Lorn Bryophytes -  Sample Profiles



Please refer to the BBS Field Guide for detailed species information.

Click on a thumbnail to view the species profile.

Number 1

Sphagnum subnitens var. subnitens

The first in this series, this Sphagnum is located at Port Appin to the rear of the Village Hall car park.

The backdrop to the car park area is a vertical marble cliff parts of which are permanently wet from water seepage from the hill behind. Two  colonies grow there, one in the grassy and boggy ground level area between the base of the cliff and the car park surface, the other much larger one actually on the cliff itself in the wet cleft.

The colour of the leaves varies between green, pink and dingy pale green. It can be found in boggy areas including grassland, marshes, fens, flushes, ditches, wet woodland, and humid, rocky

banks under heather. Fairly robust when wet, more fragile when re-hydrated with easy loss of leaves.



Tortella tortuosa

Number 2

Tortella tortuosa - common name Frizzled Crisp-moss.stone

This species is is light yellow-green in colour with the cushions that are densely packed with shoots and can be several centimetres in depth. The leaves are wavy and have involute untoothed margins. They can be easily broken and damaged and have a V shaped transition between the basal and upper cells which can be seen with a loupe when a leaf is removed.

This particular specimen was on the flat top of the stone parapet wall of the Dearn Abhaig river bridge in Gleann Salach in Barcaldine Forest, a particularly good location for both Bryophytes and Lichens.

I have included wet and dry images as this moss twists and curls up dramatically when dry, hence is common name. The field image shows the cushion reasonably well hydrated.

Number 3

Leptogium lichenoides - Tattered Jelly Skin Lichen

(included because of its proximity to 2 and 3)

I might have overlooked this Lichen in any other location. It happened to be growing down the side of a flat-topped stone bridge parapet wall and was just in front of two mosses which I sampled first (above)

On first glance it could be mistaken for jelly fungi (which part of it actually is) or as I did, a dark coloured liverwort. It would more likely be ignored completely as uninteresting.

In appearance it is a very dark brown almost black narrow mass,  its form hard to see without using a loupe. Closer inspection reveals a soft thallus of frilly fan-shaped bodies with finger-like tubular projections on each. Reasonably robust when wet if handled carefully, very brittle and fragile when dry. Often found on mossy alkaline-barked trees, occasionally on mossy rock.

Number 4

Racomitrium aciculare - Yellow Fringe-moss.

Another species from the river bridge at Gleann Salach, Lorn next to 2 and 3.

The leaves of this species are coloured olive or lemon-green in the upper regions of the branches and are darker further down the branch stem away from the light.

A pleurocarpous moss, this species is found on rocky often vertical surfaces.

You can also see the start of the lichen colony Leptogium lichenoides (above) under the edge of the R. aciculare  colony.

As you can see from the images, the wet and dry states of the plant are very different. A fairly robust species to handle but the leaves tear easily.

Racomitrium aciculare

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