20 February 2011

Mosses and Liverworts in the Valleys

Recent postings on the Gower Widlife Blog illustrate the amazing biodiversity of Bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) in our region. Barry Stewart has shown us a number of species from Gower. Elsewhere, and in our valleys in particular, there is a rich assemblage of sub-oceanic and montane species. Glossy, pale green patches of Shining Hookeria (Hookeria lucens) are a good indicator of ancient sessile oakwoods that clothe our valleys. It belongs to a community of bryophytes that are typical of the mild, wet temperate climate of the west of Britain.

Less common is the strikingly beautiful Golden-head Moss (Breutelia chrysocoma), a montane species which occurs in the waterfall districts in the north of our area.

I know of only two sites for the Narrow Mushroom-headed Liverwort (Preissia quadrata) in the county of Neath Port Talbot. This is a northern-boreal species, but it occurs on calcareous mortar in the Afan Valley, as seen in the photograph. Elsewhere, you may come across it on calcium-rich rocks in the waterfall district, or in dune slacks at Whiteford Burrows (and Kenfig).

1 comment:

Barry Stewart said...

Charles, the Breutelia is a lovely looking moss - definitely fancy a guided tour for that one.