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Meetings of the BBS - 1967


Annual Meeting 1967

King's Lynn 5-12 April

The Spring Meeting was held in King's Lynn, West Norfolk, from 5-12 April. Thirty-one members attended for the whole or part of the week. We were pleased to welcome Mr E.Warncke from Aarhus. The weather belied the fact that the area is one of the driest in the British Isles. Nevertheless nearly fifty new vice-county records were made, and the many bogs and fens provided a rich bryophyte flora. Excursions were made to localities selected primarily to show the range of vegetation types. All excursions were in v.-c. 28 unless stated otherwise.

6 April. Roydon Common, where the Norfolk Naturalists' Trust own 141 acres of bog, fen and wet heath, was visited. Few places in the county are as rich in bryophytes and the occurrence of 14 species of Sphagnum was confirmed, including S. magellanicum and S. subsecundum var. subsecundum. True mosses included Campylopus introflexus, which is becoming increasingly frequent, Bryum bornholmense, Mnium pseudopunctatum, Philonotis fontana*, Drepanocladus revolvens, Acrocladium stramineum and Camptothecium nitens in small quantity. Among the many hepatics Riccardia multifida, R. latifrons, Mylia anomala, Cephalozia bicuspidata var. lammersiana*, C. connivens, C. macrostachya and Odontoschisma sphagni are evidence of the rich bog flora.

[* New v.-c. record throughout ]

After lunch a visit was paid to Ling Common, North Wootton, where the wet woodland yielded Tortula papillosa on birch, Plagiothecium sylvaticum*, and a second West Norfolk record for Ptilidium pulcherrimum, on an oak.

7 April. By gracious permission of Her Majesty the Queen, Sandringham Warren provided members with a good example of a very acid bog surrounded by Greensand hills and pine-covered heath. Here Cryptothallus mirabilis* was found in peat litter under Sphagnum recurvum and associated with Molinia, Betula sp. and Polytrichum commune. The areas of heath produced Dicranum spurium, further Campylopus introflexus, Ptilidium ciliare and Lophozia bicrenata*, whilst the wetter habitats contained Riccardia latifrons, Barbilophozia attenuata and Cephalozia macrostachya. In burrows in the Greensand cliff near the railway Schistostega pennata* and Calypogeia arguta* were found, and at the base of the cliffs Barbilophozia hatcheri and Scapania compacta* In grass by the railway Bryum rubens* occurred. Tortula virescens* with T. papillosa was discovered on an elm trunk near Sandringham House.

In the afternoon Ringstead Downs was visited. This locality is a glacial valley with chalk grassland and exposures of the Lower Chalk. Here a typical calcicolous flora includes Seligeria calcarea on chalk exposures, Pottia lanceolata, P. bryoides, P. recta, Phascum curvicollum, Barbula trifaria and Weissia crispa. Other mosses seen were Bryum argenteum var. lanatum*, B. rubens and B. ruderale*.

8 April. The morning was spent on Weeting Heath, an area of 343 acres of typical unspoilt Breckland heath and chalk grassland owned by the Norfolk Naturalists' Trust. Many species characteristic of chalk grassland were found. Rhytidium rugosum is both widespread and abundant but Pleurochaete squarrosa occurs only in small quantity. Other species included Encalypta vulgaris, Pottia lanceolata, P. intermedia, P. bryoides, Barbula recurvirostra, Ephemerum serratum var. minutissimum*, Bryum micro-erythrocarpum*, Rhodobryum roseum, Thuidium abietinum, Ptilidium ciliare, Lophozia excisa, Barbilophozia barbata*, Cephaloziella hampeana* and Frullania tamarisci*.

In the afternoon a visit was paid to two of the Breckland meres, Ringmere and Langmere. Search failed to find Physcomitrium eurystomum, new to the British Isles when discovered in 1961, but this may have been submerged by the higher water present in Langmere. Climacium dendroides was frequent in the turf and Drepanocladus aduncus abundant in the water. Bare ground by the roadside near Ringmere yielded Pterygoneurum ovatum, P. lamellatum, Pottia lanceolata, P. intermedia, P. bryoides and Bryum ruderale. Riccia fluitans was found in a pool.

The Annual General Meeting was held at 8.30 p.m.

9 April. Although a free day was specified in the programme, members took advantage of permission to visit a large wood at Hockering in East Norfolk after first exploring Scarning Fen. This is a small but very calcareous fen owned by the Norfolk Naturalists' Trust. Here they saw an abundance of Leiocolea rutheana which is confined in Britain to Norfolk. Metzgeria fruticulosa was found on Salix.

The outstanding finds at Hockering Wood (v.-c. 27) were Riccia rhenana* in the moat in the middle of the wood and Pohlia lutescens (see p. 443) on a bank nearby. This wood is one of the largest in mid-Norfolk, with a mixed population of deciduous and coniferous trees. Other finds here included Fissidens viridulus, Pleuridium acuminatum, Dicranum majus, Tetraphis pellucida, Bryum ruderale*, Isopterygium elegans, Plagiothecium curvifolium, P. sylvaticum*, Riccia glauca*, Ptilidium pulcherrimum*, Solenostoma crenulatum, Plectocolea hyalina*, and Plagiochila asplenioides var. major.

10 April. By kind permission of Lady Hastings, Swanton Novers Great Wood, which is on the boundary of East and West Norfolk, was visited. Many of the old oaks have been pollarded and considerable planting of conifers is now being carried out. Members found Fissidens viridulus, F. incurvus* (v.-c. 27), Pleuridium subulatum* (v.-c. 28), Dicranum majus, Gyroweisia tenuis in a culvert, Ephemerum serratum var. minutissimum* (v.-c. 27), Bryum sauteri* (v.-c. 28), Riccia warnstorfii* (v.-c. 28), R. glauca* (v.-c. 28), Fossombronia wondraczekii* (v.-c. 28) and Diplophyllum albicans.

11 April. In the morning members went to East Winch Common - a small area of peat overlying glacial gravel. Here were found Sphagnum subsecundum var. subsecundum, S. molle, Campylopus brevipilus, Bryum bornholmense, Hypnum imponens*, Cephaloziella hampeana and Odontoschisma sphagni.

In the afternoon some members visited the Nature Reserve at Holme-next-the-Sea but failed to find Petalophyllum ralfsii recorded from damp hollows in the dunes in 1957. Mosses of note were Tortula ruraliformis, Barbula revoluta, Brachythecium albicans and Eurhynchium megapolitanum

The enthusiasm of members was certainly not affected by the wet weather for, at the conclusion of each day's excursion, several made journeys to outlying localities both in East and West Norfolk.

East Norfolk (v.-c. 27). A visit to Burton Heath yielded Riccardia multifida, R. latifrons*, Leiocolea rutheana, Cephaloziella elachista, C. hampeana*, C. starkei* and Cephalozia pleniceps. Near Coltishall Pleuridium subulatum* and Riccardia sinuata* were found. From walls by the river Wensum at Lyng and at Mill Street Fissidens crassipes*, Tortula marginata and Trichostomum sinuosum* were collected and Bryum klinggraeffii* was found on the river bank at Lyng. Nearby at Elsing Dicranella schreberana and Sphaerocarpos texanus were found.

West Norfolk (v.-c. 28). From Tatterford and Helhoughton: Fissidens crassipes, Gyroweisia tenuis, Zygodon viridissimus var. stirtonii* on elder, Orthotrichum cupulatum* on a bridge, O. pulchellum, Acrocladium cordifolium, Isopterygium elegans, Plagiothecium curvifolium*, Riccia rhenana* and Metzgeria fruticulosa. From Litcham Common: Plagiothecium ruthei and, in fallow fields nearby, Ditrichum cylindricum. From South Raynham: Eucladium verticillatum. From Hockham Rough: Tortula papillosa and, on a wall in Hockham, Barbula convoluta var. commutata*. From Burnham Overy Staithe: Tortella flavovirens var. flavovirens under planted pines and Hypnum cupressiforme var. lacunosum* from dunes. From the bank of the river Gaywood at Sugar Fen: Bryum pallens*

Any doubts the leader may have had concerning the bryophyte potential of Norfolk were quickly dispelled and he feels that, in some measure, members were rewarded for the long journeys undertaken by many to reach this somewhat remote area. He is grateful for their considerable help in adding many new records to the bryophyte section of the new Flora of Norfolk which it is hoped will be published in 1968.



Summer Meeting 1967

Northallerton, 2-9 September

The Summer Meeting of the Society from 2 to 9 September was based on Northallerton for the purpose of working the Cleveland Hills and part of the Vale of York in north-east Yorkshire (v.-c. 62). This is an area which had not been well worked in recent years; there were many old records to be refound and 10 km. grid squares to be mapped. Except for one day the weather remained favourable and no expedition had to be completely abandoned. Numbers fluctuated but there was an average attendance of 14 members each day.

3 September was spent at Gormire, Garbutt Wood, Sutton Bank, and below Roulston Scar on the edge of the Cleveland escarpment. The lake at Little Gormire was very overgrown but Dicranum strictum* was found on a fallen tree; it also turned up in the Rievaulx area and in Thimbleby Park later in the week, evidence that although new to v.-c. 62 it appears fairly widespread. Mnium rugicum* was found near the lake margin and Ricciocarpus natans was present in abundance floating on both lakes. Climbing up through Garbutt Wood to the scars of Whitestonecliff, Gyroweisia tenuis and Seligeria recurvata were seen fruiting abundantly. On the way down Sutton Bank Lophozia bicrenata, L. excisa, Fissidens cristatus, Neckera crispa, Gymnostomum aeruginosum and Campylium protensum were among the species noticed on the calcareous grit. The forest ride along the base of Roulston Scar proved a rich hunting ground; Pottia davalliana, Fossombronia pusilla, Cephaloziella hampeana and C. rubella were noted and on the block scree above the path Scapania aspera* and Plagiothecium curvifolium* provided useful records. In a nearby stubble field Bryum rubens and B. klinggraeffii grew, the latter species also being found at Pilmoor; Thornton-le-Beans; Felixkirk; Ashberry Hill, Rievaulx, and Oldstead in v.-c. 62 and at Little Langton Grange in v.-c. 65, during the course of the meeting.

[* new v.-c. record]

4 September. Greenhow Moor, the only known English station of Mielichhoferia elongata (see p. 598), was the objective and the plant was found in two places growing on crumbling lias in steep gullies. The original record is attributed to W. Mudd in 1862; it was refound in 1910 and then not again until Mrs Appleyard rediscovered it in 1954. Coscinodon cribrosus* growing with the Mielichhoferia, and Dicranella subulata* were both new records, the latter also being found in West Arncliff Woods. Riccardia palmata*, Discelium nudum and Solenostoma sphaerocarpum were also noted whilst Bryum violaceum* and B. micro-erythrocarpum were in a nearby stubble field. Other records made on this day were Pellia neesiana*, Scapania scandica* and Distichium inclinatum*, all from Spaunton Moor, and Cladopodiella fransisci from near Hutton-le-Hole.

5 September. Pilmoor, visited in the morning, is almost the last area of lowland heath to be found in the Vale of York, although it appears to be drying out and is now largely birch and willow carr. The old brickwork ponds are silting up and vegetation is encroaching on the open water. Dicranum polysetum* and D. spurium*, the latter previously recorded for the vice-county from Strensall Common by W. Ingham but destroyed by drainage in 1912, were both found. Odontoschisma denudatum*, O. sphagni, Drepanocladus exannulatus, D. fluitans, and Acrocladium cordifolium were also present. The overgrown disused railway siding yielded the best find when Mrs Paton discovered Fossombronia incurva*, new to England. Fossombronia wondraczekii, Pellia neesiana, Cephaloziella hampeana, Amblystegium varium and Bryum ruderale* were all noted in this area. Despite the deterioration in the weather, Leckby Carr in v.-c. 65 was visited but proved to be an almost impenetrable jungle of overgrown carr, Riccardia sinuata*, however, was found on the bank of a nearby ditch. During the evening the rain stopped and a small party visited the river Swale near Little Langton Grange in v.-c. 65 where Anthoceros punctatus* and Physcomitrella patens* were both recorded.

6 September. The party divided, one group going to Arncliff Woods in the Esk valley, and the other to Kepwick Hall grounds and the moorland above. The former group confirmed some old records; for example, Harpanthus scutatus* in the West Wood, which was previously recorded by R. Spruce in 1847 from the same area, Hygrobiella laxifolia* which had not been seen in the vice-county since 1878, and Plectocolea paroica* confirming an old record of W. Ingham in 1901 from the same locality. Other interesting species found included Lejeunea cavifolia*, Calypogeia neesiana var. meylanii*, Scapania umbrosa, Radula complanata, Plectocolea obovata, Solenostoma pumilum and Tritomaria exsectiformis. Kepwick Hall grounds and the moorland above where there were a number of old quarry workings and an old railway embankment provided a variety of habitats. Species found included Leiocolea turbinata, L. badensis, L, muelleri, Scapania aspera and Campylium protensum from basic flushes and turf, Entodon concinnus and Frullania tamarisci from one of the quarries, Riccardia sinuata and Aloina ambigua from the old railway embankment, Amblystegium juratzkanum from the Hall grounds and Mylia anomala, Drepanocladus fluitans and nine species of Sphagnum from the moorland. These included S. tenellum and S. robustum, the latter being found also on Greenhow Moor, Thimbleby Hall grounds and at Scarth bog, Osmotherley.

7 September. Ashberry Hill near Rievaulx produced an interesting collection of calcicoles including Campylium calcareum, Fissidens minutulus var. tenuifolius, F. cristatus, and Isopterygium depressum whilst Cratoneuron commutatum var. virescens and Philonotis calcarea were seen in a marshy meadow nearby. During the afternoon a party visited Tup Hag Wood, where Hygroamblystegium fluviatile in the river and Isopterygium seligeri* on a log were the most notable finds. Other members of the party visited Longacres Hill near Hawnby, where a number of calcicoles were found on west-facing scree, and Blow Gill, where the most notable records were Hygrobiella laxifolia, Plectocolea hyalina, Tetraphis browniana, Scapania umbrosa and Dichodontium pellucidum

8 September. The last day was spent in the Osmotherley area. In the morning the wooded valley in Thimbleby Park leading up to Oakdale reservoir was visited. Tritomaria exsectiformis, Riccardia palmata on an old conifer stump, Preissia quadrata, Plectocolea paroica, Trichocolea tomentella, Scapania irrigua, Pellia neesiana and Dicranum strictum were useful records from here. Bryum bornholmense* on the earthy roots of fallen birch, and B. inclinatum and B. caespiticum on walls were additional records. Fossombronia pusilla was found when crossing the fields back to the cars. In the afternoon Scarth Bog, an area of moorland owned by the National Trust two miles north of Osmotherley, was visited. Here Lophozia ventricosa var. silvicola*, Ephemerum serratum var. serratum, Splachnum ampullaceum, Mylia anomala, Cephalozia connivens and eight species of Sphagnum were found. One party visited Scugdale, where Discelium nudum, Tetraphis browniana, Barbula tophacea and Nardia compressa were seen. Other visits were made to arable fields at East Rounton where Acaulon muticum, Phascum floerkeanum, Dicranella schreberana and Pseudephemerum nitidum were noted, and to Mount Grace Priory where Bryum ruderale, Tortula marginata and Hygroamblystegium tenax were recorded.

Records were made in thirteen 10 km. grid squares, of which two had over 200 species and four others had over 100. In addition to Fossombronia incurva , new to England, 8 new hepatic vice-county records were made and 5 old records were confirmed, whilst among the mosses there were 10 new vice-county records and 4 old records confirmed.

My thanks are due to all those who helped to make the meeting a success, both by their hard work in the field, their contribution of records and their unfailing helpfulness and cheerfulness at all times



Autumn Meeting 1967

Egham, 24-25 October

Autumn Meeting 1967, Egham, 24-25 October

The autumn weekend meeting was held on 28-29 October in the Department of Botany, Royal Holloway College, by kind permission of Professor K. Wilson. On the Saturday, papers were read under the chairmanship of the President, Mrs J. Appleyard. Summaries are given below.

DR E. V. WATSON: 'Reflections on some difficult or controversial species in the genus Pohlia.'

Following a short introduction which dealt with fundamental questions relating to the determination of bryophyte material, an outline was given of the present position as regards several distinct 'situations' in Pohlia, where the relationships between the British species are imperfectly understood. The following were briefly discussed: (1) Relationship between Pohlia acuminata, P. polymorpha and P. elongata. (2) Pohlia nutans and its allies, with special reference to the dioecious species P. sphagnicola and P. marchica. Attention was drawn to some plants which had been collected by Dr E. F. Warburg on Berkshire commons and provisionally referred by him to P. marchica - not hitherto recognized as a British species. (3) Some relatively easily recognized species, P. cruda, P. crudoides (non-British) and P. ludwigii. (4) Gemmiferous Pohlia species, with special reference to the varied interpretations of the P. annotina - P. proligera boundary line. (5) P. pulchella and P. lutescens, the former recently recognized, the latter about to be published as British species. (6) The subgenus Mniobryum, with brief reference to the varieties calcarea and glacialis of P. wahlenbergii. Most of the remarks were of a tentative nature, pending more detailed work on the genus.

Dr P. J. GRUBB: 'Uptake and redistribution of mineral nutrients in Polytrichum formosum, latest facts and theories.'

Evidence was presented for the existence of a selective system of uptake for cations between the soil and the shoot. The experiments previously described as showing no evidence of this type (cf. Trans. Br. bryol. Soc. 1961, 4 , 184; 1965, 4 , 900.) were reconciled with the present evidence by assuming that some damage results in the rhizome system from washing out from soil and/or the use of too simple salt solutions. Evidence was also presented for the redistribution of potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus from old regions to new. Calculations have shown that this occurs too fast to be accounted for by diffusion alone. Movement within the symplasm is likely to be most important in most mosses; in Polytrichum and a few others the leptome may be important. The primary selective system of uptake from soil to shoot might work either via the symplasm of the shoot as a whole or via the rhizome cortex alone, followed by passive movement in the hydrome.

Dr A. EDDY: 'Bryophytes of New Guinea'.

Dr E. LODGE: 'Epiphyllous bryophyte communities of Jamaica'.

Various general features of the biology of epiphyllous bryophytes were briefly reviewed and the distribution of these organisms in Jamaica was considered in relation to its forest types. An examination of a large number of 'host' leaves has revealed that a rich flora of epiphyllous bryophytes, comparable with that reported for Guadeloupe and Martinique by Jovet-Ast, is to be found on the island. So far, fifty-seven epiphyllous species (mostly belonging to the Lejeuneaceae) have been identified, twenty-five of these representing additions to the known bryophyte flora of Jamaica. Individual leaves of 'host' plants may be treated as relevés for phytosociological analysis, the epiphylls occurring on each one being listed and their cover-abundance assessed, using the ten-point Domin scale. Preliminary attempts to synthesize these data have indicated that several associations of epiphyllae may be represented in Jamaica. Some of the more clearly defined of these were described and illustrated by colour transparencies.

Dr D. H. LEWIS: 'The distribution of sugar alcohols in bryophytes and its possible taxonomic significance.'

Following the discovery of an acyclic polyhydric alcohol (polyol) with the chromatographic mobility of volemitol in Lophocolea bidentata, a range of leafy liverworts was analysed. Compounds tentatively identified as mannitol, sorbitol and volemitol (alone or in combination) were found in many and none in others. The polyols co-existed with hexoses, sucrose and a series of soluble fructosans. In all cases where more than one species of a genus has been examined, the pattern of polyols was consistent, e.g. Scapania (mannitol); Marsupella, Gymnomitrion and Nardia (sorbitol); Lophocolea and Chiloscyphus (volemitol); Lepidozia (volemitoi with sedoheptulose); Plagiochila (volemitol with mannitol); Porella (none). In several families, e.g. Marsupellaceae, Scapaniaceae, and Bazzaniaceae, all genera examined were also homogeneous, whereas in others this was not so. Frequently in the latter case the limits of the families have been treated differently by various authorities. This difference of treatment for the genera Harpanthus, Saccogyna, Mylia, Anthelia and Odontoschisma by Arnell, Müller, Jones and Schuster was illustrated in relation to their polyol content and that of allied genera. It was suggested that the possession of a particular combination of polyols was a 'good' generic character and may be of value in delimiting taxa above this level (family or subfamily).

Dr J. H. DICKSON: 'Late Quaternary history of Meesia tristicha and Dicranum undulatum.'

The ecology and distribution of the two species were briefly described. Relict status is clearly shown by the present patterns supported by numerous sub fossils. Important periods in the decline of Meesia tristicha were the Late-glacial/Post-glacial transition, and the Boreal-Atlantic transition. The major fragmentation of D. undulatum took place in the last 2,500 years; anthropogenic destruction of the bog habitats was a principal factor.

After discussion and questions put to the speakers, the President thanked them and Dr Dickson for arranging the paper-reading programme. In the evening a conversazione was held in the Botany Department's new laboratories where a large number of exhibits were on display:

Mr K. J, ADAMS: A mapping scheme for Essex bryophytes.
Miss S. BOYD ANDREWS: Paintings of bryophytes.
Dr P. D. COKER: Distribution of some 'copper' mosses in Britain. The distribution of epiphytic bryophyte communities in the British Isles. Some microclimatic measuring apparatus used in bryophyte ecology.
Dr J. H. DICKSON: Stereoscan microscopy of bryophyte spores.
Mr M. V. FLETCHER: Reading bryophytes.
Mr E. R. B. LITTLE: Oil bodies of Riccardia.
and Mr J. G. DUCKETT:
Mnium medium in Britain.
Mr S. T. LICENCE: Hypnum lindbergii in Essex.
Mr K. LEWIS: Exhibition of bulbiferous Pohlias.
Dr E. LODGE: Epiphyllous bryophytes from Jamaica.
and Mr M. V. CORLEY:
Name this bryophyte.
Miss A. L. D. SOUTHORN: Bryophyte recolonization of burnt areas.
Mr W. J. SYRATT: The effect of sulphur dioxide on bryophytes.
Mr P. J. WANSTALL: Epiphyllietum.
Dr E. V. WATSON: Some species of Pohlia.

On the Sunday the field excursion was held. In the morning the party visited an area of calcareous fen and river bank at Greywell, N. Hants (v.-c. 12). A number of interesting plants was seen, in particular quite a large group of epiphytes, including Cryphaea heteromalla, now becoming more and more scarce in the S.E. of England. Plagiothecium latebricola was also seen. In the afternoon the party moved on to Hazeley Heath. On disturbed ground by the road, many small acrocarps were seen, including some fine Barbula hornschuchiana. A heavy downpour slowed down operations, but members went on to look at wet heath, valley bog and some fields. Cephalozia bicuspidata var. lammersiana* was discovered on the heath, Riccia sorocarpa* on soil in a field and Bryum pallens on gravelly waste ground.

[ * new v.-c. record ]

Dr E. Lodge must be thanked for organizing a very interesting and successful meeting.



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