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Meetings of the BBS - 1966

 

Annual Meeting 1966

Tavistock, 31 March - 5 April

The Annual General and Field Meeting of the Society in 1966 took place at Tavistock, S. Devon, from 31 March to 5 April, under the joint leadership of Mrs J. A. Paton and Dr M. C. F. Proctor, who are to be congratulated for arranging a programme full of variety and interest. The excursions took the party, which numbered about thirty, to parts of East Cornwall (v.-c. 2) and South and North Devon (v.-cs. 3 and 4). The region had been well worked for bryophytes already, and few new records were made during the week, though several rare and interesting plants were seen.

The first outing, on 31 March, was to Black Tor Copse (v.-c. 4), one of Dartmoor's well-known high oakwoods (1250 ft.) in the shelter of the valley of the West Okement River. The granite boulders in the wood, and the trunks and larger branches of the oaks, were covered with a thick clothing of bryophytes which included Douinia ovata, Plagiochila punctata, P. spinulosa, Dicranum scottianum and Thuidium delicatulum. Large cushions of Lepidozia pinnata occurred in some of the more sheltered crevices among the rocks. Antitrichia curtipendula has decreased greatly in this well known locality for it, and only two stunted specimens were seen, on oak branches. Atrichum crispum* was found in places along the banks of the West Okement, and other species noted from the Copse or adjacent moorland were Cephaloziella starkei, Nardia compressa, Odontoschisma sphagni c.fr., Scapania umbrosa, Solenostoma sphaerocarpum*, Andreaea rothii, A. rupestris*, Campylopus introflexus, Drepanocladus exannulatus var. rotae*, Fontinalis squamosa c.fr., Leptodontium flexifolium c.fr., Rhabdoweisia denticulata, Scorpidium scorpioides*, Sphagnum fimbriatum*, S. quinquefarium and Splachnum sphaericum.

[* New v.-c. record throughout. ]

A party which worked the lower part of the valley found Cephalozia connivens*, Lophozia excisa, Pleuridium subulatum*, Tetraphis browniana* and Schistostega pennata.

The second day's excursion was to Cornwall (v.-c. 2). The morning was spent on the moors near Henwood, including Bearah Tor, Hawk's Tor and Kilmar Tor. Members saw Cephalozia catenulata growing on peaty banks at Hawk's Tor, and C. connivens, C. leucantha, C. media, Douinia ovata, Lepidozia pinnata, Metzgeria fruticulosa, Riccardia latifrons, Solenostoma pumilum, Tritomaria exsectiformis*, Antitrichia curtipendula (on rock), Aulacomnium palustre c.fr., Campylopus atrovirens, C. flexuosus c.fr., C. piriformis c.fr., Cynodontium bruntonii, Dicranum scottianum, Grimmia patens, Hylocomium brevirostre, Hypnum cupressiforme var. ericetorum c.fr., and Ulota phyllantha.

In the afternoon, an area of mine waste overgrown with vegetation and with shallow pools of water was investigated at Minions. Cephaloziella massalongoi and C. stellulifera were duly found beside one of the pools, together with C. starkei. Other noteworthy plants in the vicinity were Gymnomitrium obtusum*, Leiocolea badensis*, Lophozia alpestris, L. excisa, Marsupella funckii, Tritomaria exsectiformis, Oligotrichum hercynicum and Rhacomitrium canescens c.fr.

2 April was again spent in Cornwall (v.-c. 2). The first area to be explored was the west side of the Tamar Valley at Chilsworthy. Much of this was wooded, but disfigured in places by heaps of red mine spoil whose surface crust had been colonized locally by Cephaloziella massalongoi and Solenostoma crenulatum, and by Pohlia rothii and P. annotina agg. Rocks by the river yielded Cinclodotus fontinaloides, Grimmia alpicola var. rivularis and Rhacomitrium aciculare, and bases of alder trunks had Leskea polycarpa, Tortula latifolia, Orthotrichum rivulare and, more rarely, O. sprucei. Solenostoma pumilum, B. cylindrica c.fr., Bryum donianum and Zygodon viridissimus var. vulgaris* were also seen.

After lunch the party moved on to Trebartha, with permission to work the large wooded estate there, through which run the River Lynher and its tributary Withey Brook. Rocks in the waterways were covered with Eurhynchium alopecuroides c.fr., Hyocomium flagellare, some c.fr., and Isothecium holtii; Fissidens curnowii formed dense patches on alluvium on the banks, and F. polyphyllus was particularly luxuriant inside an old mine shaft. Tortula marginata*, Drepanolejeunea hamatifolia* and Harpalejeunea ovata* were discovered by the diligent. Old elders in the estate bore very fine Cryphaea heteromalla, Neckera pumila and Zygodon conoideus. Members also listed Cephalozia media, Saccogyna viticulosa, Bartramia ithyphylla*, Hylocomium brevirostre c.fr. and Sphagnum quinquefarium. Everyone was delighted when Dr Warburg and his family arrived; alas, this was to be his last excursion with the Society.

On 3 April the party fragmented, and localities in v.-cs. 2, 3 and 4 were worked by different groups.
The following finds resulted:
(i) Talland Bay (v.-c. 2)
- loamy cliff top:
Calypogeia arguta, Fissidens algarvicus, Weissia multicapsularis, Funaria fascicularis, Pterogonium gracile, Rhynchostegiella pumila and Scleropodium tourretii, to which may be added Fossombronia caespitiformis, found by another party on 5 April.
(ii) Tamar valley south of Launceston (v.-c. 2): Lejeunea cavifolia, Anomodon viticulosus, Cryphaea lamyana c.fr. (also in v.-c. 4*) and Tortula latifolia. Most of the other members were able to see the Cryphaea during the remainder of the week, growing on tree bases at the water's edge.
(iii) Fingle Bridge (v.-c. 3) : Porella pinnata, Grimmia montana c.fr., Orthotrichum pulchellum, O. rivulare, Rhabdoweisia fugax and Zygodon viridissimus c.fr.
(iv) Steps Bridge (v.-c. 3): Grimmia montana c.fr., Porella pinnata and Orthotrichum rivulare.
(v) Dewarstone Rocks,
Shaugh Prior (v.-c. 3):
Cephalozia media, Lejeunea lamacerina var. azorica, Andreaea rothii, Cynodontium bruntonii, Diphyscium foliosum, Rhacomitrium aquaticum and Trichostomum tenuirostre.
(vi) Bolt Head (v.-c. 3): Riccia crozalsii, Campylopus polytrichoides.
(vii) Bolt Tail (v.-c. 3): Frullania tamarisci var. robusta, F. microphylla.
(viii) Plymouth (v.-c. 3) on limestone rocks near shore: Gymnostomum calcareum, Tortella nitida.

Lydford Gorge, which marks part of the boundary between v.-cs. 3 and 4, was visited on 4 April. The deep and humid ravine was favourable to the growth of many bryophytes, the more interesting of which were, in v.-c. 3 : Jubula hutchinsiae, Lejeunea lamacerina var. azorica, Lophocolea fragrans, Marchesinia mackaii, Saccogyna viticulosa, Diphyscium foliosum, Fissidens celticus (on a shaded, unstable loamy bank), F. curnowii, F. minutulus var. minutulus (on stones in river), F. osmundoides, Mnium stellare (abundant), Schistostega pennata, Tetraphis browniana, Thamnium alopecurum c.fr.: and, in v.-c. 4: Nowellia curvifolia, Fissidens celticus, Fontinalis squamosa c.fr. and Isopterygium elegans c.fr.

Brief forays were made in v.-c. 3 during the afternoon, in unpleasant weather, to Cox Tor where little was seen, Vixen Tor which gave records of Douinia ovata, Cynodontium bruntonii and Grimmia patens, and an outcrop of basic igneous rock on Brentor, which produced an interesting flora including Frullania fragilifolia, Porella thuja, Anomodon viticulosus, Camptothecium lutescens, Gymnostomum aeruginosum, Pterogonium gracile and Tortula intermedia.

During the week several members went to Holne Bridge (v.-c. 3) to see Fissidens serrulatus, and recorded Trichocolea tomentella, Cynodontium bruntonii, Diphyscium foliosum, Fissidens polyphyllus, Isothecium holtii, Mnium undulatum c.fr., Trichostomum crispulum and T. tenuirostre on the river bank, and Tortella nitida on the bridge.

The weather had been unreliable throughout the week, but on the last day, 5 April, the rain was so torrential that little attempt was made to keep to the scheduled programme. Those who did reach Dendles Wood (v.-c. 3) reported Nowellia curvifolia, Fissidens polyphyllus and Thuidium tamariscinum c.fr.

B. GOATER

 

Summer Meeting 1966

Clonmel, 21 August-2 September

The Summer Meeting was held in Ireland this year, centred on Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. Fourteen members attended, although the party was reduced to six during the second week. The primary object of the meeting was to make a contribution to the census of species for the vice-counties in that area, none of which has been very well worked previously. A total of more than 300 new vice-county records was made for East Cork (H. 5), Waterford (H. 6), South Tipperary (H. 7), Limerick (H. 8) and Kilkenny (H. 11). Recording was also carried out for the maps scheme, records being made for twenty-eight ten-kilometer squares.

During the meeting four species were added to the known flora of Ireland, Fossombronia incurva, Cephaloziella integerrima, Fissidens bambergeri and F. celticus.

Due to the large number of new vice-county records it is not possible to include them all in this account. Details should be sought in 'New Vice-County Records and Amendments '.

21 August. The main party spent the day in H. 6. Travelling eastwards to the Nier Valley a stop was made at a small wooded ravine north of the Punchbowl Mt. where Lophocolea heterophylla*, L. fragrans*, Scapania scandica* and Jubula hutchinsiae were seen. Pellia neesiana*, Hygrobiella laxifolia*, Gymnomitrion crenulatum, Sphagnum confertum, Oligotrichum hercynicum* and Acrocladium stramineum* were collected on moorland east of the Punchbowl. At Loughnafrankee Hygrohypnum eugyrium was collected where the stream is wooded.

[* New v.-c. record throughout. ]

In the Nier Valley the Irish Spurge, here at its most easterly station, was seen growing by the roadside. Metzgeria fruticulosa and Lepidozia pinnata were found in regenerated oak woodland nearby.

By the River Nier itself Marchantia polymorpha var. aquatica*, Solenostoma cordifolium*, Harpanthus scutatus*, Dicranella schreberana*, Orthotrichum pulchellum* and Thuidium delicatulum* were collected at Shanballyanne. A field near Clogheen, Ballymacarbry, produced Anthoceros laevis*, Ditrichum cylindricum*, Pseudephemerum nitidum* and Bryum ruderale*.

Two members, travelling from Cork, recorded Bryum donianum* and Metzgeria fruticulosa* east of Fermoy in H. 5. Near the quarry, by the Owenashad River, north of Lismore (H. 6), they found Dumortiera hirsuta, Porella pinnata*, Aphanolejeunea microscopica* and Bryum argenteum var. lanatum*.

22 August. Coumshingaun, a corrie on the east side of the Comeragh Mts., in H.6 was the venue for this day. The following species were recorded:

On the way up: Calypogeia sphagnicola*, Cephaloziella hampeana*, Porella thuja, P. cordaeana*, Lejeunea patens*, Frullania fragilifolia* and Polytrichum alpestre*. Slopes north of the lake: Douinia ovata*, Harpalejeunea ovata, Frullania germana*, F. fragilifolia, Pohlia elongata*, Hedwigia integrifolia* and Ulota hutchinsiae. Slopes and ravines above the south shore: Herberta adunca, Aphanolejeunea microscopica, Polytrichum alpinum*, Dicranella subulata var. curvata*, Cynodontium bruntonii, Grimmia stricta, G. doniana*, Mnium rugicum and Hedwigia integrifolia*. Antitrichia curtipendula grew between boulders by the lake. By the road below the lake, Mrs Appleyard and Mr Duckett found Cephaloziella integerrima*, new to Ireland, on a steep clay bank, the result of recent road widening. For this square 209 species were recorded, the best for the meeting.

23 August. Lough Curra in the Galtee Mts. was the objective on Tuesday. The difficulty of gaining access to the Galtee range has discouraged botanists from going there in the past. However, now that much of the lower slopes are afforested, it is possible to get within one hour's climbing distance of the peaks by using forestry roads. After one unsuccessful attempt to get close to the lake the party divided and another road was found on the Co. Limerick side, north-east of Mitchelstown, which enabled cars to be taken to Monabrack below Dawson's Table and the cliffs above L. Curra. On the way up from Monabrack Mylia anomala*, Dicranella palustris, Pohlia elongata*, and Drepanocladus exannulatus var. exannulatus* were recorded for H. 8. The steep slopes and rock ledges above the lake itself are in H. 7 and here Herberta adunca, Gymnomitrion crenulatum, Scapania scandica*, S. aequiloba*, Radula voluta*, Cololejeunea calcarea*, Colura calyptrifolia*, Diphyscium foliosum*, Cynodontium bruntonii*, Campylopus schwarzii, Pohlia acuminata* and P. polymorpha* were recorded.

Below Galtymore and Knockeenatoung, in H. 7, Mausupella funckii*, Mylia taylori*, Dicranella rufescens*, Grimmia doiniana* and Acrocladium stramineum* were recorded.

24 August. The Knockmealdown Mts. are considered botanically uninteresting for their lack of unusual flowering plants. However, the bryophyte flora of the area was not well known. The wooded Glenshelane River (H. 6) on the east of the range was the first area investigated. By a stream flowing westwards into the river Solenostoma pumilum, Lophocolea fragrans and Jubula hutchinsiae were found. Riccia warnstorfii*, R. glauca*, R. sorocarpa*, Blasia pusilla* and Diplophyllum obtusifolium* were found along a forest path on the west bank of the river and here also Fossombronia incurva*, new to Ireland, was found by Mrs Paton and Mr Little. After lunch the party divided. The Owenashad River, already visited on the first day of the meeting, was searched more thoroughly. Barbula spadicea*, Mnium stellare and Isothecium holtii* were found by the river near the quarry. At Bay Lough, on the Tipperary side of the mountains near 'The Vee', Lepidozia trichoclados*, Calypogeia neesiana var. neesiana*, Frullania microphylla, Fissidens curnowii and Dicranum scottianum were found. At the limestone quarry near Ardfinnan, Marchesinia mackaii*, Aloina aloides*, Barbula hornschuchiana* and Tortella nitida* were added for H. 7.

25 August. As the weather still continued warm and sunny it was decided to examine the Waterford coast (H. 6). Cliffs near Slippery Island, west of Bunmahon, proved disappointing. Cephaloziella stellulifera* and Bryum sauteri* were found in a field near the sea. The former species was also found on the spoil heaps of the old copper mines east of Bunmahon, where Lophozia excisa* and Cephaloziella starkii were also present. Cephaloziella massalongoi* was found in a cave near high-water mark and on the top of the cliffs. Sphagnum squarrosum*, S. fimbriatum*, and Orthotrichum tenellum* were collected at Ballinlough, west of Kill.

26 August. The morning was spent on an extensive raised bog south of Longfordpass Bridge (H. 7). Much of this bog has been cut over and the remainder appears to be drying out. Calypogeia neesiana, Cephaloziella hampeana and some good material of Riccardia latifrons* were soon found. The grid card showed just over 100 species recorded by midday. Three other areas were visited by separate parties on the return journey to Clonmel: Riccardia latifrons and Calypogeia sphagnicola* were found at a bog west of Longfordpass Bridge; at the Rock of Cashel, which is a large limestone outcrop, Reboulia hemisphaerica* and Thuidium philibertii* were recorded and Fissidens bambergeri*, collected by Mrs Paton, was new to Ireland; Bryum klinggraeffii* and Pellia neesiana* were found in fen carr by Bansha Wood. P. neesiana, which is probably under-recorded for Ireland, was found frequently during the meeting.

27 August. It was decided to visit the Galtee Mts. again. This time the approach was made from the Glen of Aherlow, on the north side. A forestry road brought the party to within an hour's climbing distance of L. Muskry (H. 7) although a fallen spruce tree had to be moved to allow cars to use the road. Riccardia palmata and Nowellia curvifolia were found in an old pine wood above the modern plantation. Stream and moorland above this produced Sphenolobus minutus, Solenostoma triste, Sphagnum robustum*, S. quinquefarium, Grimmia alpicola var. rivularis*, Pohlia elongata* and Fontinalis antipyretica var. gracilis*. The slopes above L. Muskry were not as rich in species as the L. Curra slopes. Damp crevices on the vertical cliff to the east of the lake were most rewarding. Calypogeia trichomanis, Cephaloziella pearsonii*, Radula aquilegia, Harpalejeunea ovata, Aphanolejeunea microscopica* and Colura calyptrifolia were found here.

28 August. Sunday was spent in swirling cloud on the ground about Sgilloge Loughs on the west side of the Comeragh Mts. (H. 6). For most of the day visibility was reduced to a few yards on the higher ground. A stop was made for lunch on a ledge above the higher lake and here Anthelia julacea* was found on the very wet rock face. On these slopes above the lake Hygrobiella laxifolia, Lepidozia trichoclados*, Cephaloziella pearsonii*, Rhabdoweisia crenulata, Bryum riparium* and Hygrohypnum ochraceum were also found. Rocks by the lower lake produced Radula lindbergiana*, Porella pinnata and Antitrichia curtipendula, Douinia ovata, Colura calyptrifolia, Sphagnum contortum, Drepanocladus vernicosus and Hygrohypnum eugyrium were collected on the moorland below the lakes. Eurhynchium alopecuroides was found in the stream at the bottom of the valley to the north.

29 August. On Monday the party was temporarily reduced to five. The day was spent in Co. Limerick (H. 8). Anthoceros husnotii*, Reboulia hemisphaerica*, Cololejeunea rosettiana, Tortula papillosa*, Scorpiurium circinatum and Cirriphyllum crassinervium were among the plants found by L. Gur. A card was marked for an old quarry and roadside banks near Pallas Green and here Ptilidium ciliare, Frullania germana and Pterogonium gracile were found.

30 August. This day was spent in Kilkenny (H. 11). Collecting in the grounds of Foulkscourt House near Johnstown and in bog at nearby Derryfadda added forty four species to the county list. Marsh, fen and raised bog at Derryfadda produced a varied flora which included Riccardia palmata*, Pallavicinia lyellii*, Calypogeia sphagnicola*, Lophozia incisa*, Cephalozia connivens*, Sphagnum subsecundum var. auriculatum*, S. capillaceum*, Dicranella schreberana*, D. varia*, Splachnum sphaericum*, Climacium dendroides* and Acrocladium giganteum*.

Returning by the Slieveardagh Hills some mixed oak woodland was noticed on the Tipperary side at a place marked on the ½ in. map as Tower (1051 ft.). Sixty species were recorded for the wood and roadside. Penetrating the wood to about 50 yards from the road, Mr Little found Fissidens celticus* on a damp steeply sloping bank. This was the first Irish record for the species (H. 7).

31 August. The unexpected discovery of F. celticus in such plenty prompted a search for it in East Cork (H. 5). A wooded ravine by the River Douglas, north of Kilworth, soon proved rewarding. F. celticus* was found low down on an 8 ft. vertical clay bank in deep shade, forming a pure growth about 1 ft. wide for the length of the then dry steam. In this wood Lophocolea fragrans, Lejeunea lamacerina var. azorica* and Hyocomium flagellare* were observed. Gyroweisia tenuis was found on a bridge just north of Kilworth and Ephemerum serratum var. minutissimum* in a nearby stubble field.

In woodland by Castle Cooke, to the east of Kilworth, Fissidens celticus was again found, growing on clay on the path by the Araglin River. Plectocolea hyalina* was found in a roadside quarry nearby.

At Ballynamuddagh, by the Araglin River, Anthoceros husnotii*, Blasia pusilla*, Fossombronia wondraczekii*, Cephaloziella hampeana* and Archidium alternifolium were found on sandy detritus. Hygrohypnum ochraceum* grew on stones in the river.

1 September. This day was spent in the limestone area by the River Nore in Kilkenny (H. 11). On the river bank about 2 miles south-east of Thomastown Reboulia hemisphaerica* was found on a wet shaded limestone rock-face. Fissidens crassipes* was found on stones by the river. Weissia crispa* was found in a sandpit and Pottia davalliana in an adjacent hay-field. Woodland on the east side of the road was here replanted with conifers and had a poor bryophyte flora. The road 1 mile east of Inistioge commands a good view of the Nore, which is tidal at this point. Here some old beech woodland was being cleared. Dumortiera hirsuta*, Lophocolea fragrans, Chiloscyphus polyanthos var. rivularis*, Nowellia curvifolia* and Heterocladium heteropterum var. heteropterum* were recorded for the wood.

From a stubble field near Inistioge Ditrichum cylindricum* and Ephemerum serratum var. minutissimum* were collected.

2 September. The last day of the meeting was spent at Glendine (H. 6). Here the mixed oak woodland is dark and damp. Banks of the Glendine River were covered with Dumortiera, and Jubula was plentiful in the streams. Other noteworthy plants seen were Chiloscyphus polyanthos var. rivularis, Porella pinnata, the Irish endemic Lejeunea holtii, Drepanolejeunea hamatifolia*, Cololejeunea minutissima, Zygodon viridissimus var. stirtonii, Heterocladium heteropterum (both vars.), Cirriphyllum crassinervium and Hypnum cupressiforme var. mamillatum.

During the meeting just over 400 species were seen, many of considerable interest, and a noteworthy contribution was made to the knowledge of the bryophyte flora of five hitherto little-worked vice-counties. There are still a number of areas in Ireland which could be as profitably visited by the Society. Further meetings in these areas will be necessary if the uniform coverage of the country essential for the success of the maps scheme is to be achieved.

D. SYNNOTT

 

Autumn Meeting 1966

Manchester, 22-23 October

The autumn weekend meeting was held on 22-23 October in the University of Manchester's Robert Robinson Building by kind permission of Professor D. H. Valentine.

Papers were read on the Saturday morning and afternoon. The President, Mrs J. Appleyard, introduced the speakers. Summaries of the papers are given below.

Dr A. J. E. SMITH: 'Chromosome studies on mosses.'

The techniques used in moss cytology were described and the use of and types of problem raised by the study of moss chromosomes, with particular reference to British material, was commented on.

Mr R. L. A. OLIVER: 'Studies on bryophyte colonization of Tentsmuir Dunes.'

In the older fixed dunes 'mat' and 'weft' type mosses were dominant, though rare or absent at earlier stages.

Experiments with moss fragments grown on media lacking particular nutrients were inconclusive. Rhizoids were produced on all media by all species investigated, but growth was greatest on those without nitrogen, perhaps the effect of the addition of sulphates which were used to replace nitrates.

Experiments on the effect of temperature on rhizoid production and on recovery after desiccation were also described.

Dr S. W. GREENE: 'Reproductive behaviour in mosses.'

The suggestion has been made recently that in perennial mosses, and perhaps also in many annuals, reproduction is almost entirely other than by spores and that abandonment of sexuality may be an important factor in the slow evolution of mosses. However, evidence was presented from studies on the British moss flora which showed that over 60% of the species frequently produced fruit and that of this number monoecious species were more frequently found in fruit than dioecious species. Frequency of fruit in the former group has been attributed to regular inbreeding but evidence on the nature of the colony is essential before this can be accepted as the general rule. In some Orthotricha, for example, it was shown that the colony was a population rather than a clone and so normal outbreeding between individuals could have taken place. For dioecious species, evidence is accumulating that most populations are unisexual with female colonies outnumbering male colonies; however, when bisexual colonies occur fruit is regularly formed. From this and other evidence it was concluded that, far from being abandoned, sexual reproduction is regularly successfully achieved by many species of the British moss flora.

Mr G. C. E. ARGENT: 'Gathering moss in the Cameroons.'

A visit was made in October and November 1965 to Western Cameroun (formerly part of British Cameroons) for the purpose of collecting mosses. This time of year was chosen because it coincides with the transition from rainy to dry seasons when the roads are open but the vegetation is not too dry.

Collections were made in the depleted lowland rain forest and plantations around Kumba, where a number of interesting plants such as Jaegerina cameruniae (Broth.) Wijk & Marg. were found in abundance, although generally the moss flora was poor. Collections were also made in the region of Cameroons Mountain where the moss flora was much richer. Montane rain forest occurs up to 6000 ft., which besides having a high rainfall is enveloped in mist for long periods and this habitat provided an abundance of epiphytes. Above this occurs grassland where Hedwigia integrifolia P. Beauv. was a common species and near the summit at over 13,000 ft. was an open community consisting largely of mosses, including such genera as Leptodontium, Rhacomitrium and Polytrichum.

Much of the collection brought back still remains to be identified and many taxonomic problems arise in a region where the plants are still very poorly known.

Dr W. S. LACEY: 'Geological history of the Bryophytes.'

An account of authenticated fossil records for the major bryophyte groups was given. The earliest liverworts, such as Hepaticites devonicus from the Upper Devonian, are unfortunately sterile and difficult to classify. They have been referred on vegetative characters to Jungermanniales Anacrogynae. The Acrogynae are not found until the early Tertiary. A hepatic from the early mesozoic, Naiadita for which archegonia and sporophyte are known, has been placed in the Sphaerocarpales. The Sphagnales are first represented by Protosphagnum, described by Neuberg from the Permian of the U.S.S.R. This genus has groups of hyaline cells in the leaf, which is nerved. The same author has described the earliest Bryidae, also from the Permian of the U.S.S.R., including Intia which has leaves resembling those of Bryum or Mnium. Other groups completely lack a fossil history, such as Andreaea, first found in Quaternary deposits. In addition there are some problematical fossils which may well be bryophytes, for example Sporogonites, Protosalvinia, Sporogonium and Tetrapterites.

In the absence of a fossil record for more than a few groups of bryophytes, phylogenetic speculation is of doubtful value.

Mr D. F. CHAMBERLAIN: 'Taxonomy of Pottia.'

The application of biometrics to the taxonomy of Pottia davalliana, P. starkeana and P. commutata was discussed, including related non-British species.

After the papers the President thanked the speakers. A special General Meeting was held.

In the evening the conversazione was held in the Robert Robinson Building and the following exhibits were on display:
Mr G. C. E. ARGENT: African Mosses.
Miss F. G. BELL: Sub-fossil mosses from a last glaciation site in Hunts.
Mr and Mrs H. J. B. BIRKS: Grimmia agassizii in Britain. The Epiphytic Communities of the Lizard, Cornwall.
Dr J. H. DICKSON: Colonizers of the 1961 volcano on Tristan da Cunha. Pseudoscleropodium on St Helena. Cryptothallus in Wales.
Dr W. S. LACEY: Fossil bryophytes, real and conjectural.
Dr A.J.E.SMITH: Cytotaxonomy of Tortula muralis. The B.B.S. mapping scheme.

On the Sunday about twenty members turned out on a showery day to visit three or four localities. The first was Plumley lime beds, a Cheshire Conservation Trust Nature Reserve. The lime waste and the path around it produced a large number of small acrocarpous mosses, including many species of Barbula and several of Bryum. Bryum bicolor was seen in two forms with large and with small bulbils. The interesting find of Desmatodon cernuus* on the path to the lime beds was made. Some members went on to Witton lime beds where they saw Moerckia flotoviana, recently discovered there. Leiocolea badensis was also seen.

[* new v.-c. record]

A contrasting habitat was afforded by Abbots Moss, also a Cheshire Conservation Trust Nature Reserve, where an extremely wet bog basin and surrounding heath and pine plantation were visited. At Oakmere, the next locality visited, a lake margin and heath and woodland provided some interesting finds. A. Stirling found Dicranum polysetum* in pine-birch woodland near the north end of the lake and E. Little found Cephaloziella hampeana* in heathy ground adjoining the lake. At the lakeside were Atrichum crispum and Cladopodiella fluitans.

Thanks are due to Dr J. Tallis who arranged the programme.

F. G. BELL

 

 
 
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