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Annual General Meeting and Bryological Symposium 2005

Bangor , 9-11 September

 

 T.H. Blackstock

Countryside Council for Wales , Maes-y-Ffynnon, Penrhosgarnedd, Bangor , Gwynedd , LL57 2DW

The Annual General Meeting and Bryological Symposium were held at the University of Wales , Bangor , on 9-11 September 2005. Between 1950 and 2000, under the impetus of Paul Richards, who was Professor of Botany from 1950 to 1976, the university had been one of the major academic institutions in Britain with a strong bryological specialisation. Many prominent British bryologists of the last fifty years have worked or been trained at Bangor . Although students are no longer exposed to bryological research, there is a rich and well-studied bryophyte flora to explore in north-west Wales .

Some 45 participants attended the meeting, and it was a particular pleasure to welcome to Bangor three foreign BBS members – Sanna Laaka-Lindberg and Alain Vanderpoorten (who both gave presentations at the symposium) and Herman Stieperaere (a BBS Council member).


Bryological Symposium

The general theme of the symposium was the Natural history of bryophytes, but a wide diversity of subject matter was presented by the speakers, and the geographical range covered – Finland , Yunnan , Macaronesia and southern Chile , as well as western Europe – outdid the most remarkable of bryophyte disjunctions. I am very grateful to them all.

  • Studies in the liverwort genus Mannia
    Daniela Schill ( Royal Botanic Garden , Edinburgh )
     
  • Trends in diversity and abundance of bryophytes in a managed landscape: implications for conservation management
    Alain Vanderpoorten ( University of Liège , Belgium )
  • Bryophyte survey of the Gaoligong Shan , Yunnan
    David Long ( Royal Botanic Garden , Edinburgh )
  • Effects of simulated climatic changes on the bryophytes of a limestone grassland
    Jeff Bates ( Imperial College at Silwood Park , Ascot )
  • Bryophyte disjunctions: a new taxon and hidden sex
    Jane Squirrell ( Royal Botanic Garden , Edinburgh )  
  • Bryophyte phylogeny: where we were five years ago, where we are now and where we want to be
    Jeff Duckett ( Queen Mary & Westfield College , London )
  • Origin and evolution of the Macaronesian bryoflora
    Alain Vanderpoorten ( University of Liège , Belgium )

Other talks:

  • Using ‘barcodes’ to explore diversity in the British bryoflora.
    Angela Newton ( Natural History Museum , London )
    .
  • Reproductive ecology of epixylic hepatics.
    Sanna Laaka-Lindberg (Lammi Biological Station , Finland )
    .
  • Bryophytes of arable land in Britain and Ireland .
    Chris Preston & Mark Hill (Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Monks Wood)
    .

Celebration of a new bryophyte book

After the AGM, we had the happy occasion – made happier by a generous quantity of champagne supplied by Chris Preston – of celebrating the publication of Mosses and liverworts(in the Collins New Naturalist series) by two very active BBS members, Ron Porleyand Nick Hodgetts. It was a great pleasure to warmly congratulate the authors on their splendid publication, and also to mark the occasion by presenting each of them with a framed copy of the very effective cover illustration by Robert Gillmor, arranged by Jill Sutcliffe (Ron’s boss at English Nature).

Field excursion to Snowdonia

On Sunday 11 September most participants joined the field excursion to Nant Gywnant. We concentrated on the bryophytes in a stand of ash-alder woodland above Hafod Rhisgl (mostly in SH6552) on the east slopes of the valley opposite Snowdon . It has an impressive Atlantic flora on rock outcrops, boulders and trees and in seepage zones and stream gullies. Plagiochila spinulosa and P. punctata were frequent; P. bifaria was also detected, and Gordon Rothero located P. exigua and a patch of P. atlantica *. Jubula hutchinsiae was locally abundant on wet rocks by the main stream, and mats of Riccardia palmata outshone Nowellia curvifolia on many rotting tree trunks. Conocephalum attracted attention, with big shiny patches of C. conicum and dull smaller growth of C. salebrosum growing in close proximity. The rarities Radula voluta and Sematophyllum demissum were refound, both in very small quantity.

Before dispersing, in the early afternoon we moved to Pont Aberglaslyn (SH5946), south of Beddgelert, to admire Fissidens polyphyllus which grows in considerable abundance in the riparian zone of the Afon Glaslyn at this locality.


 

 

 

 
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