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Bryophytes: Taking it further


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To start your study of mosses and liverworts needs little equipment, and you can begin to explore their structure with a pocket lens. A 10x magnification is adequate but 20x is better. Identification guides are less common than in some groups but a good start is the leaflet "Mosses and Liverworts of Towns and Gardens" which can be downloaded free from the British Bryological Society web site.

The standard beginners book is "British Mosses and Liverworts" by E V Watson, now in its 3rd edition and published by Cambridge University Press.

The standard, and more advanced, books are as follows:

  • For Mosses:- The Moss Flora of Britain and Ireland by AJE Smith. 2nd edition, Cambridge University Press
  • For Liverworts:- The Liverwort Flora of Britain and Ireland by AJE Smith. Cambridge University Press
  • and the magnificent The Liverwort Flora of the British Isles by Jean A Paton. Harley Books

For general information a new, and very readable, account of the group is the New Naturalist volume - "Mosses and Liverworts" by Ron Porley and Nick Hodgetts.

Finally take a look at the British Bryological Society web pages for a wealth of useful information.


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