BBS > Recording > Conservation > Threatened Bryophyte Database Project   
  Threatened Bryophyte Database (TBDB)

Background

Following the appearance of the Bryophyte Red Data Book in 2001 (Church et al., 2001), it became clear that conservation of threatened bryophytes would best be served by a more active system than could be achieved by a one-off book publication. This has been attempted for vascular plants through the Threatened Plant Database Project, a co-operative venture between the statutory nature conservation agencies, Plantlife and the Botanical Society of the British Isles. The idea was to create a ‘live’ database of records of threatened plants that could be kept up-to-date, that would contain information on the state of populations of threatened species, and that would service their conservation by informing initiatives such as the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP). Much good work was done during the course of this project, and also many valuable lessons learned. It was considered that it was time to do something similar for bryophytes, and consequently a three-year contract has been set up with English Nature, Scottish Natural Heritage, the Countryside Council for Wales, the Joint Nature Conservation Committee, the Biological Records Centre (BRC) and Plantlife to work with the BBS to run a Threatened Bryophyte Database (TBDB).

Aims

It is intended to keep up-to-date, detailed records of target species, in order to track the condition of their populations, and so inform conservation action. The aims of the project are:

  • to collate detailed records of target species (including population information) on a database;
  • to incorporate records from recent and ongoing survey work (e.g. arable bryophytes project, Plantlife conservation and survey programmes);
  • to feed information to UK BAP lead partners and conservation agencies;
  • to inform conservation programmes;
  • to provide information from conservation programmes to bryologists and receive their recommendations and other input;
  • to co-ordinate a network of bryologists to cover the most threatened species (‘Moss Minders’) and other selected species (see below);
  • to obtain information from bryophyte research affecting threatened species (taxonomic changes etc.) and get it into the conservation community quickly;
  • to construct as comprehensive a bibliography as possible for each target species;
  • to update the dot-distribution maps presented in the Atlas of the bryophytes of Britain and Ireland (Hill et al., 1991, 1992, 1994); however, the TBDB project only covers England, Scotland and Wales (not Ireland).

The database will also be a useful resource for the production of bryophyte Floras and studies on population dynamics and ecology.

Species covered

The target species for the database are essentially all those species identified as being ‘of conservation concern’ (see Table 1). These include Red Data List species (i.e. Critically Endangered CR, Endangered EN, Vulnerable VU, Extinct EX), Data Deficient species (DD), species just missing out on Red List status (Near Threatened NT), and species listed in legislation (Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (WCA), UK BAP priority species, Annex II of the EU Habitats Directive (HD) and Appendix I of the Bern Convention (BC)). The raw material for the TBDB is the database used to produce the Red Data Book.

Table 1. Species of conservation concern that will be covered by the TBDB project (abbreviations are explained in previous paragraph)

Species

Status

Protected?

Acaulon triquetrum

EN

WCA, BAP

Acrobolbus wilsonii

NT

BAP

Adelanthus lindenbergianus

VU

WCA, BAP

Amblystegium radicale

CR

 

Anastrophyllum joergensenii

NT

 

Anastrophyllum saxicola

NT

 

Andreaea alpestris

DD

 

Andreaea blyttii

NT

 

Andreaea frigida

VU

BAP

Andreaea nivalis

NT

 

Anomodon attenuatus

EN

 

Anomodon longifolius

VU

WCA

Aongstroemia longipes

NT

 

Aplodon wormskioldii

CR

 

Athalamia hyalina

DD

 

Atrichum angustatum

EN

 

Barbilophozia kunzeana

NT

 

Barbilophozia quadriloba

NT

 

Bartramia stricta

CR

WCA, BAP

Blindia caespiticia

EN

 

Brachythecium appleyardiae

NT

BAP

Brachythecium erythrorrhizon

DD

 

Brachythecium starkei

VU

 

Brachythecium trachypodium

CR

 

Bryoerythrophyllum caledonicum

NT

BAP

Bryum archangelicum

DD

 

Bryum arcticum

DD

 

Bryum calophyllum

VU

 

Bryum cyclophyllum

EN

 

Bryum dixonii

NT

 

Bryum gemmilucens

DD

 

Bryum gemmiparum

EN

 

Bryum knowltonii

VU

 

Bryum lawersianum

EX

 

Bryum mamillatum

CR

WCA, BAP

Bryum marratii

EN

 

Bryum muehlenbeckii

NT

 

Bryum neodamense

EN

WCA, BAP

Bryum salinum

VU

 

Bryum schleicheri var. latifolium

CR

WCA

Bryum stirtonii

VU

 

Bryum subelegans

DD

 

Bryum turbinatum

EX

 

Bryum uliginosum

CR

 

Bryum warneum

VU

BAP

Buxbaumia viridis

EN

WCA, BAP, HD, BC

Campylophyllum halleri

EN

 

Cephalozia ambigua

DD

 

Cephaloziella baumgartneri

EN

 

Cephaloziella calyculata

VU

 

Cephaloziella dentata

CR

 

Cephaloziella integerrima

VU

 

Cephaloziella massalongi

VU

 

Cephaloziella nicholsonii

VU

BAP

Cephaloziella turneri

NT

 

Ceratodon conicus

EN

 

Cheilothela chloropus

NT

 

Chenia leptophylla

not evaluated

Cinclidotus riparius

VU

 

Cirriphyllum cirrosum

NT

 

Cryphaea lamyana

VU

WCA, BAP

Ctenidium procerrimum

VU

 

Cyclodictyon laetevirens

EN

WCA

Cynodontium fallax

EX

 

Cynodontium polycarpon

DD

 

Cynodontium strumiferum

NT

 

Cynodontium tenellum

NT

 

Daltonia splachnoides

VU

 

Dichodontium flavescens

DD

 

Dicranella grevilleana

NT

 

Dicranum bergeri

VU

 

Dicranum elongatum

CR

 

Dicranum leioneuron

VU

 

Dicranum spurium

VU

 

Dicranum subporodictyon

NT

 

Didymodon cordatus

VU

WCA

Didymodon glaucus

CR

WCA, BAP

Didymodon icmadophilus

NT

 

Didymodon mamillosus

CR

BAP

Didymodon tomaculosus

NT

BAP

Ditrichum cornubicum

EN

WCA, BAP

Ditrichum flexicaule

DD

 

Ditrichum plumbicola

NT

BAP

Ditrichum subulatum

NT

 

Dumortiera hirsuta

VU

 

Encalypta brevicollis

EX

 

Ephemerum cohaerens

CR

 

Ephemerum sessile

NT

 

Ephemerum stellatum

EN

BAP

Eurhynchium meridionale

VU

 

Eurhynchium pulchellum

EN

 

Fissidens curvatus

NT

 

Fissidens exiguus

NT

BAP

Fissidens monguillonii

NT

 

Fissidens serrulatus

VU

 

Fossombronia crozalsii

EX

 

Fossombronia fimbriata

NT

 

Fossombronia maritima

NT

 

Funaria pulchella

NT

 

Geocalyx graveolens

VU

WCA

Gongylanthus ericetorum

NT

 

Grimmia alpestris

DD

 

Grimmia anodon

EX

 

Grimmia arenaria

NT

 

Grimmia crinita

DD

 

Grimmia elatior

EX

 

Grimmia elongata

NT

 

Grimmia ovalis

VU

 

Grimmia tergestina

VU

 

Grimmia ungeri

VU

 

Grimmia unicolor

VU

WCA

Gymnocolea acutiloba

VU

 

Gymnomitrion apiculatum

VU

WCA

Gymnomitrion corallioides

NT

 

Gyroweisia reflexa

EX

 

Habrodon perpusillus

EN

 

Hamatocaulis vernicosus

NS

WCA, BAP, HD, BC

Hedwigia ciliata

DD

 

Helodium blandowii

EX

 

Herbertus borealis

VU

BAP

Heterocladium dimorphum

VU

 

Homomallium incurvatum

CR

 

Hygrohypnum molle

VU

 

Hygrohypnum polare

EN

WCA

Hygrohypnum smithii

NT

 

Hygrohypnum styriacum

CR

 

Hymenostylium insigne

NT

 

Hypnum revolutum

EN

 

Hypnum vaucheri

VU

WCA

Jamesoniella undulifolia

EN

WCA, BAP

Jungermannia caespiticia

NT

 

Jungermannia leiantha

CR

 

Jungermannia polaris

NT

 

Leiocolea fitzgeraldiae

NT

 

Leiocolea gillmanii

NT

 

Leiocolea rutheana

EN

WCA, BAP

Lejeunea holtii

VU

 

Lejeunea mandonii

EN

BAP

Leptodontium gemmascens

VU

BAP

Lescuraea saxicola

EX

 

Lophozia capitata

VU

 

Lophozia longiflora

DD

 

Lophozia perssonii

NT

 

Lophozia wenzelii

NT

 

Marsupella arctica

VU

 

Marsupella boeckii

NT

 

Marsupella condensata

NT

 

Marsupella profunda

VU

WCA, BAP, HD, BC

Marsupella sparsifolia

VU

 

Micromitrium tenerum

CR

WCA

Mielichhoferia elongata

VU

 

Mielichhoferia mielichhoferiana

VU

WCA

Mnium ambiguum

NT

 

Mnium spinosum

NT

 

Myrinia pulvinata

NT

 

Myurella tenerrima

EN

 

Nardia insecta

DD

 

Neckera pennata

EX

 

Odontoschisma macounii

NT

 

Oncophorus wahlenbergii

NT

 

Orthodontium gracile

VU

BAP

Orthotrichum consimile

DD

 

Orthotrichum gymnostomum

EX

 

Orthotrichum obtusifolium

EN

WCA, BAP

Orthotrichum pallens

EN

BAP

Orthotrichum pumilum

CR

 

Orthotrichum speciosum

NT

 

Pallavicinia lyellii

VU

BAP

Paludella squarrosa

EX

 

Palustriella decipiens

NT

 

Paraleucobryum longifolium

VU

 

Petalophyllum ralfsii

NS

WCA, BAP, HD, BC

Phaeoceros carolinianus

EN

 

Philonotis cernua

CR

 

Philonotis marchica

EN

 

Physcomitrium eurystomum

EN

 

Physcomitrium sphaericum

NT

 

Pictus scoticus

DD

 

Plagiobryum demissum

EN

 

Plagiochila norvegica

DD

 

Plagiomnium medium

NT

 

Plagiothecium piliferum

CR

WCA

Pohlia andalusica

NT

 

Pohlia crudoides

VU

 

Pohlia obtusifolia

EN

 

Pohlia scotica

NT

BAP

Pseudoleskea incurvata

NT

 

Pseudoleskeella nervosa

VU

 

Pseudoleskeella rupestris

NT

 

Pterygoneurum lamellatum

EX

 

Ptychodium plicatum

NT

 

Racomitrium himalayanum

DD

 

Racomitrium macounii subsp. alpinum

NT

 

Radula carringtonii

VU

 

Radula voluta

NT

 

Rhynchostegium rotundifolium

CR

WCA, BAP

Rhytidiadelphus subpinnatus

EN

 

Riccia bifurca

VU

WCA

Riccia canaliculata

VU

 

Riccia crystallina

NT

 

Riccia huebeneriana

VU

BAP

Riccia nigrella

VU

 

Saelania glaucescens

VU

WCA

Sanionia orthothecioides

NT

 

Scapania gymnostomophila

NT

 

Scapania paludicola

NT

 

Scapania parvifolia

DD

 

Scapania praetervisa

VU

 

Schistidium agassizii

NT

 

Scorpidium turgescens

VU

WCA

Seligeria brevifolia

VU

 

Seligeria campylopoda

DD

 

Seligeria carniolica

CR

BAP

Seligeria diversifolia

DD

 

Sematophyllum demissum

EN

BAP

Sematophyllum substrumulosum

DD

 

Southbya nigrella

VU

WCA

Southbya tophacea

NT

 

Sphaerocarpos texanus

VU

 

Sphagnum balticum

EN

WCA, BAP

Sphagnum lindbergii

NT

 

Sphagnum majus

VU

 

Sphagnum obtusum

EX

 

Sphagnum skyense

DD

 

Splachnum vasculosum

NT

 

Stegonia latifolia

NT

 

Syntrichia norvegica

VU

 

Tayloria lingulata

EN

 

Tayloria tenuis

CR

 

Telaranea nematodes

VU

 

Tetrodontium repandum

CR

 

Thamnobryum angustifolium

CR

WCA, BAP

Thamnobryum cataractarum

VU

BAP

Timmia austriaca

EN

 

Timmia megapolitana

DD

 

Timmia norvegica

NT

 

Tortella fragilis

NT

 

Tortella limosella

EX

 

Tortula cernua

EN

WCA, BAP

Tortula cuneifolia

VU

 

Tortula freibergii

NT

BAP

Tortula leucostoma

VU

 

Tortula solmsii

NT

 

Tortula vahliana

NT

 

Tortula wilsonii

EN

 

Trematodon ambiguus

EX

 

Weissia condensa

VU

 

Weissia levieri

EN

 

Weissia mittenii

EX

 

Weissia multicapsularis

EN

BAP

Weissia rostellata

NT

BAP

Weissia squarrosa

EN

 

Weissia sterilis

NT

 

Zygodon forsteri

EN

WCA, BAP

Zygodon gracilis

EN

WCA, BAP

This list is not immutable, and will be reviewed regularly. It may be expanded at some stage to include other species for which Britain has an international responsibility, such as endemics and Atlantic species. The most important of the target species, purely from the point of view of current conservation practice, are the BAP priority species, as the government is signed up to meet certain targets for their conservation. Thus, a great deal of effort is going into recording populations of these species, and recommending and implementing management prescriptions to ensure their survival and (where appropriate) recovery. The TBDB can service these targets.

In addition, a small selection of Nationally Scarce (NS) and declining species have been chosen for special treatment, in order to clarify their status. These are listed in Table 2. We need information on the current status of these species. Most of them were selected because of the large number of pre-1950 and undated records in the distribution maps in the Atlas. The populations represented by these records (and more recent records too) need to be investigated to see if the apparent decline is real or not. Are they going to be on tomorrow’s Red List, or are they just under-recorded? Are there further populations that have not found their way into the Atlas? To begin with, we have picked a small number of species from this second list to act as a pilot, to see if we can use the TBDB project to get a handle on them. These are:

Throughout Great Britain:

Oedipodium griffithianum
Rhytidium rugosum
Thuidium abietinum (both sub-species)

South-east England and the Midlands only:

Climacium dendroides
Plagiomnium cuspidatum

Rhodobryum roseum

Table 2. Nationally scarce species that will be covered by the TBDB project

Amblystegium confervoides

Brachythecium salebrosum

Bryum canariense

Bryum creberrimum

Bryum mildeanum

Bryum torquescens

Buxbaumia aphylla

Climacium dendroides (south-east England and the Midlands only)

Cynodontium bruntonii (outside Wales)

Eurhynchium schleicheri (outside south-east England)

Grimmia longirostris

Grimmia decipiens

Grimmia laevigata

Grimmia orbicularis

Isothecium alopecuroides (Midlands only)

Octodiceras fontanum

Oedipodium griffithianum

Plagiomnium cuspidatum (south-east England and the Midlands only)

Pogonatum nanum

Pterygoneurum ovatum

Reboulia hemisphaerica

Rhodobryum roseum (south-east England and the Midlands only)

Rhytidium rugosum

Scleropodium cespitans (northern England and southern Scotland only)

Scleropodium tourettii (non-coastal sites only)

Sphaerocarpos michelii

Syntrichia princeps

Targionia hypophylla

Thuidium abietinum

Tomentypnum nitens

Tortula protobryoides

Ulota coarctata

 

How can BBS members contribute to the TBDB project and benefit from it?

There are three main ways in which BBS members can engage with the TBDB project:

1. ‘Moss Minders’. English Nature and the Natural History Museum have come up with the idea of ‘Moss Minders’, similar to Plantlife’s Flora Guardians. A Moss Minder would keep an eye on a particular site, or series of sites, for a rare species or group of rare species, regularly monitor the population(s), and alert conservation bodies if they came under threat. BBS members are hereby invited to take on a species, or a site, to ‘mind’. Guidance notes on the Moss Minder scheme will be produced as soon as possible. If you would like to be a Moss Minder, contact me and I will send you whatever information is currently on the database. In many - most! - cases, available information is inadequate, and there is plenty of scope for original and imaginative work on virtually all the species listed, although most BAP priority species are well covered at the moment.

2. Record exchange. The database is designed to be ‘owned’ by the Society, and so all the records (with the exception of a few highly sensitive species) are available for the use of members, whether for conservation purposes, Flora writing or other bona fide uses. Ultimately they will be available electronically through BRC via the National Biodiversity Network Gateway, but meanwhile I can answer all reasonable requests.

To achieve an up-to-date and active database, your records are needed for all the species listed in Tables 1 and 2 above. It is important to note that records for the TBDB require a higher level of data than records of common species or records that are just to be used for mapping purposes. The minimum data requirements for each record are:

  • Species name
  • Locality
  • Vice-county
  • Grid reference (if possible to 10 figures, determined with a GPS, e.g. AB12345678)
  • Date
  • Recorder (and determiner, if different)
  • Number and location of specimen (if any)
  • Habitat, substrate, associates
  • Abundance - notes on population, e.g. a count of the number of shoots, extent of colony, or whatever is appropriate for the species
  • Observations on health of population and any threats

In addition it would be extremely useful to provide sketch maps and even digital photographs to show the location of populations. If you can send records electronically, that is preferred. Otherwise I am perfectly happy to cope with written records posted to me. All contributors will in return receive regular reports and updates on species in their area of interest (whether geographical or taxonomic).

3. Taking part in a survey of the six ‘pilot’ species listed above. If there are records of any of these nationally scarce or declining species in your area, follow them up, and see if they are still there. If you have new information on any of them, send it in. The data requirements for these are the same as for the other species.

Please help make this project a success by contributing to it in any way you can. Your records can directly help the conservation of the plants we hold dear! Meanwhile I will be contacting county recorders directly, and trawling through other databases, reports, Floras and herbaria to attempt to keep the database as up-to-date as possible.

References

Church JM, Hodgetts NG, Preston CD, Stewart NF. 2001. British Red Data Books. 2. Mosses and liverworts. Peterborough: Joint Nature Conservation Committee.
Hill MO, Preston CD, Smith AJE. 1991. Atlas of the bryophytes of Britain and Ireland. Volume 1. Liverworts (Hepaticae and Anthocerotae). Colchester: Harley Books.
Hill MO, Preston CD, Smith AJE. 1992. Atlas of the bryophytes of Britain and Ireland. Volume 2. Mosses (except Diplolepidae). Colchester: Harley Books.
Hill MO, Preston CD, Smith AJE. 1994. Atlas of the bryophytes of Britain and Ireland. Volume 3. Mosses (Diplolepidae). Colchester: Harley Books.

Mr N.G. Hodgetts, 15 Earlish,Portree,Isle of Skye,IV51 9XL. email: nick1901@hotmail.co.uk

 
   
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