THIS SECTION HAS BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND SURVEY DATA. THE SURVEYS ARE A SNAPSHOT OF TIME (~2003-2007). FLNPS MAINTAINS IT IN HOPES THAT THE DATA WILL BE USEFUL. IT IS NOT AN ACTIVE PROJECT.
This section was created to aid in dissemination and exchange of information relating to the conservation of bryophytes in the United States. Bryophytes are a synthetic plant group including the mosses, liverworts and hornworts - plants that all have gametophyte-dominant life cycles. All plants alternate between the gametophyte (generation that produces gametes: egg and sperm) and the sporophyte (generation that produces spores). For the majority of plants (ferns, cone-bearing and seed-bearing plants) the generation that you see on the landscape is the sporophyte generation.
A gametophyte-dominant life cycle has many interesting ecological ramifications including the favoring of small size and poikilohydry (allowing water content to fluctuate rather than expending energy to maintain constant turgor). Because of their small size, bryophyte taxonomy has been considered difficult and species occurrence in the US remains incompletely known (see discussion of this in article specific to NY State). However, bryophytes must be considered as crucial components of the native vegetation as they are the forests for many invertebrate and microbial organisms that live inside of them. They also play important roles in water and nutrient retention of ecological systems, as well as moderating soil temperature and moisture conditions.
A number of files are made available here for Heritage Botanists and Bryologists to encourage recognition, inclusion, and increased documentation of bryophytes at the state levels. In a recent survey (results summarized in file available here), Heritage botanists requested access to common names for bryophytes to increase their accessibility to the Public sector. This site includes the synthesis of common names by Janice Glime (Michigan Tech) in an Excel spreadsheet along with the list of publications by her that led to this spreadsheet. These files are made available here with her kind permission. As the US representative to the IUCN bryophyte conservation subcommittee and a member of the Canadian lichen and bryophyte subcommittee of COSEWIC, I am also interested in linking bryophyte conservation efforts at a larger scale where we in the US may learn from work and conservation programs of other countries. To this end, there is also a file summarizing current European Redlists.
Please send all comments and inquiries regarding this section of the FLNPS website to Nat Cleavitt (firstname.lastname@example.org). All joy of the small green plants be with you. Enjoy!
Survey questionaires with responses:
Summary of survey responses:
Heritage Response Summary
Here is an annotated checklist of the bryophytes of West Virginia by Susan Studlar et al. It includes common names and habitat information for the species included. NOTE: This is a large .pdf file which may take twenty seconds to load on a broadband connection. If you do not have an Adobe Acrobat viewer, you can get a free one on the web.
Here is a reference to collections by R. Spjut, in North America and other locations.
From a repost inSolidago, the Finger Lakes Native Plant Society Newsletter: How many bryophytes are there in New York and are any of them rare?
For a nice site for moss images, go to Moss Images. The pictures here are freely available to anyone for whatever purpose - just copy them from the website. Judging by the feed-back [to the author], people are finding it to be a useful resource, which is pleasing.
Cross Reference of Latin Names to Common Names:
Cross Reference of common and latin names
Moss From Space is an article published in Evansia by one of our members, Norm Trigoboff. Norm is a local bryologist who searches Central New York for bryophytes that may not be known from here. Another of his articles is of the genus Tortula, some of whose species were unknown in this area. If you do not have an Adobe Acrobat viewer, you can get a free one on the web.