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Bryophytes: Introduction


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Although perhaps most familiar to the casual observer as small green cushions on walls and mortar, or even as a lawn weed, the mosses and liverworts (collectively bryophytes) are common and even abundant in many habitats. It is the purpose of this atlas to bring them to a wider audience so that they may appreciate more fully these fascinating plants.

As with many aspects of natural history in the county the first proper records of bryophytes are found in Stebbing Shaw's "The History and Antiquities of Staffordshire" where, in 1798, the Rev Samuel Dickenson listed some 59 species for the region around the parish of Blymhill. Despite some recording throughout the 19th century it was nearly 100 years before the next substantial list appeared. In 1896 J E Bagnall published his "Mosses of Staffordshire" in the Journal of Botany and in 1897 J E Nowers prepared a compilation of records as they were then known in volume 35 of the Transactions of the North Staffordshire Field Club under the title "List of Mosses found in Staffordshire". Since then bryophyte recording in the county has been very sparse and scattered; indeed in Hill, Preston and Smith's "Atlas of the Bryophytes of Britain and Ireland", published between 1991 and 1994, it is possible to recognise the outline of the county by the lack of records on many of the maps.

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It is hoped that this small atlas will spark interest in the bryophytes of the county and improve our knowledge of their distribution. If you would like to contribute please contact the county recorder Martin Godfrey with details of your finds.


Printing of this publication for educational purposes is permitted, provided that copies are not made or distributed for commercial gain, and the title of the publication and its date appear. To copy otherwise, or to republish, requires specific permission from the Author or Staffordshire Ecological Record.

Created by SER © 2019 The Wolseley Centre, Wolseley Bridge, Stafford. ST17 0WT Last updated 9/04/2015
Operated by: Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Staffordshire County Council and Stoke-on-Trent City Council