BBS > Activities > Meetings and Workshops > Previous > 1964
Meetings of the BBS - 1964
Isle of Wight, 6-13 April
Between 6 and 13 April the Society paid its first visit to the Isle of Wight (v.c. 10). Ventnor was used as a base and from there excursions were made to many parts of the island by the thirty or more members attendant for all or part of the week. It was a pleasure to welcome to the meeting several new members, and Mr Gillis Een, one of our Swedish members.
7 April. The coastline between Ventnor and St Catherine's Point, the southern tip of the island, was chosen for the first day's excursion. The rock here is mostly Upper Greensand, but Lower Greensand comes in at St Catherine's Point. Much of the ground is unstable and recent landslips and rock-falls were in evidence. Some of the area is wooded and a few wet areas were found, but the main collecting ground was the rough bouldery slopes which undulate down to the sea. The coast between Ventnor and the Undercliff at St Lawrence was worked by one party and they saw Riccia glauca, Tortula marginata, Gyroweisia tenuis, Eucladium verticillatum, Trichostomum sinuosum, Fontinalis antipyretica, Leptodon smithii, Scorpiurium circinatum and Rhynchostegiella tenella. The larger party spent the day exploring St Catherine's Point and obtained similar lists: several noteworthy additions, however, were Cephaloziella baumgartneri*, C. stellulifera, Marchesinia mackaii*, Fissidens minutulus var. minutulus*, Aloina ambigua, Acaulon triquetrum, Bryum rubens*, B. klinggraeffii*, B. micro-erythrocarpum*, Isothecium striatulum, Eurhynchium speciosum and E. megapolitanum.
[* = New v.c. record]
8 April. The morning was spent in the exploration of an area of alder fen carr known as The Wilderness, and the banks of the River Medina nearby. The area of fen yielded Pallavicinia lyellii*, Lepidozia reptans, Metzgeria fruticulosa*, Sphagnum palustre, S. squarrosum, S. recurvum, S. cuspidatum*, S. subsecundum var. auriculatum, S. fimbriatum, Ulota phyllantha, U. crispa, Plagiothecium latebricola, P. denticulatum var. denticulatum*, P. curvifolium*, P. ruthei*, P. succulentum and P. sylvaticum. In an adjoining arable field Anthoceros punctatus, Riccia warnstorfii* and Pseudephemerum nitidum were seen. It was at The Wilderness in 1908 that Solenostoma caespiticium was found new to the British Isles. Most members were keen to re-find the plant here, and the banks of the River Medina were searched thoroughly. Unfortunately the only Solenostoma found was S. crenulatum, but as compensation for the disappointment the exciting discovery of Pohlia pulchella* (see pages 760-3 of this volume) was made. Other bryophytes found nearby included Fossombronia pusilla, Dicranella cerviculata (orthocarpous and normal forms), Physcomitrium pyriforme and Leptobryum pyriforme.
After lunch the party motored to the north-east edge of Parkhurst Forest where stream-banks produced some interesting bryophytes, amongst them Cephaloziella turneri, c.fr., Scapania undulata*, Lejeunea lamacerina var. azorica* and Fissidens celticus* (see pages 780-4 of this volume). Other bryophytes listed included Lophozia bicrenata, Campylopus introflexus* and Funaria obtusa.
A small party visiting Headon Warren near Totland found Cephalozia connivens and Orthodontium lineare*. Part of the Bouldnor Cliff north-east of Yarmouth was explored by some members, and in a heavy clay area they found Riccardia multifida. R. sinuata, R. pinguis and Weissia microstoma.
9 April. This was a day of excursions to numerous localities by different parties. Before setting off to Freshwater Bay in the morning, however, it was suggested that members would possibly like to see the very rare Leptodontium gemmascens on a thatched roof near Brighstone, discovered there new to the island in the preceding November by Mr E. C. Wallace. Those who reached the thatch first were soon able to retire to a safe distance before the remainder of the convoy arrived on the scene, and to observe the invasion of the peaceful village. The keenness of the members was commendable. Freshwater and East Afton Down were eventually reached and here were recorded Porella laevigata, Pottia commutata, Phascum curvicollum, P. cuspidatum var. piliferum*, Tortella inflexa*, Pleurochaete squarrosa, Bryum ruderale* and Rhodobryum roseum. Tennyson Down was visited by one party but they recorded nothing noteworthy. Later, at the Needles and near the coast of Alum Bay, Scapania aspera*, Porella laevigata and Bryum obconicum were found. A chalk pit near Brook Hill yielded Seligeria paucifolia and S. calcarea, and in a field near Compton Farm Weissia squarrosa* was discovered. An arable field at Brook proved exciting when, together with Riccia glauca, R. warnstorfii and R. sorocarpa, a small Tortula whose identity was unknown, was found. This has now been described as a new species, T. vectensis (see pages 763-6 of this volume). At Chilton Chine Cephaloziella hampeana was recorded from clay on the coast and Dicranella schreberana* was found in a field.
10 April. The Landslip near the coast east of Ventnor was the main collecting ground for the day. The area is of sloping boulder-strewn woodland with rock out crops and occasional recent land-falls. Here were found Leiocolea turbinata, c.fr., Porella platyphylla, Lejeunea lamacerina var. azorica, Cololejeunea rossettiana, Bryum pseudotriquetrum var. pseudotriquetrum*, B. bornholmense*, Amblystegium compactum*, Cirriphyllum crassinervium and Isopterygium depressum.
After the Landslip had been worked the party split up. Those who went to the nearby Luccombe Chine, where the steep clayey sides of the stream were searched, recorded Fissidens crassipes* and Zygodon conoideus. One party which went north wards to Palmer's Brook recorded Chiloscyphus pallescens, Radula complanata and Cinclidotus mucronatus*. Some members visited the Downs above Bonchurch but found nothing worth mentioning.
11 April. Combley Great Wood, in the vicinity of Lynn Farm, was the first stopping-place. The wood in this area is mainly deciduous but has a few planted conifer strips. Sides of drainage channels provided the largest number of bryophytes, among them Diplophyllum albicans, Fissidens exilis, Funaria obtusa and Leptobryum riparium. Corticolous species included Orthotrichum lyellii. A search in a nearby field revealed Dicranella schreberana, Weissia microstoma var. brachycarpa*, W. squarrosa, Funaria fascicularis, Ephemerum serratum var. minutissimum* and Mnium seligeri.
After lunch the party split up. Some visited Mersley Down and found Fissidens minutulus var. tenuifolius*, Encalypta vulgaris and Pottia lanceolata. An old chalk quarry on Ashey Down produced Metzgeria furcata in the turf, Phascum floerkeanum, Bryum pallens, Thuidium philibertii and Entodon concinnus. Some members visited Brading Down, and others Culver Cliff, but at neither place was any note-worthy bryophyte recorded.
The Annual General Meeting was held at 8.30 p.m. with Dr E. V. Watson in the chair.
12 April. On this, the last day of the Meeting, there were no planned excursions. A few fresh localities, however, were visited, and several interesting bryophytes noted. One party went to Shanklin Chine where they found Philonotis rigida in some quantity; also seen here were Anthoceros laevis, Blasia pusilla, c.fr., Epipterygium tozeri and Rhynchostegiella curviseta. Near Bagwich another party found Orthotrichum stramineum*, Plagiothecium latebricola and P. ruthei. Apse Heath, north west of Shanklin, produced Bartramia pomiformis. In Whale Chine, in Chale Bay, Dichodontium pellucidum, Tortula subulata var. subulata, Pottia crinita var. crinita (with a rudimentary peristome) and Rhynchostegiella pumila were seen. Members visiting Blackgang Chine in the same vicinity found Lophozia ventricosa agg. and Nardia scalaris. Weissia tortilis* was found on Brighstone Down. At Gatcombe Mill were recorded Aulacomnium androgynum, Orthotrichum striatum and Hygroamblystegium tenax*.
During the week many bryophytes common in the south but less common or absent in the north were seen in several different localities, often in great abundance. Among these the following are worthy of mention: Seligeria paucifolia, S. calcarea, Tortula marginata, Aloina aloides, Pottia recta, Weissia crispa and hybrids, Leptodon smithii, Scorpiurium circinatum and Eurhynchium megapolitanum. On the other hand, Marchantia polymorpha and Climacium dendroides, to mention only two, still remain to be recorded on the island.
On each day of the Meeting bryophyte mapping cards were filled in conscientiously, but this task was lessened by the fine and warm weather which prevailed on all days except the last. The week was extremely enjoyable and thanks are extended to Messrs E. C. Wallace and P. J. Wanstall who, with assistance from Mr A. H. Norkett, organized the meeting.
I would like to thank all members who supplied me with lists of collections they made on the island during the week.
A. R. PERRY
Bangor, 21-28 July
The Tenth International Botanical Congress Bryological Excursion was held at Bangor, North Wales, from 21 to 28 July and was attended by 28 botanists. Bangor proved to be an ideal centre both in being situated in an area of varied topography and geology with a mild oceanic climate and in having available the laboratories and accommodation of the University College of North Wales. It was the aim of the organizers of the excursion to show something of the diverse bryophyte flora of North Wales and to give some indication of the structure and composition of the communities of various types of habitat.
The localities and types of habitat that we visited were as follows:
Wednesday, 22 July. The rocky gorges of the Afon Dulyn and Afon Ddu.
Along the west side of the Vale of Conway are a series of wooded gorges with fast-flowing streams descending from the mountains. Two of these streams were visited: the Afon Dulyn, near Tal-y-bont, flowing through a deep humid gorge over rocks which are base-rich in parts; and the Afon Ddu, near Dolgarrog, which flows over acid rocks and has a less humid atmosphere. The relative paucity of species by the Afon Ddu is in marked contrast with the abundance of species by the Afon Dulyn where the high humidity and the presence of basic rock produce a rich flora.
Thursday, 23 July. Coed Crafnant, Cwm Bychan and the Roman Steps.
Coed Crafnant is a sessile oakwood (Quercus petraea) on the steeply sloping east bank of the Afon Artro near Llanbedr. The rocks on which the wood is situated are mainly very hard grits and shales, the floor of the wood is terraced, the horizontal parts often being very wet and supporting bog species.
To the east of Coed Crafnant is Cwm Bychan, a valley from which leads the Roman Steps, a medieval pack-way, to a pass known as Bwlch Tyddiad. In the lower part of Cwm Bychan is a small humid wood and the upper part consists of heath and bog. The Roman Steps and the path through Bwlch Tyddiad run beside cliffs and boulder scree and provide easy access to species characteristic of rocks and rock-ledges of the submontane parts of North Wales.
Friday, 24 July. Cwm Dyli and Glaslyn, Snowdon.
Glaslyn is a lake situated near the top of a glaciated corrie, Cwm Dyli, on the east side of Snowdon. The geology of Snowdon is complex. The rocks are of varying acidity and basicity and provide conditions suited to a variety of species of bryophytes.
Saturday, 25 July. Rhaeadr Du and Cader Idris,
Rhaeadr Du consists of two waterfalls in a stream flowing through the Coed Ganllwyd National Nature Reserve. The Reserve is situated on the southern flank of the Harlech Dome of Cambrian rocks; it contains a dolerite sill which provides the base-rich habitat necessary for some of the plant species present. The stream runs through a gorge in a Quercus petraea wood and a striking feature is the extreme humidity resulting from the continual spray from the waterfalls.
The bryophytes from the north side of Cader Idris are mostly the same species that grow in the corries of Snowdon; the main interest of the part of the mountain that we visited is the comparison between the bryophytes of extremely acid rocks and of basic rocks in the vicinity of Llyn-y-Gafr where two different rock strata outcrop.
Sunday, 26 July. The Menai Straits and the Aber Valley.
The Menai Straits separate the island of Anglesey from the mainland of North Wales near Bangor. Much of the coastal rock is Carboniferous Limestone but some of the rocks are Ordovician and Pre-Cambrian and are acid.
Geologically the Aber Valley is of Ordovician rocks which are mainly acid. With high humidity and rainfall the valley supports the rich bryophyte flora characteristic of such areas in North Wales.
Monday, 27 July. Tywyn Aberffraw
The sand-dunes known as Tywyn Aberffraw, although relatively small in area when compared with other dune systems in Wales, have an extremely rich and interesting bryophyte flora. The dunes are calcareous, except in the oldest parts where they may be acid as a result of leaching. On the northern margin of Tywyn Aberffraw are several calcareous flushes by the Afon Ffraw.
It is clear that a considerable number of different types of habitat were visited, including acid and basic woodlands of varying humidity, submontane and montane localities and coastal sites. In the ensuing account bryophyte species are listed in the habitats in which they most commonly occurred. This does not mean, however, that they were entirely restricted to those habitats.
The notable feature of most of the woods (Coed Crafnant, Coed Ganllwyd, those by the Afon Dulyn, in Cwm Bychan and in the Aber Valley) was the high humidity with the consequent rich growth of mosses and liverworts on the ground, on rocks and on trees and the presence of many small species on rotting logs and epiphytic on other bryophytes.
The most important species of the ground flora were usually Atrichum undulatum, Brachythecium rutabulum, Dicranella heteromalla, Dicranodontium denudatum, Dicranum majus, D. scoparium, Eurhynchium praelongum, Fissidens bryoides, Hookeria lucens, Isopterygium elegans, Leucobryum glaucum, Mnium hornum, M. undulatum, Plagiothecium undulatum, Pleurozium schreberi, Rhytidiadelphus loreus, Thuidium delicatulum, T. tamariscinum, Calypogeia arguta, C. fissa, Lepidozia pinnata, L. reptans, Lophocolea cuspidata, Pellia epiphylla and Plagiochila asplenioides. In drier and less humid parts the ground flora was sparser and poorer in species and the only plants usually seen were Dicranum scoparium, Polytrichum formosum, Pleurozium schreberi, Plagiothecium undulatum, Thuidium tamariscinum and Lophocolea cuspidata. Where, however, the floor of a wood was waterlogged and the canopy open, as for example in Coed Crafnant, many wet-ground species were seen such as Acrocladium cuspidatum, Aulacomnium palustre, Brachythecium rivulare, Polytrichum commune, Sphagnum compactum, S. cuspidatum, S. imbricatum, S. palustre, S. papillosum, S. plumulosum, S. rubellum. S. subsecundum, Blepharostoma trichophylla, Cephalozia bicuspidata, Odontoschisma denudatum, O. sphagni, Ptilidium ciliare and Trichocolea tomentella. Most of the paths in the woods visited had a poor flora, being too well trodden, but Ditrichum lineare, characteristic of such a habitat, was found (new to Wales) on a path beside the stream in Coed Ganllwyd.
Several common species were seen to occur both on trees and rocks; such species were Dicranum scoparium, Hypnum cupressiforme, Isothecium myosuroides, Mnium hornum, Bazzania trilobata, Frullania dilatata and Plagiochila spinulosa. Species restricted mainly to rocks in and around the woods included Amphidium mougeotii, Bartramia pomiformis, Bryum capillare, Dicranoweisia cirrata, Dicranum scottianum, Grimmia hartmanii, Hedwigia ciliata, H. integrifolia, Ptychomitrium polyphyllum, Rhacomitrium spp., Diplophyllum albicans, Marsupella emarginata, Saccogyna viticulosa, Scapania gracilis and S. umbrosa. Where there were base-rich rocks several other species such as Barbula recurvirostris, Camptothecium sericeum, Encalypta streptocarpa, Fissidens cristatus, Grimmia apocarpa, Tortula intermedia and T. muralis were noted.
Species which are mainly corticolous and which thrive in North Wales where atmospheric pollution is low included Orthotrichum affine, O. lyellii, Ulota bruchii, U. crispa, Zygodon viridissimus and Lejeunea ulicina.
Some of the more interesting bryophytes were those occurring on rotting logs, wet peaty soil and creeping over other bryophytes. These included Tetraphis pellucida, Aphanolejeunea microscopica, Drepanolejeunea hamatifolia, Harpalejeunea ovata, Lejeunea cavifolia, L. lamacerina var. azorica, L. patens, L. ulicina, Lophozia longidens, L. ventricosa, Nowellia curvifolia, Riccardia palmata and Tritomaria exsecta.
Rocks in the wetter parts of Coed Crafnant and in and beside streams in such woods as Coed Ganllwyd and in Cwm Bychan provided habitats for many species, the most important ecologically of which were Blindia acuta, Brachythecium plumosum, Eurhynchium riparioides, Heterocladium heteropterum, Hygrohypnum eugyrium, Hyocomium flagellare, Thamnium alopecurum, Rhacomitrium aciculare, Trichostomum tenuirostre, Marsupella emarginata and Scapania undulata. Species that were less common, but of interest because of their mainly oceanic distribution in Britain. included Campylopus setifolius, Isothecium holtii, Sematophyllum demissum, Ulota hutchinsiae, Jubula hutchinsiae and Plagiochila tridenticulata.
In the montane and submontane regions the contrast between the floras of acid and basic rocks and between exposed and sheltered north-facing rock outcrops or cliffs was most noticeable; the basic rocks and north-facing cliffs having a greater number of species and the combination of the two producing an abundance of species met with in few other parts of Great Britain.
Exposed acid rocks had a poor flora, the main components of which were Hedwigia ciliata, Ptychomitrium polyphyllum, Rhacomitrium fasciculare and R. heterostichum (in its many forms) with Andreaea rothii, A. rupestris and Campylopus atrovirens on rocks receiving some flow of water. On the ground and banks and in crevices amongst the rocks were such plants as Dicranum scoparium, Oligotrichum hercynicum, Plagiothecium undulatum, Polytrichum aloides, Rhacomitrium lanuginosum, Diplophyllum albicans, Nardia scalaris and more rarely Diphyscium foliosum and Oedipodium griffithianum. Where the rocks were calcareous, as for example by Llyn-y-Gafr, the common rock species were Barbula recurvirostris, Grimmia apocarpa, Ctenidium molluscum and Tortella tortuosa. These species were frequently brightly coloured and the reds and yellows were in marked contrast with the dull greens and greys of the species on acid boulders.
Flushes in the mountains were marked by species such as Bryum pseudotriquetrum, Dicranella palustris, Philonotis fontana, Scapania undulata, Sphagnum spp. and Pellia epiphylla, again making a bright splash of colour. Where the flushes were basic more species were present and in addition to some of the above there were Acrocladium sarmentosum, Campylium stellatum, Cratoneuron commutatum var. falcatum, Drepanocladus revolvens and Scorpidium scorpioides.
The richest areas were the shaded cliffs above Glaslyn on Snowdon, above Lyn-y-Gafr on Cader Idris, beside the Roman Steps and above Bwlch Tyddiad. These cliffs, containing both acidic and basic rocks, provide a variety of habitats including dry rock faces, extensive areas of damp or wet rocks, rock ledges, and humid crevices in rocks and scree. Many of the species in the previous two paragraphs were frequent. Plants of rocks not subjected to a surface flow of water included Brachydontium trichodes, Grimmia atrata, G. conferta, G. funalis, G. ovalis, G. patens, G. stricta, G. subsquarrosa, G. torquata, Pterogonium gracile, Gymnomitrion concinnatum, G. obtusum, Lophozia alpestris and Porella laevigata. Species of damp or wet rock surfaces were Arctoa fulvella, Barbula ferruginascens, Bryum alpinum, Dicranum falcatum, Fissidens osmundoides, Gymnostomum aeruginosum, Rhacomitrium ellipticum, Anthelia julacea, Cephaloziella pearsonii, Cololejeunea calcarea, Marsupella alpina, M. emarginata, M. sphacelata, M. ustulata, Mylia taylori and Scapania undulata. Rock ledges and crevices had an abundance of species amongst which were Amphidium lapponicum, A. mougeotii, Anomobryum filiforme, Bartramia ithyphylla, Breutelia chrysocoma, Distichium capillaceum, Ditrichum flexicaule, Encalypta ciliata, E. vulgaris, Hookeria lucens, Hypnum callichroum, Isopterygium pulchellum, Plagiobryum zieri, Plagiopus oederi, Pohlia acuminata, P. cruda, P. ludwigii, P. polymorpha, Polytrichum alpinum, Rhabdoweisia crenulata, R. denticulata, Trichostomum brachydontium, Barbilophozia floerkii, Diplophyllum taxifolium, Marchantia polymorpha var. alpestris, Preissia quadrata, Reboulia hemisphaerica, Scapania aequiloba, S. curta and Tritomaria quinquedentata.
Whilst the above lists give some conception of the species present it gives no idea of the spectacle provided by the abundance and colour of plants such as Breutelia chrysocoma, Bazzania tricrenata, Herberta hutchinsiae and Mylia taylori. The collection of species such as is found on the cliffs above Llyn-y-Gafr is quite remarkable and caused considerable comment amongst the visiting bryologists.
The Carboniferous Limestone on the shore of the Menai Straits was the only limestone locality that we visited and here, especially in seepage areas, were a number of species not seen elsewhere. The most frequent species were Anomodon viticulosus, Barbula tophacea, Ctenidium molluscum, Eucladium verticillatum (forming tufa in several places), Neckera complanata, N. crispa, Pottia heimii, Rhynchostegiella tenella, Thamnium alopecurum, Trichostomum brachydontium, T. tenuirostre, Ulota phyllantha, Leiocolea badensis, L. turbinata, Lunularia cruciata, Radula complanata and Riccardia sinuata.
The last day at Tywyn Aberffraw was specially noteworthy because of the great interest of some of the species that grew there. The mobile dunes were bare of bryophytes or had occasional patches of Tortula ruraliformis, a species that was seen to be widespread throughout the dunes. The fixed dunes were little richer, there usually being Barbula spp., Brachythecium albicans, Camptothecium sericeum, Ctenidium molluscum, Hypnum cupressiforme var. tectorum and Frullania tamarisci.
The remarkable bryophyte flora is associated chiefly with the dune slacks and with the flushes by the Afon Ffraw. The flora of the slacks varies with the height of the water table. Species of the wetter parts of the dune slacks that were seen included Acrocladium cuspidatum, Bryum pallens, B. pseudotriquetrum, Campylium polygamum, C. stellatum, Dicranella varia, Mnium undulatum, Leiocolea badensis, L. turbinata, Pellia fabbroniana, Riccardia pinguis, Southbya nigrella (the only known Welsh locality), Moerckia flotoviana, Petalophyllum ralfsii, and Preissia quadrata. The last three species are characteristic of dune slacks in Wales. In the drier parts of the slacks and on sandy patches in dune pasture were Barbula fallax, B. unguiculata, Camptothecium lutescens, Campylium chrysophyllum, Climacium dendroides, Cratoneuron filicinum, Ditrichum flexicaule, Encalypta streptocarpa, Pleurochaete squarrosa, Rhodobryum roseum, Tortella inclinata, Tortula ruralis and Trichostomum crispulum. In and near the calcareous flushes and pools at the northern edge of Tywyn Aberffraw were Acrocladium cordifolium, Amblyodon dealbatus, Catoscopium nigritum, Cratoneuron commutatum var. falcatum, Drepanocladus sendtneri, Meesia uliginosa, Mnium seligeri, Philonotis calcarea and Marchantia polymorpha var. aquatica.
A notable feature of the dunes is the unusual admixture of southern Mediterranean species such as Pleurochaete squarrosa and Southbya nigrella and boreal species such as Amblyodon dealbatus, Catoscopium nigritum and Meesia uliginosa (which strangely enough are not known from the mountains of North Wales).
As there was no Bryological Section at the Edinburgh Botanical Congress the Bangor excursion provided the only opportunity for all the bryologists attending the Congress of meeting together. It was unfortunate that the weather during the period 21-28 July was not better. Whilst none of the excursions was rendered impossible by rain, low cloud and occasional showers prevented a full appreciation of the scenery of North Wales.
Some idea of the attraction of North Wales was provided at a reception given by the University College of North Wales on the first evening in an introductory talk by Prof. Richards illustrated by coloured slides after an address of welcome by the Dean of the Faculty of Science. The excursion was rounded off by an informal dinner followed by a 'Welsh Entertainment' on the final evening.
A. J. E. SMITH
Braemar, 22 August-5 September
This meeting was spent at Braemar from 22 August to 5 September. The locality and date were chosen in the hope that foreign bryologists would be able to come after the International Botanical Congress at Edinburgh. In the event only Mr W. D. Margadant attended but his enthusiasm made up for the lack of other foreign bryologists. Nineteen members attended all or part of the excursion and there were enough cars for daily transport. As on other recent excursions, all bryophytes seen were recorded on mapping cards.
The first excursion was to The Cairnwell, a hill on the border of v.c. 89 and 92. where there was known to be basic ground. The weather was very bad but, though the ground was not exciting compared with what was visited later, a number of new records were made and some interesting plants found. These included: in v.c. 89, Cratoneuron decipiens (also in v.c. 92), Plagiothecium curvifolium*, P. denticulatum var. obtusifolium*, Pohlia annotina, P. polymorpha*, Rhytidium rugosum, Sphagnum subsecundum var. auriculatum*, S. tenellum*, Cephalozia pleniceps, Cephaloziella hampeana*, Diplophyllum taxifolium, Harpanthus flotovianus (also in v.c. 92), Nardia compressa* and Tritomaria polita; in v.c. 92 Sphagnum lindbergii, Anthelia juratzkana, Calypogeia neesiana var. neesiana*, C. trichomanis*, Leiocolea bantriensis*, Lepidozia trichoclados*, and Moerckia flotoviana.
[* New v.c. record throughout.]
On 24 August Glen Callater (v.c. 92) and especially Corrie Kander were visited. The well-known rarities of the Corrie, notably Hygrohypnum smithii in the waterfall and Grimmia atrata and Mielichoferia elongata at the head of Loch Kander, were seen. Several characteristic mountain calcicoles were seen for the first time though several of them were seen again later in the excursion: Amphidium lapponicum, Barbula ferruginascens*, Bartramia hallerana, Dicranodontium uncinatum, Grimmia torquata, Hypnum hamulosum, Orthothecium rufescens, and Pseudoleskea patens. In this area was the best new find of the day, Leiocolea gillmanii*. On the high acid ground were such plants as Dicranum starkei, Philonotis seriata, Pohlia acuminata, P. ludwigii var. latifolia, P. polymorpha, P. wahlenbergii var. glacialis and Moerckia blyttii - all of them seen again later on similar ground. New v.c. records in the Corrie included: Anomobryum concinnatum*, Bryum muehlenbeckii*, Diphyscium foliosum var. acutifolium*, Fissidens cristatus*, Isopterygium elegans*, Plagiothecium platyphyllum*, P. roeseanum*, P. succulentum*, Pohlia proligera*, P. rothii*, Pellia neesiana* and Scapania scandica*. Other plants of interest included: Arctoa fulvella, Brachythecium glaciale, Barbilophozia lycopodioides (seen frequently later on the excursion), Frullania fragilifolia, Hygrobiella laxifolia, Marsupella stableri and Nardia geoscyphus. Bryum inclinatum* was found on a calcareous boulder by Loch Callater on the way down.
On the 25th the weather was unfavourable for the hills and it was decided to go to Glen Quoich, a valley on the lower ground 2 miles west of Braemar (v.c. 92). Two grid-squares were involved but are not separated in this account. The ground was mainly acid and the flora therefore much less rich than previously. A few rare plants were, however, found. The woods yielded Lophozia longidens and Sphenolobus helleranus with Calypogeia sphagnicola* in open areas. Pohlia bulbifera* and P. gracilis* occurred on a gravel flat by the river and Dicranum spurium under heather higher up. Two members found a base-rich outcrop higher up still above Clais Fheainaig which yielded Leucodon sciuroides, Orthothecium intricatum and Pseudoleskea catenulata*. Several members investigated a boulder scree on the slope of Creag Bhaig; here Cynodontium strumiferum and Sphenolobus saxicola occurred in quantity with a little Grimmia elongata, and on rocks above the scree a form of Grimmia torquata with a long hair-point occurred in company with the normal form. Tetraplodon angustatus was found in various places in the glen. Other new records were Chiloscyphus pallescens* and Frullania tamarisci var. robusta*.
The 26th was fine and Beinn a' Bhuird (v.c. 92) was visited. The cars were left near Balnagower and in a pinewood near here some members of the party who were unable to go far discovered Buxbaumia aphylla which had not previously been seen in the vice-county this century. The other members proceeded up Gleann an t-Slugain. Here Dicranum spurium was soon seen among heather. Also in the glen was Atrichum undulatum var. minus* and near Slugain Lodge Bryum pallens var. fallax*, Cynodontium strumiferum and Polytrichum aurantiacum*. The Beinn a' Bhuird party divided, some going into the corrie of Dubh Lochan which yielded Bryum capillare var. elegans*, B. muehlenbeckii, c.fr., Dicranum glaciale, Ditrichum zonatum, Philonotis seriata, Plagiothecium laetum*, P. striatellum, Pseudoleskea patens, Anastrophyllum donianum, Diplophyllum taxifolium, Lophozia opacifolia*, Marsupella adusta, M. stableri, M. ustulata and M. varians. Other parties went to the summit finding several of the high-level species of the preceding list but missed the more interesting ones; they added Bryum weigelii, Mnium seligeri*, Polytrichum norvegicum and Nardia breidleri. Another party, delayed by listing, decided that there was not time to go to Beinn a' Bhuird and went to Creag an Dahl Beag where they found Grimmia apocarpa var. homodictyon*, Oncophorus wahlenbergii and Thuidium recognitum, also male Splachnum vasculosum and Sphagnum molle on Meall an t-Slugain on the way.
The next day was very wet and most of the party stayed in all morning. In the afternoon a long drive to Inverquharity Castle (v.c. 90) was made in order to see the two epiphytic rarities there: Orthotrichum obtusifolium and Tortula virescens. This was successful. On the way back a short stop was made at Kirkton of Kingoldrum (v.c. 90) where Tortula virescens was again found (a new locality for the plant).
On the 28th a visit was made to Gleann Bheag, Glen Shee (v.c. 89), a locality with several small outcrops of calcareous rock, noted for several rarities such as: Desmatodon leucostoma, Stegonia latifolia, Scapania cuspiduligera, S. gymnostomophila and Solenostoma schiffneri. All these were found. In spite of the locality being supposedly well worked some new records were made of which the most noteworthy was Bryum arcticum*, previously known in Britain only from Breadalbane: the others were Amblystegiella sprucei*, Gymnostomum calcareum*, Hypnum cupressiforme var. tectorum*, Pohlia acuminata*, P, elongata* Frullania tamarisci var. cornubica* and Marsupella sphacelata*. Other plants of interest were Aloina rigida, Amblyodon dealbatus, Bryum mildeanum, Catoscopium nigritum, Meesia uliginosa, Mnium orthorhynchum and Pseudoleskea catenulata. On the way back a stop was made by three members on some basic rocks above Glen Clunie Lodge (v.c. 92) where two rarities were found - Bryum arcticum* again and an as yet unidentified Scapania, belonging to section Curtae, with a fimbriate perianth. Other interesting finds were Cynodontium tenellum and Leiocolea heterocolpa.
On the 29th, the weather having improved, Caenlochan Glen (v.c. 90) was visited, the route over the top of Glas Maol being taken. Sphagnum magellanicum* was found in v.c. 89 on the way. Other plants demonstrated on Glas Maol (in v.c. 90) by members who had been there before were Sphagnum lindbergii and Splachnum vasculosum. Other plants on Glas Maol were Anthelia juratzkana, Marchantia polymorpha var. alpestris and Solenostoma atrovirens var. sphaerocarpoidea. It was not expected that much new would be found in the Glen as it had been frequently visited, but in fact three plants of considerable interest were found: Grimmia borealis*, the only bryophyte new to the British Isles found on the excursion, Mnium lycopodioides*, previously known in Britain only from Breadalbane, and Bryum arcticum* in its third new vice-county. Among plants already known from the vice-county the following may be mentioned: Campylium halleri, Encalypta alpina, Grimmia trichodon, Hypnum bambergeri, Mnium spinulosum, Plagiothecium platyphyllum, P. striatellum, Pseudoleskea catenulata, P. incurvata, P. patens, Ptychodium plicatum, Thuidium recognitum, Harpanthus flotovianus, Lophozia opacifolia. c.fr., and Scapania cuspiduligera.
This ended the first week of the Excursion and several members unfortunately had to leave. We were reinforced by others, one of whom had a better geological map and more geological knowledge than the party previously had. This, the improved (indeed good) weather and the fact that the best previously known localities in the area had been visited in the first week enabled us to devote much of the second week to exploring unknown localities.
The first such chosen was Craig Leek (v.c. 92), a hill of just over 2000 ft. about 2 miles E.N.E. of Braemar with a cliff on its east side which appeared from the map (and proved to be) calcareous. A road reached to about ½ mile from the cliff. Orthotrichum speciosum was found on a pine stump shortly after leaving the cars. A bog which had to be crossed to reach the rocks yielded Campylopus brevipilus* and Calypogeia sphagnicola. The rocks themselves proved very rich and yielded Anomobryum concinnatum (also A. filiforme), Barbula reflexa*, Bryum capillare var. elegans, B. mildeanum, Desmatodon leucostoma* (the only other known extant British locality being Gleann Bheag), Encalypta rhabdocarpa*, Grimmia atrofusca* (the second British locality), G. montana, G. stricta, Stegonia latifolia, Tortula subulata var. graeffii*, Anthelia juratzkana, Leiocolea badensis*, Lophozia excisa*, Scapania gymnostomophila* (the second British locality), Solenostoma schiffneri* and such characteristic though fairly common calcicoles as Seligeria doniana, Scapania aequiloba and S. aspera.
The 31st was brilliant and Lochnagar (v.c. 92) was chosen, the main object being to try and refind Marsupella sparsifolia in its only British locality, a subsidiary one being to try and refind Hygrohypnum molle which was recorded for the mountain but details of the locality were not known to us. The first was achieved, the Marsupella being refound in some quantity. The second led to a considerable amount of wetting when a Hygrohypnum was found, but it proved to be only H. ochraceum. Otherwise the plants found were characteristic but commoner acid alpine species including Conostomum boreale, Dicranum falcatum, D. glaciale and D. starkei, Anthelia juratzkana, Cephalozia pleniceps, Lophozia opacifolia, Marsupella adusta, M. sphacelata, M. stableri, M. ustuluta, M. varians, Nardia breidleri, Scapania paludosa, S. scandica and S. uliginosa.
The success of the excursion to Craig Leek led us to believe that another day on limestone near Braemar might be worth while, so on September 1st Morrone (v.c. 92), a hill about 2 miles S.W. of Braemar, reaching a height of 3819 ft., was visited. The calcareous ground was on the northern slope at an elevation of about 2000 - 2250 ft. There was much less calcareous rock than on Craig Leek but calcareous flushes occurred and the day was equally successful. We started up Allt a Chlair where Cratoneuron commutatum var. virescens*, new to Eastern Scotland, occurred in the stream and Meesia uliginosa and Tritomaria polita in flushes by it. The limited area of calcareous rock nearer Braemar yielded Grimmia stricta, Seligeria doniana, Stegonia latifolia, Cololejeunea calcarea, Leiocolea heterocolpa, Metzgeria pubescens, Scapania cuspiduligera*, S. gymnostomophila and Solenostoma schiffneri. A small basic flush yet farther east had Amblystegiella sprucei, Bryum pseudotriquetrum var. bimum*, Mnium marginatum var. marginatum, c.fr.. Tayloria lingulata*, c.fr., Barbilpohozia quadriloba*, Leiocolea gillmanii and again Tritomaria polita. Other bryophytes of interest on more acid ground, trees, etc., included Bryum microerythrocarpum*, Zygodon viridissimus var. vulgaris*, Calypogeia neesiana var. neesiana, C. sphagnicola, Cephalozia pleniceps, Fossombronia wondraczekii*, Lophozia longidens and Ptilidium pulcherrimum (P. ciliare was also present).
The next day was again clear and it was decided to visit Glas Tulaichean, 3445 ft. (v.c. 89), where basic ground at a high altitude was believed to occur. Cars were taken to Dalmunzie Lodge and the glen of Allt Ghlinn Thaitneich walked up. On both sides of the glen rocks which looked basic were seen at intervals but we passed on and made for the north corrie of the mountain. On reaching the corrie our first feeling was one of disappointment as there was only one quite small area of rock which looked basic. This proved to be so but on reaching the rocks our disappointment soon vanished. The first sign of better things was Oncophorus virens in quantity on the slope below the rocks. The rocks themselves appeared to be of mica schist and many of the Lawers and Caenlochan rarities occurred. Rare calcicoles were: Bryum arcticum, Encalypta alpina*, Hylocomium pyrenaicum* , Hypnum bambergeri*, Mnium spinosum, Pseudoleskea incurvata, Ptychodium plicatum*, Leiocolea gillmanii*, and Tritomaria polita. Other new vice-county records were Bryum capillare var. elegans*, Barbilophozia lycopodioides*, Bazzania tricrenata*, Calypogeia neesiana*, C. trichomanis*, Eremonotus myriocarpus*, Lophozia opacifolia*, Marsupella varians* and Nardia breidleri*. On the way back some members visited Creag Dhearg where Orthothecium rufescens occurred and Thuidium delicatulum* grew on the slope below.
On 3 September Ben Macdhui (4296 ft.), the highest mountain in the area, was ascended. There was little time for botanizing until the high levels were reached though Anastrophyllum donianum was found in Coire Etchachan. At these levels were the same high alpine species as on Beinn a' Bhuird and Lochnagar with the addition of Andreaea nivalis and Pleuroclada albescens.
Two members visited Tomintoul instead and in v.c. 94 found on limestone rocks near Bridge of Avon: Gymnostomum recurvirostrum* and Leiocolea turbinata*, and in Ailnack Gorge near Delnabo, Breutelia chrysocoma*, Plagiobryum zieri* and Pseudoleskea catenulata.
On the last day, 4 September, another visit was made to the Glen Shee area starting from Gleann Bheag (v.c. 89). The stream to the south of Creagan Bheithe was ascended and afterwards calcareous flushes on the west side of the hill were examined. Plants of interest seen included Catoscopium nigritum, Dicranella grevilleana, Cephalozia pleniceps, Cephaloziella subdentata*, Cololejeunea calcarea, Harpanthus flotovianus, Lophozia porphyroleuca, Marchantia polymorpha var. aquatica*, and Tritomaria polita. Two members walked over to Creag Lamhaich where there was dry calcareous rock which proved rather disappointing though there was an abundance of such plants as Grimmia funalis and Hypnum hamulosum; the only plant not previously seen during the fortnight was Myurella julacea which was present in quantity; Pohlia proligera* also occurred.
Other new county records (v.c. 92) made in the neighbourhood of Braemar during the week were Cephaloziella hampeana* and Plagiothecium denticulatum var. denticulatum* from above the road 1 mile west of the village, and Bryum bicolor* from the bridge in the village.
The main feature of this very successful excursion was not so much in species new to Britain though one, Grimmia borealis, was found, nor in any very marked extensions of range, the most marked being Cratoneuron commutatum var. virescens, but the finding of many rare species in new vice-counties and new localities. In all, 13 new vice-county records were made of 10 species previously recorded from three or fewer vice-counties as follows (numbers preceding the lists are the number of vice counties from which the species was previously recorded, numbers in parentheses the number of new vice-county records for the species, if more than one).
In addition there were 15 records of 12 taxa previously known only from 5 to 9 vice-counties. In all nearly a hundred new vice-county records were made. Many of us before we went on the excursion regarded the area as well-worked and though we were hoping to see plants new to us (which we all did) we were not expecting to make many interesting discoveries.
We were very sorry that Dr N. M. Pritchard, whom we thank for making the original arrangements, was unable to be with us. We also thank Mr E. C. Wallace for planning the programme and for leading us during the first week.
E. F. WARBURG
Reading, 24-25 October
Some 45 members visited Reading for the autumn paper-reading meeting on 24 October 1964. The following summaries are available of the papers read.
Mr G. A. YARRANTON: 'Statistical investigations into the structure and
ecology of some saxicolous bryophyte communities at Steps Bridge, Devon.'
Dr A. J. E. SMITH:'Variation in Fissidens minutulus.'
Dr P. J. GRUBB: 'Further studies on uptake and movement of mineral ions
in Polytrichum formosum Hedw.'
Mr A. H. NORKETT: 'A modern concept of the Sections in the genus
Dr M. C. F. PROCTOR: 'Some comments on bryophyte distribution patterns.'
Prof. H. OCHI: 'Preliminary notes on the phylogeny in the family Bryaceae.'
General discussion followed the last paper, when numerous questions were put to the various speakers. The President thanked the speakers and Dr Warburg conveyed the thanks of the visiting members to the President who had also acted as local Secretary. Mr James Dickson, as Secretary for autumn paper-reading meetings, had laid the foundations of the programme.
The evening conversazione was held in the Department of Botany where members were the guests of Prof. T. M. Harris, F.R.S., himself a member for many years. The following exhibits were on display:
The local excursion, on Sunday 25 October, was favoured with exceptionally fine, warm weather. About 25 members attended and four localities were visited. All are in the extensive Tertiary heath area that lies south-west of Reading, Gibbet Piece (Mortimer) and Padworth Common being in Berkshire (v.c. 22); Tadley Common and Silchester Common in north Hampshire (v.c. 12). Thus, heathland mainly was searched, but the gully at Padworth and the low-lying parts of Silchester provided interesting habitats in deep shade, on waterlogged clay.
Campylopus brevipilus was plentiful on parts of Gibbet Piece, and C. introflexus was found across the road, in the Pickling Yard (where it has been known for some years). Mrs Paton found Cephaloziella subdentata and C. rubella and Mr E. R. B. Little recorded Lophozia bicrenata, c.per. Mr P. J. Wanstall found a few stems of Dicranum polysetum (new to v.c. 22).
On Padworth Common Dr E. F. Warburg found Pellia neesiana (new; to v.c. 22). Mr R. D. Fitzgerald found Dicranum strictum on a tree just above the gully. Species of Plagiothecium seen included P. denticulatum, P. sylvaticum, P. succulentum and P. curvifolium. Here also was Hypnum cupressiforme var. mamillatum. Leptodontium flexifolium occurred along the drier heathland paths. Other species noticed at Padworth included Chiloscyphus polyanthos, Lejeunea ulicina and Drepanocladus exannulatus.
Tadley offered a less diversified terrain but even what seemed (after the dry summer) to be not very moist heath provided extensive carpets of Campylopus brevipilus (with great variation in colour) and a certain amount of C. introflexus. Locally, amid Calluna, Dicranum spurium was found. Cladopodiella francisci, Cephaloziella starkei, C. subdentata, and on lower-lying ground Acrocladium stramineum occurred.
Silchester Common, however, provided the big excitement of the day when Mr James Dickson, 'digging' with uncanny accuracy, turned up Cryptothallus mirabilis, within a few minutes of his arrival. Frantic excavation by others resulted in some more being uncovered. The material included some with young and mature sporophytes and one capsule with ripe spores lay loose in the Molinia leaf litter. Birch grew close at hand. In the valley alder carr at Silchester Dr E. W. Jones found Hookeria lucens (new to v.c. 12) in fruit. Other species seen included Bryum rubens, Pohlia delicatula, Pseudephemerum nitidum, and Tetraphis pellucida which was fruiting freely in places.
A record card taken by Dr A. J. E. Smith included nine species of Sphagnum. Perhaps the most interesting was a 'papillosum' state from Tadley. This had a hint of the dark red of S. magellanicum in its colour and on sectioning the leaves later I found the chlorophyllous cells to be almost centrally placed. The papillosity was clear enough, however, and Miss Lobley had no hesitation in referring it to S. papillosum.
I would conclude by acknowledging the pleasure it gave me to welcome members to Reading, and by thanking all those who by their participation helped to make the meeting a success. Mr Dickson began to lay his plans early and to him I am particularly grateful for his indispensable preparatory work.
E. V. WATSON