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Meetings of the BBS - 1962


Annual Meeting 1962

Helston, 3-10 April

The Spring meeting was held at Helston from 3 to 10 April. Cornwall is a county which has never before been visited by the Society. Thirty-three members were present for all or part of the week and it was with great pleasure that we welcomed Mrs E. Nyholm to the meeting. The Annual General Meeting was held on the evening of 7 April with Dr E. F. Warburg in the chair. All excursions were held in vice-county 1.

The Lizard Peninsula was the main attraction of the meeting and three days were spent exploring the region. The first excursion (4 April) was to an area of serpentine rock on the cliffs south of Coverack. The morning was spent on Chynhalls Point and later the cliffs between there and Black Head were explored. On the second excursion (6 April) the morning was spent on hornblende schists on the cliffs at Housel Bay and near the Lizard Lighthouse. In the afternoon the serpentine rocks of the cliffs and valleys about Kynance were explored. On the third excursion (9 April) Bonython Plantation near Mullion was visited and, after a brief stop to examine the heaths near Ruan Pool on Predannack Downs, members visited the coast at Church Cove, Gunwalloe.

During these three days members were able to see many of the bryophytes for which the Lizard is noted. Near the Lighthouse Dr Whitehouse showed members where Tortula stanfordensis was first found in Britain. Other species seen here included Riccia beyrichiana, R. crozalsii, R. nigrella and R. sorocarpa, Frullania microphylla, Fissidens viridulus, F. incurvus, Desmatodon convolutus, Pottia davalliana, P. wilsonii, Tortella flavovirens and Trichostomum crispulum. At Church Cove finds included Pottia davalliana, P. heimii, Weissia multicapsularis, Bryum murale and Grimmia maritima on the cliffs, and Tortella flavovirens var. glareicola in sandy turf. A number of rare plants were seen at Kynance including Ephemerum sessile on the cliff top and Harpalejeunea ovata in a rocky crevice. Other species seen here were Reboulia hemisphaerica, Fossombronia wondraczeki, Cephaloziella rubella, Lejeunea cavifolia and L. lamacerina var. azorica, Ditrichum flexicaule, Fissidens adianthoides, Pottia heimii, Amblystegium serpens var. salinum, Brachythecium mildeanum, and on rocks in the streams, Cinclidotus fontinaloides and Rhynchostegiella teesdalei. A wide variety of species were seen near Coverack and Gongylanthus ericetorum was found scattered in several places near Black Head. Other hepatics seen near here included Riccia glauca, Fossombronia pusilla, Leiocolea turbinata, Cephaloziella hampeana, C. stellulifera and C. calyculata. Mosses included Fissidens bambergeri*, F. cristatus, Pottia crinita var. viridifolia, P. intermedia, Phascum curvicollum*, Aloina aloides, Pleurochaete squarrosa, Bryum rubens, B. murale, Brachythecium glareosum, Rhynchostegiella tenella and Ctenidium molluscum. The following species were reported both from near Coverack and about Kynance: Riccia beyrichiana, R. crozalsii, R. nigrella, R. sorocarpa, Plagiochila spinulosa, Saccogyna viticulosa, Cololejeunea minutissima, Frullania microphylla, Fissidens viridulus, F. incurvus, Archidium alternifolium, Pleuridium acuminatum, Desmatodon convolutus, Pottia wilsonii, Funaria fascicularis, and Eurhynchium megapolitanum. Several less common species such as Fossombronia husnotii var. anglica, F. angulosa, Radula lindbergiana, Porella thuja, P. laevigata, Marchesinia mackaii, Frullania tamarisci var. robusta and Pterogonium gracile were also seen in both places. A number of species typical of the Lizard cliffs were noted at all four of the places visited and these included Pottia crinita, P. commutata, P. starkeana and P. recta, Weissia microstoma, W. controversa, Trichostomum brachydontium and var. littorale, Ulota phyllantha and Scleropodium illecebrum.

[* = New v.c. record]

Near Ruan Pool a number of additional species were seen of which Dicranum bonjeani and Campylopus introflexus were also reported at Kynance. Near the pool Sphagnum compactum, Drepanocladus lycopodioides and D. sendtneri were noted and on gorse stems a few plants of Colura calyptrifolia were found. On an area of heath nearby a very small quantity of Cephaloziella dentata was seen growing with Fossombronia pusilla.

Bonython Plantation is the only woodland on the peninsula, but much of it has recently been felled and replanted with conifers with a resultant decrease in the bryophyte flora. However, a very small quantity of Lejeunea mandonii was seen on shaded rocks and also the following species: Metzgeria conjugata, Radula lindbergiana, Porella laevigata, Marchesinia mackaii, Frullania microphylla, Pterogonium gracile and Heterocladium heteropterum var. flaccidum. Riccardia latifrons,* Cephalozia connivens and Tetraphis pellucida were found on rotting logs, and Sphagnum subsecundum var. auriculatum, Cirriphyllum piliferum and Rhynchostegiella pumila were also noted.

In contrast to the Lizard Peninsula other parts of the Cornish coast were visited. A morning (7 April) was spent at Portheras Cove near Morvah in the extreme west of the county where the rocks are of granite. Philonotis rigida was seen on lower parts of the wet crumbling cliff face, but it was found that only a small quantity had survived the winter storms. Other plants seen on the cliffs were Leiocolea turbinata, Plectocolea hyalina, Epipterygium tozeri and Fissidens curnowii. In the rocky valley inland Calypogeia fissa, C. arguta, Zygodon viridissimus var. stirtonii and Plagiothecium ruthei* were found together with typical coast species such as Fossombronia angulosa, Scapania compacta and Ulota phyllantha. On the track leading into the cove Riccia sorocarpa, R. crozalsii, Fossombronia husnotii var. anglica and Bryum sauteri were found.

During the week some members also visited another area of granite coast at Lamorna Cove south of Penzance. Here Campylopus polytrichoides was seen and other species noted were Anthoceros husnotii, Fossombronia angulosa, Scapania compacta, Frullania tamarisci var. robusta, Bryum alpinum and Hedwigia ciliata.

In the afternoon an attempt was made to explore Carn Galva north of Morvah, a ridge of high ground half a mile inland, strewn with large granite boulders and rising to 800 ft. alt., but bad weather prevented members reaching the higher ground. However, a number of species not seen on other excursions were noted and these included Plagiochila punctata, Douinia ovata,* Scapania gracilis, Andreaea rothii, Dicranoweissia cirrata, Dicranum scottianum, D. fuscescens and Rhacomitrium heterostichum var. gracilescens on the boulders. Lepidozia reptans, L. setacea, and Tritomaria exsectiformis were found on peat, and in mats between the boulders Dicranum majus, Plagiothecium undulatum, Rhytidiadelphus loreus and R. triquetrus, all with capsules.

Two more coastal areas were visited during the meeting so that calcareous ground (rare in Cornwall) could be examined. These were at Carbis Bay (5 April) where there are wet calcareous sandy and rocky cliffs, and Gear near Perranporth (8 April) where there are extensive dunes part of which have been mined, the spoil heaps being particularly basic. In an old copper mine above the shore at Carbis Bay several members saw Cephaloziella massalongoi on a sheltered dripping rock face where it was first recorded by Nicholson. Higher up beside the cliff path towards St Ives material which Nicholson called var. nicholsonii was seen on a retaining wall and on stony slopes above. Riccardia multifida, Gymnocolea inflata, Scapania compacta and Pohlia rothii were also noted. East of Carbis Bay a number of species typical of wet cliffs were seen including Barbula tophacea, Eucladium verticillatum, Funaria attenuata and Eurhynchium speciosum. Neckera crispa was local on the drier cliffs. At Gear Southbya tophacea was found well scattered over part of the area of mine waste and other species found on the spoil heaps were Lophozia excisa, Cephaloziella calyculata, Encalypta streptocarpa, Aloina ambigua, Pottia caespitosa, Gymnostomum calcareum and Bryum donianum. On the dunes Tortula ruraliformis and Camptothecium lutescens were both found fruiting freely. Other species noted were Barbula fallax, B. acuta, B. hornschuchiana, Tortella flavovirens var. glareicola, Campylium chrysophyllum, Brachythecium glareosum and B. mildeanum. In the dune slacks Petalophyllum ralfsii was found, together with Riccardia sinuata, R. pinguis, Fossombronia husnotii var. anglica and Drepanocladus aduncus var. aduncus. The following species were all seen both on the dunes at Gear and on the cliffs at Carbis Bay: Leiocolea turbinata, Ditrichum flexicaule, Dicranella varia, Tortella flavovirens var. flavovirens, Pleurochaete squarrosa, Trichostomum crispulum, Cratoneuron filicinum, Amblystegium serpens var. salinum, Eurhynchium megapolitanum and Ctenidium molluscum.

Other places visited by members during the week included two wooded valleys near Penzance. On the stream banks below Castle Horneck Fissidens serrulatus was seen, and on woodland banks Fissidens algarvicus,* Epipterygium tozeri, Heterocladium heteropterum var. flaccidum and Rhynchostegiella pumila were found. On the stream banks in the Trevaylor valley Fissidens polyphyllus was found to be abundant locally, with F. curnowii. Fontinalis squamosa was fruiting on stones in the stream. On elders near by Metzgeria fruticulosa, Orthotrichum affine, O. striatum, O. pulchellum and O. diaphanum, Ulota phyllantha, U. crispa, U. bruchii, Cryphaea heteromalla and Neckera pumila were noted. Ditrichum cylindricum and Physcomitrium pyriforme were seen in fields, and Schistostega pennata was found fruiting on a shaded earthy wall.

In an old quarry near Helston Metzgeria fruticulosa, Plagiochila asplenioides var. major, Tortula papillosa,* T. laevipila and Bryum donianum were found by one member. In Gilbert's Coombe north of Redruth several members collected Cephaloziella massalongoi and Pohlia rothii. About a derelict mine near Ventongimps north of Truro Pottia starkeana was seen, and on a shaded roadside bank south of Gweek a small amount of Ditrichum subulatum was found. Members also report gatherings of Pottia, Weissia, Bryum, a Philonotis and a Fissidens, but further study is required on all these before names can be published.

The number of new county records made during the meeting was disappointing, but this was to be expected as several of the areas visited had been well worked in the past especially by W. E. Nicholson who visited Cornwall regularly from 1923 until his death in the county in 1945. Most members had travelled a long way to the meeting and expected to see the rarities of the region. This meant visiting many of the well known areas which left little time in a short week for exploring new ground. However, all members saw plants new to them and a number of old records were refound. It was unfortunate that the strong winds should have persisted throughout the meeting, which not only dried up the mosses between the periods of rain, but caused considerable discomfort to many members.

During the meeting members were transported by private car and car owners are to be thanked for their co-operation in this. I would also like to thank those members who kindly sent me lists of species that they had seen on the meeting, from which this account has been compiled.



Summer Meeting 1962

Donegal, 1-13 September

It was time to visit Ireland again as five years had passed since the field meeting held in Co. Galway in 1957 described by Mr R. E. Parker (Trans. Brit. bryol. Soc. 3, 493-8, 1958). The Society has been twice before to Co. Donegal, but using Bundoran in the extreme south of the county as a base, and naturally exploring also much country in Sligo and Leitrim where the limestone is so spectacular in scenery and rich in vegetation. The whole fortnight was spent at Dunfanaghy, somewhat far from the south-western parts of the county, but suitably placed for the hills of north Donegal about which little was known bryologically. It was expected that the low ground would prove interesting and much was hoped from coastal dunes and slacks. Apart from the middle weekend the weather was kinder than we expected in the first half of September. Several days spent about the coast, on dune and sea-cliff, were enjoyable for the sunshine and absence of wind that was not a trial to be borne as at Perranporth during the Helston meeting. Those few who persevered and attained the summit of the rather grim Slieve Snaght on 4 September will remember the rewarding view, slithery descent, and monotonous bog to traverse on the way back to Dunlewy. Other hills of the Derryveagh range appeared to be of similar bleak, slabby rock, which when wet gleamed in the sun, as was noticed when we returned that way to climb Errigal, the highest hill in Donegal, and though built of quartzite, quite a good hill.

The members present were Dr E. F. Warburg and family, Mr and Mrs J. H. G. Peterken, Dr and Mrs W. Schultze-Motel from Berlin, Mrs J. Appleyard, Miss M. P. H. Kertland, Miss E. M. Lobley, Mr A. C. Crundwell, Mr R. E. Longton, Mr A. J. Pettifer, Mr D. J. Read and Mr E. C. Wallace.

Four members brought their cars, and they were sufficient for the daily transport. Work at recording bryophytes began for some on the way from Belfast to Dunfanaghy on 1 September. As members know, Bryum erythrocarpum and its close allies are proving of interest so search was made for them in likely spots, or compulsory halts as at level-crossings, and usually Mr Crundwell was able to demonstrate this or that species and its distinguishing gemmae. Research on this group of dull looking plants is still in progress so no records can be given here. All bryophytes observed on the daily excursions were listed on mapping cards, a different member each day accepting the chore.

Looking south from Dunfanaghy Muckish Mountain appears nearer than it really is, and here we spent the first day, exploring the northern corrie, summit area (2197 ft.) and north-east slopes. All the ground was interesting and the higher slopes rich in hepatic communities consisting of Herberta hutchinsiae, Bazzania tricrenata, B. pearsonii, Lepidozia pinnata, Scapania gracilis, S. ornithopodioides sparingly, and Mylia taylori. Amongst boulders high on the north-east shoulder of the hill Dr Warburg detected Adelanthus unciformis* in small quantity, which several members saw for the first time. This important find raised hopes that it might be detected on other Donegal hills, which we could see had the requisite habitat conditions. On 12 September the Adelanthus was found to be locally frequent in the hepatic carpet amongst small boulders and heather on Errigal Mountain, and sparingly (at a lower elevation) on adjoining 'Little Errigal'. The scarcity of Anastrepta orcadensis was remarked by several members; the writer saw it very sparingly, once on Muckish and once on Errigal where it was scanty and gemmiferous. New county records from Muckish (H. 35) were: Polytrichum alpestre*, Gyroweisia tenuis*, Pohlia annotina*, Acrocladium sarmentosum*, Lepidozia pearsonii Calypogeia muelleriana*, C. fissa* (also seen at Innisfree Bay on 6 September), Sphenolobus minutus*, Solenostoma pumilum*, Mylia anomala*, and Scapania irrigua*.

[* = New v.c. record]

On 3 September the dunes, sea-cliffs and ground adjacent to Dooros Point near Dunfanaghy were worked, yielding a number of interesting plants and new records. Distichium inclinatum was very abundant, being noticed on other days as frequent in suitable habitats along the rocky indented coast. New county records (H. 35) included: Archidium alternifolium*, Dichodontium pellucidum var. fagimontanum*, Pottia truncata*, Barbula hornschuchiana*, Weissia microstoma*, Grimmia decipiens var. robusta*, Zygodon viridissimus var. stirtonii*, Thuidium philibertii*, Drepanocladus lycopodioides*, Eurhynchium speciosum*, Hypnum lindbergii*, Leiocolea badensis* and Scapania aequiloba*.

Some ground close to Dunfanaghy yielded several records to Mr Crundwell on before-breakfast forays such as Bryum marratii*, B. pendulum*, Brachythecium glareosum* and, in the village street, Lunularia cruciata*

After some discussion about what hill to climb on 4 September, Slieve Snaght to the south of Dunlewy was chosen. The way led round the base of Errigal and gave us good views of that hill and the Poisoned Glen. A climb over wet moorland brought us to Slieve Snaght which grudgingly yielded a few new county records (H. 35): Rhabdoweisia crenulata*, Dicranum blyttii*, Dicranodontium denudatum var. alpinum*, Gymnomitrion obtusum*, and Odontoschisma denudatum*. There was much Campylopus schwarzii on the hill, and locally several members found Campylopus setifolius. The highest rocks had Gymnomitrion concinnatum, G. crenulatum and some high flushes Anthelia julacea. A stream named the Devlin River runs down to Dunlewy in a straight deep-cut gorge and here Miss Lobley and Miss Kertland found Dicranum scottianum, Aphanolejeunea microscopica*, Drepanolejeunea hamatifolia and Radula aquilegia. Mr Longton recorded Calypogeia trichomanis*.

South of Muckish and east of Errigal, in the Derryveagh Mountains, Glenveagh Castle and gardens are situated by Lough Beagh in a sheltered position. The owner of the estate had given us permission to visit the area which had promise of interesting ground for bryophytes. We went on 5 September, taking a short cut by what proved to be a very bad road over the Owencarrow River to Glenveagh, where we were received by Mr H. P. McIlhenny, who expressed great interest in our plans and hopes for the day. Many choice specimens of exotic trees and shrubs were pointed out to us in the gardens which seemed to merge imperceptibly into the wild rocky hillside above the Castle. Bryophytes were very luxurious in the boulder-strewn woodland, but few new records were made although over 100 species were listed on our mapping cards. Barbula convoluta var. commutata*, Isothecium holtii*, Plagiothecium sylvaticum* and Aphanolejeunea microscopica* were new vice-county records (H. 35), but many interesting species were noted; Dicranoweisia cirrata (scarce in the extreme west), Zygodon conoideus, Tetraphis browniana and Hylocomium umbratum. Hepatics included Riccardia palmata, Mylia cuneifolia, Harpanthus scutatus, and on boulders by the lough, Radula aquilegia, Drepanolejeunea hamatifolia, Colura calyptrifolia, with Jubula hutchinsiae by a stream in a ravine and a little Metzgeria hamata.

On 6 September and again on 13 September we worked various localities in the district of the Rosses, between Gweedore and Dunglow. Our time was split between interesting places on the coast dunes and slacks, rocky margins of freshwater loughs such as at Mullaghderg, and sea cliffs at Crohy Head. The dune flats, especially about Cruit Island, were somewhat basic, with some interesting forms of Tortella species still being studied. New records from this attractive region include Tortella flavovirens var. glareicola*, Mnium rugicum*, Drepanocladus vernicosus*, Petalophyllum ralfsii*, Blepharostoma trichophyllum*, Cephaloziella hampeana*, Lejeunea lamacerina vars. lamacerina* and azorica*, Marchesinia mackaii*, Frullania dilatata*, also Riccia warnstorfii* and Fossombronia angulosa* on Crohy Head, and Sphagnum imbricatum* near Dunglow.

On previous visits (1928, 1937) to Bundoran in the extreme south of Co. Donegal, the Society had visited, amongst other places on the limestone, Gleniff, behind the steep imposing bluff of Ben Bulben. This is a rich area of limestone cliff and talus slopes where several plants of importance in the Irish Flora are found, one being Barbula reflexa var. robusta which several members wished to see in situ. Despite being about 90 miles from Dunfanaghy Gleniff was visited by most of the party who made an early start on 7 September. Almost all the previously-known plants were confirmed and several new records made for Co. Sligo (H. 28) such as Sphagnum robustum*, Grimmia stricta*, Pohlia delicatula* and Cephaloziella hampeana*. On a series of wet limestone crags below the main cliffs a fruiting Seligeria was found in moderate abundance that was subsequently identified as S. oelandica, a surprising addition to the Irish flora which more than justified the long trip, especially as the Barbula was seen in fine condition, along with Seligeria pusilla, S. trifaria, Gymnostomum recurvirostrum var. insigne, Mnium orthorhynchum, Amblyodon dealbatus, Timmia norvegica, Pedinophyllum interruptum and Scapania aequiloba. The surrounding country in both Co. Sligo and Co. Leitrim would doubtless repay more investigation.

On several days when the weather did not look propitious for the hills we paid attention to fallow fields and other promising habitats noticed whilst travelling. The beautiful Ards Peninsula (H. 35) yielded Pseudephemerum nitidum*, Tortula laevipila var. laevipiliformis*, Phascum cuspidatum*, Ephemerum serratum, Rhynchostegiella pumila*, and Anthoceros laevis*, and on the Rossguill peninsula Dr Warburg detected Ephemerum sessile* new to Ireland. Tortula ruralis*, Trichostomum sinuosum* and Riccia sorocarpa* were other additions to the list for v.c. H. 35. In a small wood near Mid Town we recorded Plagiochila asplenioides var. major*. Mr Peterken recorded Fossombronia wondraczekii* from a fallow between Dunfanaghy and Falcarragh. In East Donegal (H. 34) some stubble near Castleforward yielded Pseudephemerum nitidum*, Dicranella rufescens*, Ephemerum serratum vars. serratum* and minutissimum*, Anthoceros husnotii* and A. laevis*. The cultivated ground examined was, on the whole, disappointing, the species seen occurring sparingly, the soil being loose and friable, as remarked by Dr E. W. Jones for Co. Antrim in a paper on 'Bryophytes seen in North-eastern Ireland' (Irish Nat. J. 11, 1954).

When traversing the road from Ballybofey to Donegal on the way to Gleniff we remarked the imposing north face of Croaghconnellagh close to the road at Barnesmore Gap. This hill is quite within the East Donegal vice-county boundary and could be expected to yield some desired records for v.c. H. 34. Those who went all had an interesting day, either up the hill or around Lough Eske. Mrs Appleyard and the writer recorded Lepidozia pearsonii*, Lophozia ventricosa*, L. incisa*, Solenostoma crenulatum*, Nardia compressa*, Gymnomitrion crenulatum*, and were much impressed by the quantity of fruiting Campylopus introflexus* on wet peaty slopes rather high up on the east. This was also seen by Dr Warburg who recorded Grimmia patens*, Rhacomitrium aquaticum*, Splachnum sphaericum*, Drepanocladus fluitans var. fluitans*, Riccardia palmata*, Lepidozia setacea*, Sphenolobus minutus*, Cephalozia leucantha*, Plagiochila punctata*, and S. umbrosa*. Miss Lobley found Sphagnum strictum* and Calypogeia fissa. The hills farther west would merit close attention especially as there are indications of basic rock on the Blue Stack Mountains. The names of Irish hills often appear very odd to those unfamiliar with the Irish language and its aptly descriptive wording.

Not everyone of the party wished to climb Errigal, 2466 ft., but the four who did greatly enjoyed reaching the sharp twin top in spite of a shower on an exposed ridge. The view, subsequent sunshine, and hepatics found amply repaid our efforts. Here and there on the very steep north-east slopes, amongst quartzite screes, were boulders and Calluna patches sheltering a rich hepatic association. This mainly consisted of Herberta hutchinsiae, Bazzania tricrenata, Mylia taylori, Plagiochila spinulosa, Scapania gracilis, Pleurozia purpurea, occasional good tufts of Adelanthus unciformis and Bazzania pearsonii. Careful search by Dr Warburg was rewarded by Scapania ornithopodioides and a few stems of S. nimbosa* new to Donegal, but no Mastigophora woodsii or Jamesoniella carringtonii were seen. Now that the Adelanthus is known from Connemara and Achill through to Errigal and Muckish Mountain it should be looked for on the Paps of Jura where, incidentally, the geology is similar to Donegal. On the ridge of Errigal Dr Warburg made yet another first Irish record by detecting Anthelia iuratzkana*. Whilst we were on Errigal Mr Crundwell, looking for some elusive basic areas about Muckish Gap, recorded nothing of interest save Ctenidium molluscum var. condensatum* and Campylopus setifolius.

The last excursion was to Bulbin Mountain north of Buncrana on the east side of Lough Swilly, and was chosen as basic rock is reported thence. The hill is in v.c. H. 34, and was somewhat disappointing, perhaps because of indifferent weather, but the following records were made by the small party that went: Polytrichum alpestre*, Diphyscium foliosum*, Archidium alternifolium*, Rhabdoweisia denticulata*, Barbula ferruginascens*, Grimmia funalis*, Pohlia annotina*, Mnium marginatum*, Philonotis calcarea*, Plagiothecium succulentum*, P. sylvaticum*, Riccardia sinuata*, Hygrobiella laxifolia*, Blepharostoma trichophyllum*, Calypogeia arguta*, Solenostoma pumilum*, Plectocolea hyalina*.

The end of the meeting left us with the impression that much ground remained to be examined but that most of the species likely to be encountered in the north-west of Ireland are already recorded, The need is for gaps in the known distributions of individual species to be filled in, for, when a species, especially a generally common one, has been recorded just once in a vice-county, further interest in it can cease. How can one know how frequent or rare a species is without intensive work in a given district?

Everyone enjoyed the Donegal scene, saw new plants (even if only a Bryum erythrocarpum segregate!) and looks forward to another visit to Ireland before long, perhaps based on Clonmel for some very beautiful country with several vice-counties at hand to scour with mapping cards and census catalogues.



Autumn Meeting 1962

Leicester, 27-28 October

Autumn Meeting 1962, Leicester, 27-28 October

The customary autumn weekend meeting was held at Leicester University on 27 and 28 October.

Thirty-six members and guests attended the paper-reading sessions on the Saturday. The five speakers were introduced by the President, Dr E. F. Warburg, and summaries of the papers are given below:

Mr J. H. DICKSON: 'Observations on Neohodgsonia mirabilis from Tristan da Cunha'.
A brief account was first given of the situation, flora and phytogeographical significance of this south Atlantic island. Neohodgsonia, a monotypic genus of the Marchantiales, resembles Marchantia in general morphology but has bifurcate carpogoniophores. The complex nomenclatural history of the genus was reviewed. It is known also from New Zealand and Gough Island and almost certainly will be discovered elsewhere in the southern hemisphere. On Tristan it is widely distributed. Several slides were shown of its habitat, ranging from sheltered ground between tussocks of Spartina arundinacea and Blechnum palmiforme to wet rock faces in gullies.

Dr C. H. GIMINGHAM: 'Some aspects of bryophyte ecology in heathlands'.
The growth forms of bryophytes were first discussed with particular reference to their resistance to desiccation. The distinction was made between the weft form (exemplified by Pleurozium schreberi and Hylocomium splendens) and the mat form (Hypnum cupressiforme). The superiority of the latter in conserving water was demonstrated. In heath communities the frequency of these forms is clearly related to the micro humidity of the various phases of the Calluna growth cycle.

An illustrated survey followed of the heath communities in north-west Europe. It was shown that the various associations dominated by particular ericaceous species had characteristic bryophyte synusiae the inter-relationships of which paralleled those of the vascular plants.

Dr E. F. WARBURG: 'Some remarks on the genus Weissia'.
Recent research on this genus has revealed the existence of several taxonomic as well as nomenclatural problems, which may necessitate the description of a new species closely related to W. controversa, and the revival of W. longifolia Mitt. A critical evaluation was made of the characters used to separate species within the subgenera Weissia and Astomum. The importance of the following characters was discussed: leaf margin, width of nerve, length of mucro, cell and spore size. It was shown that a correlation existed between these characters in both subgenera and that most of the species fell into one of two groups, exemplified by W. controversa and W. rutilans, which were, in general, ecologically distinct.

The status of W. mittenii was considered and it was suggested that, combining as it does characters of W. multicapsularis and W. rostellata, it may prove to be of hybrid origin. This is also indicated by the relatively high proportion of bad spores. It was suggested that hybridity might be important elsewhere in the genus. In conclusion the need for pure taxonomic research on British bryophytes was urged. The ensuing discussion centred chiefly on the possible role of hybridization in this genus and in Bryum.

Mr S. W. GREENE: 'The bryophyte flora of South Georgia'.
The position and topography of South Georgia, a sub-antarctic island lying south of the antarctic convergence were discussed, followed by a review of the history of its bryological exploration. The 1960-61 botanical expedition to the island greatly extended the areas previously surveyed. The difficulties involved in identifying antarctic bryophytes were discussed and the need for a re-evaluation of all the taxa described from south polar regions was emphasized.

The sparse vegetation of South Georgia was illustrated by colour slides and the part played by the bryophytes in each community was mentioned. A notable addition to the island's flora was Sphagnum fimbriatum; it occurs in Rostkovia magellanica bogs, and in one locality was seen to have formed about 40 in. of its own peat.

Dr G. HALLIDAY: 'The bryophyte flora of East Greenland'.
The bryophyte flora is remarkably constant throughout the Arctic. This uniformity, which is not the result of taxonomic ignorance, is considerably greater than that of the vascular flora. Some recent lists from Alaska suggest that about 85% of the bryophytes are common to arctic Europe. Even more pronounced is the similarity of the east Greenland bryophyte flora to that of arctic Europe. About 160 species of mosses have been recorded from east Greenland and of these only five have a west arctic distribution. A few are restricted in Europe to the Arctic (e.g. Schistidium tenerum) but the majority are arctic-alpine, extending southwards to the mountains of central Europe (e.g. Mnium hymenophylloides). In several species the arctic and southern populations are sub-specifically distinct.

Colour slides were shown of some of the bryophytes and the range of habitats in the region between 72 and 73° N. The high-arctic climate is relatively dry and there are few habitats with a continuous supply of melt water throughout the summer. Peat formation is local and the two species of Sphagnum, S. girgensohnii and S. warnstorfianum, are both restricted to the outer coast.

A conversazione was held during the evening in the Botany Department, by kind permission of Prof. T. G. Tutin. The following exhibits were shown:
Miss A. P. CONOLLY: 'Some late-glacial puzzles'.
J. H. DICKSON: 'The first illustration of polysety?'.
J. H. DICKSON: 'Neohodgsonia'.
Dr G. HALLIDAY: 'Some east Greenland bryophytes'.
A. J. E. SMITH: 'The B.B.S. Map Distribution Scheme'.
Dr E. F. WARBURG: 'Seligeria oelandica Jens. & Med.; new to the British Isles'.
Dr E. F. WARBURG:. 'Some species of Weissia'.
Dr E. F. WARBURG and A. R. PERRY: 'Platygyrium repens (Brid.) B., S. & G.; new to the British Isles'.

The excursion on the Sunday was attended by about twenty-five members and guests. Despite frequent heavy showers, a most rewarding and enjoyable day's bryologizing ensued in north-east Leicestershire, a region which has received little attention from bryologists.

The party first visited King Lud's Entrenchments and walked for about a mile along The Drift, which runs over the limestone uplands and here forms the Leicestershire-Lincolnshire boundary. Weissia crispa var. aciculata was noted and also several Pottia spp. including P. intermedia.

The next stop was at Barkestone Wood, in the Vale of Belvoir, where Plagiothecium sylvaticum s.s. and Bryum klinggraeffii were found. The most interesting finds, however, were made on the exposed shores of Knipton Reservoir. Of particular interest was the discovery by Mrs Paton and A. J. E. Smith of Ephemerum cohaerens*, known previously only from W. Sussex, Hertfordshire and S.E. Galway. Riccia crystallina was fairly frequent and associated with it were R. glauca and Physcomitrella patens.

[* = New v.c. record]

On the return journey to Leicester, a brief survey of the limestone walls in Branston resulted in Dr Gimingham finding Barbula convoluta var. commutata*.

Thanks are due to Mr S.W. Greene, who once again acted as programme Secretary, and to the Belvoir Estate for permission to visit Barkestone Wood and Knipton Reservoir.



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