Mosses amid the fungi

I’ve not been out in the field much over the summer at all, and when I have it has largely been for a short flurry while doing something else. Even so, if armed with the list of common species not yet recorded in a locality it is usually possible to pick up a few new tetrad records.

Yesterday I was out with the Sussex Fungus Group at Rowland Wood and took the opportunity to record a small number of bryophytes in passing. So, it was hardly a thorough survey, but there were already 78 species recorded for the tetrad, including those Tom had recorded there in 2012.

Quite near the beginning of the walk a small sandstone stone in a damp ditch had some Tortula muralis on it, which was new, though I then got caught up in the fungi search and neglected the mosses for a bit. There were several very significant clusters of Armillaria tabescens (Ringless Honey Fungus) on the heath, and I got to try the flavour of the milk from the very well-named Lactarius pyrogalus (Fiery Milkcap), which is not an experience you get with bryophytes. It was fabulously hot!

A little later on a willow was home to a nice cluster of epiphytes: Radula complanata, Metzgeria violacea, Cololejeunea minutissima, Ulota phyllantha and Orthotrichum pulchellum, the latter two being new records.

Picture of Pseudephemerum nitidum

Pseudephemerum nitidum

The edges of a fire site had mats of Pseudephemerum nitidum and several colourful ascomycetes typical of that habitat, and many damp ruts also had a dusting of Pohlia melanodon. A large decaying old Beech attracted the attention of the mycologists but didn’t look very promising for mosses. However, on very close examination it had a few very small fruiting clumps of the Orthotrichum affine. Thanks to Tom Ottley for correcting my earlier mis-identification of it!

Picture of Orthotrichum affine on Beech

Orthotrichum affine on Beech

Finally, on the way back to the car there were patches of Didymodon insulanus among the gravel, bringing the tetrad total up to 83. I really must get out more…


See also: Clare Blencowe ‘Mycorrhizal Madness’ Misidentifying Fungi. 11 September 2018

2 thoughts on “Mosses amid the fungi

  1. That’s extraordinary! Are you certain it’s S. crassipilum? I can make out the red peristomes (I think). It’s very small though for that species.


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