Friday, 10 February 2017

Crawling through conifers

An NRW project to restore a coniferised peatland at Abercregan took me deep into Hipkin territory on 9th February.  I'm afraid I didn't bother doing any general recording, particularly when Barry kindly emailed me the 120+ strong tetrad list that included Glyncorrwg and the Abercregan peatland, but I did make a few additions...

Most of my time was spent documenting the diversity and abundance of bryophytes growing in deep-ploughed Molinia under a poor crop of Spruce: an activity that involved crawling on hands and knees under low branches, and getting spruce twigs tangled in my hair and down my back.  There was an impressive bryomass and a reasonable bryodiversity, but the predominant species were Diplophyllum albicans, Hypnum jutlandicum and Pseudotaxiphyllum elegans.  A few patches of Sphagnum rubellum, locally abundant Lophozia incisa, some Cephalozia connivens on peaty ditch sides, and some Spruce trunks plastered with L. ventricosa (as well as Diplophyllum and Colura) were probably the most interesting things I saw on the peatland.

I descended towards Glyncorrwg through a pine plantation and took a quick look at a very mossy Pine that sported a single patch of Sanionia uncinata (new for the tetrad) on one twig and several patches of the oceanic lichen Hypotrachyna laevigata (new for the hectad according to NBN).  A little further on there was a fallen spruce snagged in the canopy, with a very nice mossy trunk; a quick scan revealed fruiting Sematophyllum substrumulosum at 430m altitude, way higher than any previous British record.  I kept Daltonia in mind, but failed on that front.

1 comment:

  1. Some great additions to the list there Sam. We've not seen Lophozia incisa or Cephalozia connivens in NPT plantations. Sematophyllum is a really nice record there. Can you send me a grid ref?