Apr 30, 2020

Aspects of the ecology of Bartramia halleriana and Crossocalyx hellerianus in oceanic deciduous woodland

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Des Callaghan, J. Bevan


Introduction: This study investigates the ecology of two boreal-montane bryophytes, the saxicolous moss Bartramia halleriana and the epixylic liverwort Crossocalyx hellerianus, at the edge of their ranges, in oceanic deciduous woodland. Methods: The study site comprises two adjoining woodlands, Allt Penyrhiw-iar (canopy trees ca. 100 yr old) and Allt Rhyd Groes (ca. 200 yr), Carmarthenshire, UK. The distribution and abundance of B. halleriana and C. hellerianus was surveyed, releves sampled to record habitat and community composition, and sporophyte frequency and stage of development measured. Light climate of B. halleriana was investigated via hemispherical photography, and abundance of large rotten logs used as a measure of habitat quality for C. hellerianus. Results and discussion: Four subpopulations of B. halleriana occur, comprising 21 individual-equivalents (occupied 1 m grid cells), all on mildly base-rich mudstone of north-facing rockfaces, with very little direct solar radiation and a diverse assemblage of bryophytes. Sporophyte are scarce. A total of 143 individual-equivalents (occupied logs or trees) of C. hellerianus was recorded, an exceptional population in Wales. Most of the population is within Allt Rhyd Groes,...Continue Reading

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