Friday, 12 December 2014

Two long lost Scottish mosses rediscovered

Story here

Bryum dichotomum from Carlingnose Point

In a typical location on some very open ground bordering the entrance to the reserve and the end of the road. Note the leaf axil bulbils in the lower photo



Monday, 8 December 2014

Plagiochila porelloides

New technique gives nice images of a liverwort, though may not show the in field character of the beast

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Ironic twist

Though I'm not sure you can really get high from smoking a Radula, one of the mushrooms found on Sunday was Panaeolinus cinctatus, which has psychotropic properties. Not THE magic mushroom but a magic mushroom nonetheless. Sorry to say I can't report back on the effectiveness or otherwise. You shall have to find your own.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Radula complanata gets you high (erm ... really?)

A beautiful, if not scarce, liverwort from weekend outing to Stobo, and a very weird video I found while searching for the species (Google suggested "radula complanata smoking" !)

I particularly love how the genius in the video identifies it as a lichen (while apparently holding in his hand the BBS field guide) then goes on to identify some "sphagnum" he takes from the side of a tree.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Double vision

Two nice new byrophytes - Bryum radiculosum and Riccia sorocarpa. Both of them were new to me on Sunday and both new to Carlingnose Point on Monday!

Having been first introduced to the Riccia by LK beside the path on Sunday in Peeblesshire I was aware of the existence of this liverwort and its likely location, but it was the Bryum that made it happen. DL showed us it on Sunday and so I knew it was both under-recorded and mortar-loving. I had in my mind a location with lots of old mortar which I headed for on Monday lunchtime with immediate success. It took me no more than a minute to find what I was looking for. This is the benefit of spending time in the field with people who know what they're doing! Neither species had been recorded in NT18 before (according to NBN - let's see what the atlas says). Close inspection of both specimens revealed only somewhat disappointing tubers. they were there, but smallish and not very interesting. 80um was the biggest I could find (which was from the Fife sample). You can see a couple clinging to the stem of the Peeblesshire specimen below. Maybe I need to dig a bit deeper and wash carefully.

"Radiculose": producing many rootlets



and the current NBN map for the Bryum ...

(details from VC85, or close enough:
Easter Muirhead, NS99, 1978 - DL
Glenfarg, NO11, 1977 - DL
N. of Kinghorn,NT2787, 01/04/2011 - LK/DC)

Monday, 1 December 2014

Bryo outing NT1837, Stobo, Peeblesshire

A group of 11 (I think) assembled for the inaugural meeting of the Borders Bryophyte Recording Group in the environs of Stobo.  During the morning we managed to cover two squares and in the afternoon one more (again, I think!).It was good to get out to somewhere local(ish), with representatives of both Lothian and D&G groups with some additional locals. Looking forward to another.

Mossy wall - always a favourite for starting the day

Welly territory

Brachythecium rivulare determinations

The bryophytes
Beside 'the usual suspects' there were also some interesting mosses, and some new ones for me which will go under the microscope shortly. In addition to the below new, if not spectacular, were Dicranella staphylina, Dicranella varia and Dicranella rufescens. It would be unfair not to mention that D.heteromalla also put in an appearance. To finish off the day another new one for me, Bryum radiculosum was located on the mortar of an abandoned and ruined building. I don't appear to have photos from the field, but I will especially try to locate its tubers under the lens.

Neckera pumila

Neckera pumila

Syntrichium laevipilum (not new but always nice)

Plagiomnium rostratum (also not new)

Riccia sorocarpa

Pseudephemerum nitidum
Off topic
One of the features of the day was the wealth of fungi on display and in fine form

Crystal Jelly

Meadow Waxcap

Panaeolus cinctulus

Stereum hirsutum?


Pholiota - a Scalycap



Amazingly profuse Slime Mould, Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa

Splendid Waxcap - who could argue!

The end

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Ptychomitrium polyphyllum

Found at Carlingnose Point, in the only hectad in the county with a previous record. Nice moss, recently encountered on an outing in D&G too. Ptychomitrium means folded mitre, presumably because of the lines on the capsule. Leaves crisp on drying and even a bit of dryness sees them start to curl over.

(Frey keying:
Acrocarps, p.141
1. Not Buxbaumidae
2. Not Tetraphidae
3. Not lfs strictly in two rows
7. Not filaments on ventral costa
9. Upper laminal cells +/- isodiametric
37. Not Cinclidotaceae
38. Not capsules globose
39. Not Meesiaceae
40. Lower laminal cells weakly differentiated (I take issue with this, as with Didymodon rigidulus!)
44. Leaf margins unbordered
45. Plants forming small cushions or patches on rocks, lvs crisped when dry, laminal cells smooth, capsules usually present, ovoid-ellipsoid, calyptra mitrate (?) ->Ptychomitriaceae, p.275

1.3.4. Leaf margins dentate, blackish below, seta yellowish, capsules ellipsoid, on exposed rocks and walls

Nestling in a R.fasciculare cushion

Torn calyptra is typical, curling leaves

Blanket of revolute margins


Toothed margin towards apex

Leaf section (not bad, eh?)

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Isn't she lovely

More loverly Orthotrichum diaphanum from Carlingnose, from a different square this time, and on a tree

Carlingnose campaign latest

40 species of bryophyte located so far (and a couple more to be examined). Plenty more to do, but Metzgeria fruticulosa was a nice find covering an entire boulder on the slopes. Not at all where I expect to see it but I couldn't make it be another species despite trying. I may try again still though.


The list:

Preferred namesquares
1 Brachythecium rutabulum 7
2 Eurhynchium praelongum 7
3 Hypnum cupressiforme 7
4 Lophocolea bidentata 6
5 Bryum capillare 5
6 Grimmia pulvinata 5
7 Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus 5
8 Calliergonella cuspidata 4
9 Fissidens taxifolius 4
10 Cirriphyllum piliferum 3
11 Didymodon insulanus 3
12 Plagiomnium undulatum 3
13 Racomitrium fasciculare 3
14 Scleropodium purum 3
15 Amblystegium serpens 2
16 Ceratodon purpureus 2
17 Eurhynchium striatum 2
18 Orthotrichum diaphanum 2
19 Oxyrrhynchium hians 2
20 Polytrichum juniperinum 2
21 Racomitrium aciculare 2
22 Rhizomnium punctatum 2
23 Warnstorfia fluitans 2
24 Weissia controversa 2
25 Barbula convoluta 1
26 Bryum argenteum 1
27 Bryum pseudotriquetrum 1
28 Didymodon rigidulus 1
29 Fissidens bryoides 1
30 Fossombronia pusilla 1
31 Hedwigia stellata 1
32 Metzgeria fruticulosa 1
33 Mnium hornum 1
34 Orthotrichum cupulatum 1
35 Orthotrichum stramineum 1
36 Philonotis fontana 1
37 Pseudocrossidium revolutum 1
38 Racomitrium heterostichum 1
39 Schistidium apocarpum 1
40 Thuidium tamariscinum 1

Friday, 21 November 2014

Didymodon rigidulus at Carlingnose

After some long deliberations I was finally helped over the line on this one by LK. At least I got the genus right!

The leaves on this are barely 1.5mm long, so cutting a section was fun. I finally managed a botched job on the second day with a fresh razor. Hopefully I can improve. 

Habit - a low cushion with orangey red older leavs

Single leaf, without tip!
Leaf tip - no hyaline cell on this one

Finally a semi-usable section

Multicellular gemmae from leaf axils

Gemma in situ with budded protonema

Springtail moss fertilization

From wiki entry on Ceratodon purpureus


Microarthropod-mediated fertilization

A 2012 study has found that male and female fire moss emit different and complex volatile organic scents. Female plants emit more compounds than male plants. Springtails were found to choose female plants preferentially, and the study found that springtails enhance moss fertilization. All together, the results seem to suggest a plant-pollinator relationship analogous to those found in flower plants


Thursday, 20 November 2014

British Bryophyte density

This slide nicked from a presentation/document by Dave Denney of SNH, who I think generated it from NBN. Some amazing density in more regions than I expected.

Chemical testing in mosses

Something I'm used to in the land of fungi, and maybe even in Lichens (though I have yet to do it), I didn't know that chemical tests can also be done on mosses. Trying to bring to ground a reddening moss from Carlingnose (which I fancy to be Didymodon fallax) I uncovered this little gem of a factoid from N.America.

Bryoerythrophyllum and Didymodon vinealis group test red with KOH, while Barbula test yellow!

Is it reasonable to assume that you are just speeding up the natural reddening process?

Wednesday, 19 November 2014


Nice Racomitrium fasciculare and Warnstofria fluitans pair at Carlingnose point. Behind the same rock was this surprise Bryum pseudotriquetrum

R.fasciculare and W.fluitans