29 September 2011

East Aberthaw

Not really Gower, but good to go a little further afield every now and then!
The cliffs to east of Aberthaw are home to the Service-tree (Sorbus domestica) and yesterday Julian Woodman kindly showed Polly Spencer-Vellacott and myself specimens of this vulnerable tree during a BSBI site visit. The trees we examined were all barren, although Julian said that fruit is produced some years.
Julian inspecting the Service-trees for fruit, or rather lack of!
The very rare liverwort Green Blackwort (Southbya tophacea) also grows on the cliffs at this site and the sole Glamorgan population seemed to be in good health with much vibrant new growth.
Green Blackwort on tufa cliffs with Maidenhair Fern 
On the cobble beach, in the patches of wet sand below the main shingle ridge were clusters of the green flatworm Symsagittifera (Convoluta) roscoffensis. Interestingly this species does not ingest food, but derives its nutrition from symbiotic green algae that live within the animal itself. When the tide goes out these the worms emerge from the sand and bask, allowing to algae to photosynthesise.
Symsagittifera roscoffensis

2 comments:

Cardiff Clive said...

Cracking shot of the flatworm ,did you know that it only occurs here and Jersey?

Barry Stewart said...

I knew it was scarce, but I never realised it was that scarce! I'll certainly be looking out for it in similar habitat around Gower