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


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Schistidium apocarpum

I thought this was going to be a Racomitrium at first until I got it under the microscope. It was then that I saw the capsule and twigged. Note the hair-pointed perichaetal leaves versus the 'normal' leaf

Friday, 14 November 2014

Plagiomnium undulatum

Carlingnose. Common moss, but a nice one

Undulating, bordered and toothed

The rounded leaves that can cause confusion!

Strongly Decurrent leaf entry

Racomitrium aciculare

One of my favourite mosses, from its wriggly little leaf cells to its jaunty cap- this one from Blariadam Forest near Kelty in Fife.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Orthotrichum diaphanum

From a rock at Carlingnose Point nature reserve, the only Orthotrichum which has a hair pointed leaf. Also the one whose calyptra looks most like a watermelon

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Calypogeia muelleriana

Another one from the Hermitage

Lateral leaf margins entire, no blue oil bodies, underleaves 2-lobed to 1/2-3/4 with 4-6 rows of cells, these 30-80um long

Bi-lobed underleaves

'pointy lateral leaf tips' - no notch, no blue oil

leaf tip underleaves

Monday, 10 November 2014

Hermitage, Perthshire

On a day trip to walk to the wonderful hermitage in Perthshire, a watery wonderland where the autumn leaves are a bit past their best. The bryophytes, though, are luscious, and I couldn't resists snagging a couple even though I was 'off duty'. Favourite of the day was Bazzania trolobata, which I have wanted to see for a while. One of those things you see in the field guide and look forward to meeting it.

I don't have photos that really do it justice. Might have to try again on that.

(to the left is down)

Each leaf has 3 or four points

Branches below point back into the 'mound'

Friday, 7 November 2014

Carlingnose coverage extended

Now all the main squares have had some visit at least, although there is a lot more investigation to be done. 34 species in the bag, with the most diverse square having 21 spp recorded. I suspect some of those spp were actually recorded in another square earlier in the year though. Not sure what to do with them, but they include Hedwigia so I don't want to lose that one!

Coverage map:

A few location shots:

And some of its inhabitants:

And the list so far:

Preferred Name Common Name Taxon

Fossombronia pusilla Common Frillwort liverwort
Lophocolea bidentata Bifid Crestwort liverwort
Atrichum undulatum Common Smoothcap moss
Barbula convoluta Lesser Bird's-claw Beard-moss moss
Brachythecium rutabulum Rough-stalked Feather-moss moss
Bryoerythrophyllum recurvirostrum Red Beard-moss moss
Bryum argenteum Silver-moss moss
Bryum capillare Capillary Thread-moss moss
Calliergonella cuspidata Pointed Spear-moss moss
Ceratodon purpureus Redshank moss
Cirriphyllum piliferum Hair-pointed Feather-moss moss
Dicranoweisia cirrata Common Pincushion moss
Didymodon insulanus Cylindric Beard-moss moss
Eurhynchium praelongum Common Feather-moss moss
Eurhynchium striatum Common Striated Feather-moss moss
Fissidens bryoides Lesser Pocket-moss moss
Fissidens taxifolius Common Pocket-moss moss
Grimmia pulvinata Grey-cushioned Grimmia moss
Hedwigia stellata Starry Hoar-moss moss
Hypnum cupressiforme Cypress-leaved Plait-moss moss
Hypnum jutlandicum Heath Plait-moss moss
Mnium hornum Swan's-neck Thyme-moss moss
Orthotrichum anomalum Anomalous Bristle-moss moss
Orthotrichum cupulatum Hooded Bristle-moss moss
Orthotrichum stramineum Straw Bristle-moss moss
Oxyrrhynchium hians Swartz's Feather-moss moss
Philonotis sp.
Polytrichum formosum Bank Haircap moss
Racomitrium aciculare Yellow Fringe-moss moss
Racomitrium heterostichum Bristly Fringe-moss moss
Rhizomnium punctatum Dotted Thyme-moss moss
Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus Springy Turf-moss moss
Sanionia uncinata Sickle-leaved Hook-moss moss
Scleropodium purum Neat Feather-moss moss
Thuidium tamariscinum Common Tamarisk-moss moss
Weissia controversa Green-tufted Stubble-moss moss

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Fossombronia pusilla!!!

A plant I've been looking forward to seeing. Finding it myself is a bonus, as often nice plants emerge from group outings. The third record that I can discern from Fife and there aren't enormous numbers of records from Scotland it would seem. In Fife it is known from the area around Star Moss (NO306035) and just south of Thornton (NT285959). All three Fife records on NBN are from 2004.

Distribution from NBN



Habit 2 - sporophyte emerging

Purple rhizoids
Broken sporophyte


Spores and elater