July 22, 2022

Mental Note: Alpine Zone Bryos of the Northern Rockies from Schofield 1988


Andreaeobryum macrosporum
Bryobrittonia longipes
Cyrtomnium hymenophylloides
Cyrtomnium hymenophyllum
Didymodon asperifolius
Encalypta brevicolla
Encalypta brevipes
Encalypta longicolla
Hygrohypnum polare
Hypnum bambergeri
Loeskhypnum badium
Mielchhoferia mielichhoferi
Myurella tenerrima
Oreas martiana
Psilopilum cavifolium
Sphagnum balticum
Sphagnum teres
Sphagnum wulfianum
Tayloria froelichiana
Tetraplodon pallidus
Timmia norvegica
Tortella arctica

Anastrophyllum saricola
Cephaloziella rubella
Gymnomitrion apiculatum
Gymnomitrion corallioides
Marsupella condensata
Marsupella revoluta
Odontoschisma macounii
Plagiochila arctica
Radula prolifera
Scapania simmonsii
Scapania spitzbergensis

Posted on July 22, 2022 23:19 by rambryum rambryum | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 13, 2022

Microscopic Life in Sphagnum

Some specialized guides prove too irresistable for me. As soon as I discovered the existence of Marjorie Hingley's Microscopic Life in Sphagnum, I had to have it. Sphagnum under the microscope is one of the most structurally bedazzling in the plant kingdom. Hingley's guide provides a methodology and broad guide to groups that can be encountered amongst the leaves. For expediency, I used the squeeze method (literally squeeze the Sphagnum) and then passed it through a paper coffee filter. Below are some of the larger creatures from the squeeze.

Posted on June 13, 2022 18:47 by rambryum rambryum | 22 observations | 2 comments | Leave a comment

March 16, 2022

Masonry Bryophytes

It is surprisingly hard to find older masonry and concrete in the Comox Valley. There are old mineworks but they are deeply shaded, and most of the cement walls seem to be pressure washed. I've been trying to learn urban mosses lately and there are a large group of them that tend to show up on stone walls, concrete and mortar. Wilf Schofield's Some Common Mosses of British Columbia lists the following taxa as common in these environments:

Auloacomnium androgynum
Bryum argenteum *
Bryum/Ptychostomum capillaire *
Ceratodon purpureus
Dicranoweisia cirrata *
Didymodon insulans ?
Didymodon/Vinealobryum vinealis*
Funaria hygrometrica
Grimmia pulvinata*
Orthotrichum lyellii (= Pulvigera papillosum or P. pringlei)
Racomitrium canascens / Racomitrium elongatum
Racomitrium heterostichum
Tortula muralis *
Syntrichia princeps * (?)
Syntrichia ruralis

I have put (*) to denote taxa seen on this church wall, which I think dates to 1939. (?) connotes things I think I may have seen but I am not sure. Also seen and placed amongst the observations from the wall below were Homalothecium nutalii and something that I think is Gemmabryum barnesii

Posted on March 16, 2022 20:15 by rambryum rambryum | 10 observations | 2 comments | Leave a comment

February 17, 2022

Alpine Bryophytes of BC

There is a really neat publication from Wilf Schofield that correlates bryophytes to different biogeoclimatic zones in British Columbia. While names have changed with the passing of time, his species lists are based on extensive collections throughout BC. I am trying to reformat these lists and hopefully add some more habitat details as well as other taxa that are not represented on the original lists. Perhaps @dbltucker @ptilidium @terrymcintosh @jamie_fenneman have comments or revisions on this modified list. I have also revised lists for Mountain Hemlock, Subalpine Fir, Coastal Douglas Fir and Coastal Western Hemlock Zones and would like to add an urban bryozone list.

Schofield, W.B. 1988. Bryogeography and the bryophytic characterization of the biogeoclimatic zones of British Columbia, Canada. Can. J. Bot. 66: 2673–2686.

Alpine Mosses

Rock (including soil ledges)
Andreaea blyttii
Andreaea nivalis
Arctoa fulvella
Bartramia ithyphylla
Dicranoweisia crispula
Kiaeria blyttii
Kiaeria falcata
Kiaeria starkei
Mnium blyttii
Oncophorus virens
Racomitrium muticum
Racomitrium sudeticum
Syntrichia norvegica

Aongstroemia longipes (mineral)
Bryum weigelii (organic-rich)
Conostomum tetragonum (vernal)
Dicranum pallidisetum (organic rich)
Meiotrichum lyallii (mineral)
Oligotrichum hercynicum
Pohlia cardotii
Pohlia obtusifolia
Polytrichum sexangulare (mineral)
Tortula hoppeana (silt rich, calcareous)

Wetlands and Drainage
Calliergon sarmentosum
Dichodontium olympicum
Hygrohypnum alpinum
Hygrohypnum alpestre
Meesia uliginosa
Sphagnum compactum (Fens)
Sphagnum warnstorfii (Fens)

Alpine Liverworts

Rock (including soil ledges)
Asterella lindenbergiana (crevices)
Clevea hyalina (crevices)
Gymnomitrion concinnatum
Mannia gracilis (crevices)
Tritomaria polita

Barbilophozia floerkei (on shrubs, too)
Barbilophozia quadriloba
Gymnomitrion concinnatum
Lophozia opacifolia
Tritomaria polita

Wetlands and Drainage
Anthelia julacea
Anthelia juratzkana
Cephalozia pleniceps
Haplomitrium hookeri
Marsupella brevissima
Nardia compressa (wet rocks along drainage)
Nardia japonica
Pleurocladula albescens
Scapania obscura
Scapania uliginosa
Schofieldia monticola

Posted on February 17, 2022 18:43 by rambryum rambryum | 1 comment | Leave a comment

October 04, 2021

May 28, 2020

Epiphytes on Big Leaf Maple

One of the most accessible places to learn mosses and liverworts in the coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest is along the trunk of a big leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum). This tree, on account of the rivulets and ridges that run down it and the dense and dichotomously branched canopy is a haven for thick carpets of bryophytes and a few other epiphytes. Below are photos of the some of the common species you might encounter. I'll try and add more as I encounter them.

Also in the comments below, @chlorophilia mentions a much more in depth repository of Big Leaf Maple epiphytes and associated that can be found here:


Posted on May 28, 2020 03:15 by rambryum rambryum | 18 observations | 6 comments | Leave a comment

March 18, 2020

Putting together the diet of the Great Blue Heron

My daughter loves dissecting owl pellets. When we found a large accumulation of great blue heron guano on our property, she was excited at the prospect of dissecting it. We put on some gloves and put the pellets in a set of seives with the hopes of extracting the mineralized remains of the bird's diet. Unanticipated was the massive amount of fir and feathers, which blocked the seive and generally reduced the efficacy of the process.

The great blue heron is a very versatile bird. I have only really known it as a shore bird, but it lives and hunts almost everywhere. And it doesn't neccesarily just hunt. My birding guides refer to it as an opportunistic omnivore. That means anything, anytime when the item suits it. This particular bird nest in a Douglas fir in the area, retreating to this open shed when it gets really wet and stormy. It could be feeding in ditches, ponds, tidepools, shorelines and other places beyond my imagination. At least that seems to be the case based on what we found. Bones up to about 1.25 " made up the corpus of the frass. See the associated observations of rodents, fish, egg shells, birds, crabs, dead pinnipeds and seeds. We also found a number of ~5mm well polished stones. These could have been bycatch, but maybe they were gastroliths-- the rocks and pebbles kepts in the guts of dinosaurs and birds to help mechnically break down their food. The heron, like many of its dinosaur ancestors, is a gulp and go eater. It does not chew the food so much as swallow it whole. The stones in the gut break these food items down. Would be interested in hearing from any bird people who have thoughts on what some of these prey items might be, particularly the rodent. @jamie_fenneman @jbindernagel

Posted on March 18, 2020 20:17 by rambryum rambryum | 10 observations | 2 comments | Leave a comment