research Gate 

You Tube Video