BEN # 162

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No. 162                              April 9, 1997

aceska@freenet.victoria.bc.ca        Victoria, B.C.
 Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2

From: Terry Taylor <ttaylor@terragen.com>

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.

From: Wilf Schofield <wilfs@unixg.ubc.ca>

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
Marchantia polymorpha.

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.


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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