Saturday, 24 February 2018

Aphanolejeunea in Brechfa Forest

On Friday I spent a few hours revisiting the lichen hotspot in the valley of the Afon Marlais, a few miles upstream of Brechfa, to record some previously unexplored sections of the site.  The lichens were excellent, with 3 spp of Sticta (including really large S. fuliginosa sl), some beautiful patches of Pannaria conoplea (only 4 sites in S Wales), and a few new lichens for the site such as Thelotrema lepadinum and Megalaria pulverea.  I didn't look at bryophytes too much, but couldn't help noticing that many of the riverside Ash trees were plastered with Aphanolejeunea microscopica as well as Colura.

The only previous Carmarthenshire record of Aphanolejeunea came from the Mynydd Mallaen area nearly 15 years ago, and the abundance of Aphanolejeunea along the Afon Marlais was reminiscent of its abundance in the Waterfalls area of the Nedd/Mellte valleys of VC42.  I couldn't find any Drepanolejeunea on Friday, but did see it by a waterfall in a tributary of the Afon Marlais a few years ago.  Earlier last week I revisited Cwm Marydd, where Tritomaria exsecta is still doing well.

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