BEN # 162
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No. 162 April 9, 1997
email@example.com Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2
CAMPYLOPUS INTROFLEXUS - MOSS INTRODUCED IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
From: Terry Taylor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In August of 1994 while botanizing the northern part of Burns
Bog [south of Vancouver, B.C.], near the area where the
Eriophorum virginicum has been introduced, I noticed large
populations of what appeared at a distance to be Racomitrium
heterostichum. They grow on what is otherwise bare peat. Closer
inspection showed apical hairpoints diverging horizontally, as
they do in C. introflexus. Microscopic examination of leaf cross
sections also indicated a Campylopus. Dr. Wilf Schofield con-
firmed my previous speculation when I gave him the collection.
Last year a population was also found in the Big Bend Bog in
Burnaby and fertile material was also collected at another site
in Burns Bog.
Campylopus introflexus (Hedw.) Brid. is an introduction from the
southern hemisphere and had not been collected previously in
Canada, although it does occur along the Oregon coast.
BRYOPHYTES UNINTENTIONALLY INTRODUCED TO BRITISH COLUMBIA
From: Wilf Schofield <email@example.com>
The introduction of bryophytes to the British Columbian flora
has not significantly enriched the flora. This is in strong
contrast to the vascular plants, in which introductions are
reported to form over 20% of the vascular flora.
Apparent introductions are characterized by the fact that their
presence in the province is discordant with their natural world
Some bryophytes associated with disturbed soil appear to be
introductions because they are unknown from undisturbed sites.
In the B.C. flora Micromitrium tenerum, Orthotrichum diaphanum,
Physcomitrium immersum, Pottia truncata, Pseudephemerum nitidum
and Tortula amplexa could well be introductions, but it is
impossible to be confident.
Other species common in the indigenous flora are obviously
spread by human activity, especially in the production of exten-
sive disturbed sites near roads and gardens. Mosses that fit
this category include Atrichum undulatum, Barbula unguiculata,
Calliergonella cuspidata, Ceratodon purpureus, Funaria
hygrometrica, Leptobryum pyriforme, Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus
and Tortula muralis as well as many others, plus the liverwort
In lawns, especially in urban areas, several mosses are favoured
by the conditions maintained through lawn-mowing and fertiliza-
tion, as well as winter conditions of the lawn. Some mosses,
including several species of Brachythecium (largely undeter-
minable, and possibly exotic in origin), Rhytidiadelphus squar-
rosus, Calliergonella cuspidata and Pseudoscleropodium purum
often form extensive carpets. It is possible that these mosses
are transported accidentally from one lawn to another by lawn
maintenance workers. In the final mowing in autumn, the mosses
are usually of a stature that allows them to be fragmented by
the lawn mower. These fragments adhere to the mower and are, in
consequence, transported to another lawn where they detach and
are scattered. During the winter, when the grass is dormant, the
moss fragments are able to flourish and grow under the
favourable light and moisture conditions and produce extensive
carpets. Moss killers applied in the spring can destroy most of
these, but if any living plants persist, they are fragmented as
the lawn is mowed, and the next winter repeats the process.
The bryophyte introductions appear to have originated with
horticultural plants. Pseudoscleropodium is often used as pack-
ing material for nursery stock in Europe, where the species in
native to the flora. It is probable that this was transported
out of Europe through this means. In both eastern and western
North America it is confined mainly to lawns, although in B.C.,
at lest, it is known from near coastal cities (Vancouver, Vic-
toria, Nanaimo), but is also on Galiano Island and probably
elsewhere. It has also been introduced to Australia and New
Zealand as well as other non-European localities. Pseudocros-
sidium hornschuchianun, Pottia truncata, Physcomitrium immersum,
and Lunularia cruciata are associated almost exclusively to
gardens or to the perimeter of agricultural land, and sometimes
persist briefly in a site. It is reasonable to speculate that
these originated with soil in pots of garden seedlings.
The introduction of Campylopus introflexus (endemic to the
Southern Hemisphere) and Orthotrichum diaphanum are difficult to
explain. The Campylopus is confined in B.C. to Burns and Bend
Bogs in the Lower Mainland, to disturbed peatland. It is known
in western North America also from Oregon (sand dune slacks),
and adjacent California (seemingly natural habitats). This
Campylopus was introduced to Europe many years ago and has
spread relatively rapidly. Terry Taylor has discovered both
fertile and vegetative populations, sometimes, covering exten-
sive tracts. The plants are brittle, and the fragments can
readily establish the species in new sites after transfer. The
Orthotrichum is indigenous to North America, but the only B.C.
sites are in Vancouver (concrete walls and introduced cottonwood
trees). The species is not common in western United States, so
its appearance in Vancouver in anthropogenic sites is mys-
The intriguing problems remain concerning the vegetative popula-
tions of several species of Brachythecium in lawns. Some are
extremely abundant. Sporophytes are essential for confident
determination. Lawn mowing appears to impede sporophyte produc-
tion, keeping the populations in a vegetative state. sp It is
apparent that introduced bryophytes harbour many intriguing
problems worthy of attention.
BIOGRAPHY OF CHARLES CHRISTOPHER PARRY
Weber, W. A. 1997. King of Colorado Botany: Charles Christopher
Parry, 1823-1890. University Press of Colorado, Boulder, CO.
216 p. ISBN 0-87081-431-1 [hardcover] Price: US$39.95.
Ordering information: Order from University Press of
Colorado, P.O.Box 849, Niwot, CO 80544. Toll-free number 1-
800-268-6044. $US39.95, shipping $3.00 for first book, $1.00
for each additional.
Charles Christopher Parry is well known to botanists worldwide.
More than eighty new species of flowering plants were named from
Parry's Colorado collections, and many more from his collections
in Mexico and the American Southwest. Fascinated with mountains,
Parry made barometric observations that permitted the first
accurate estimations of altitudes of the high peaks. Yet his
greatest contribution to science was through the distribution of
his botanical collections to the museums of the world. Except
for his name having been affixed to many of Colorado's
wildflowers, two mountain peaks, and a creek in Middle Park, he
is hardly known in Colorado. . . . [The book] combines the lists
of Parry's collections with the scientific and semipopular
descriptions of his travels, up till now found only scattered in
rare periodicals and old newspapers. This is a work that will be
of interest to naturalists and all others interested in the West
as it existed during Parry's lifetime.
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