Monday, October 8, 2012

My own little foray

The Andrews Foray  was conducted on September 9... i was unable to attend and so decided to have my own little foray right here in town. i decided to go to two places that i hadn't been to in maybe 10-15 years.
the first was a powerline cut:

i had found Helodium paludosum here and wanted to see if i could find it again. (i didn't).
 Powerlines are great places to find disturbed soil bryophytes. Often, as in this one, they have wet areas too, where fun mosses can be found. The most abundant mosses were Polytrichum commune and Aulacomnium palustre. these two were very abundant on the banks.
Polytrichum commune

Aulacomnium palustre
Other bryos i found included: Ditrichum lineare (on muddy dirt), Trematodon ambiguus, Atrichum angustatum, Pohlia annotina & P. bulbifera, Leucobryum glaucum, Polytrichum pilliferum (hanging around rock edges), Thuidium delicatulum, Hedwigia ciliata, Plagiomnium cuspidatum, Callicladium haldanianum, Fissidens bushii, Atrichum cf altecristatum, Atrichum crispum, Hypnum pallescens, Hypnum imponens & H. lindbergii.
Trematodon ambiguus - note the LONG neck to the capsule.

  there was a little brook that ran across the access road and in this i found Scapania nemorosa, Fontinalis antipyretica, Sphagnum sp., Hygrohypnum sp., Racomitrium aciculare (covering the rocks).

But the most exciting species i found looked like this:
See that green fuzz on the left side of the mud crack? yup...that's it!

With my handlens i could see the tiniest of capsules, meaning i had found a nice fall ephemeral....but which one??? i was thinking ephemerum....but when i looked at it under the scopes it turned out to be Micromitriuim megalosporum - one of the tiniest's capsules are round and inserted within the leaves.  It could easily be mistaken for algal growth. it often will be found on muddy soil when a pond recedes in the fall. I had only seen this species once - shown to me by Bill Buck, and now a new record for Franklin Co, Mass!

the second spot i went to was where an old beaver dam used to be, but was now mostly a sedge meadow.
The sedge growth was so dense that there was hardly any mosses at all. i had found Pohlia bulbifera here and was looking for it (even though i just saw it up on the powerline cut.)

i was lucky to find both Pohlia annotina and P. bulbifera:
Pohlia annotina

Pohlia bulbifera
Other bryos i saw included Bryum argenteum, Atrichum crispum, Dicranella heteromalla, and  Philonotis fontana. I also found some of the hornwort, Anthoceros punctatum, and also another small ephemeral which was puzzling to me. It looked sort of like Physcomitrium pyriforme except the capsule wasn't really very exserted, and that fruits in the spring anyway....and it didn't look like Pottia truncata either.
When i got it under the scope, it turned out to be a Physcomitrium - not pyriforme, but P. immersum - another new species for me and possibly new for mass as well....
So, all in all, a great mini foray for me!

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