Archive for the ‘Bryophytes’ category

A future powered by photosynthesis?

February 25, 2012

Check out this research at Cambridge University that uses moss in biological fuel cells to produce electricity! Spoiler alert: it’s actually symbiotic bacteria in the soil that are powering things up using organic compounds released by the photosynthesizing bryophytes.

Read the short article here:


A Fantastic New Bryophyte Blog

December 23, 2011

Sue Williams, a bryologist from Massachusetts, writes a blog about mosses, liverworts, and hornworts. It is a great resource to learn about the natural history and identification of these amazing plants. After reading a few posts I wanted to start looking at mosses in my yard right away. If you think there’s nothing to do when it’s cold and rainy go out and satisfy your curiosity about this world of tiny green plants. You just may get hooked. – Steve Young

CLICK HERE to access the blog.

SUNY ESF Video Introduction to Mosses

February 24, 2011

Here is a nice video about the basics of mosses and a way to use buttermilk or stale beer to grown them in your backyard. It runs about 2 minutes and features interpretive naturalist Rob Carr.

Follow a Bryological Expedition to Cape Horn

January 27, 2011

Bill Buck, from The New York Botanical Garden, is on a bryophyte collecting trip to the islands off Cape Horn, the southernmost point of South America, with colleagues that include Jim Shevock, Blanka Shaw, and Juan Larraín. An excerpt from his most recent blog post reads, “For a bryologist, this is a paradise. The biomass of bryophytes, in this area that receives about 12 feet of rain a year, is much greater than that of the trees. The ground is at least a foot deep in bryophytes and the bryophytes sheathe the tree trunks to more than twice the diameter of the trees themselves.” Wow!

Follow his expedition HERE.

The Cheetah of Mosses

January 21, 2011

Not noted for their speed and agility, the individuals in this species of peat moss are “the most genetically uniform widespread group of plants known.” It turns out that each individual Sphagnum subnitens in northwestern North America is genetically identical and descended from a single parent plant. READ MORE

Sphagnum subnitens. Photo by Eric Karlin.

Upcoming bryology workshops

January 21, 2011

There are three upcoming bryological courses and excursions this spring! They’re not being held in our region, but many bryophytes are quite cosmopolitan so it’s likely that you’d encounter species that occur in New York. Certainly the lab skills and camaraderie would be worth the trip.

Intermediate Bryology will be offered by Dr. David Wagner on the University of Oregon campus on March 21-23. The objective of this workshop will be a fairly intensive practice using the contemporary keys pertinent to the area. Most of the time will be spent in the teaching lab, with an afternoon excursion on the first day for field experience. Time will be available for participants who bring personal collections to work on them under expert supervision. Tuition is $300. Contact Dr. Wagner for more information (541-344-3327 /

The 16th Annual SO BE FREE foray will be held in the lower elevations of the northern Sierra Nevada Mountains near Quincy, California on March 23-26.  The area offers great sites for montane coniferous, mixed coniferous-hardwood forests; canyon oak forests; rocky outcrops; and chaparral, all in the steep North Fork of the Feather River canyon.  There will be flat trails and roadside areas to visit for easy access.  Bryophyte diversity will span from California’s spring ephemerals, bryophytes of springs, streamlets, and rivers to the great diversity found on rocky outcrops.  Beginning bryologists are welcome, and they are planning some special activities for beginners, as well as serious fieldtrips  that will be exciting for the hard-core. CLICK HERE for more info.

An Introduction to Bryophytes will be offered by Dr. Stephen Timme in the botany lab on the Pittsburg (Kansas) State University campus on April 2-3. It is designed to provide an introduction to basic characteristics and techniques for identification of some of the more common species found in the prairie, oak/hickory forests, and rock outcrops in the central U.S.  Techniques will include the proper use of the microscope, free-hand sections, terminology, and making semi-permanent mounts. The workshop will be topped off with a field trip. Contact Dr. Timme for more information (417-658-5473 /

Andrews Moss Foray Announced

June 7, 2010

From Keith Bowman at Syracuse Univerisity – I am happy to announce this year’s Andrews Foray.  It will be held in upstate New York around Syracuse.  The details are listed on the website which can be found at the following link.

*Key Dates:*

Registration Deadline – August 1, 2010
Foray Dates – September 17-19, 2010
*Registration cost:*

$105    Full registration including lodging, snacks and meals
$85      Student rate
$65      The charge for meals and registration and no lodging

The registration cost includes lodging an five meals (2 breakfasts, 2
lunches and 1 supper-Saturday), also all refreshments and related expenses.
We will provide light snacks for Friday evening.
Please share the link with anyone that you think might be interested in

Also, note that space is limited and on a first come-first served basis.  If
we have high interest I will try to reserve an additional lodge, but that is
dependent on availability.

Contact me with any questions at

The Crum Bryological Workshop for 2010 Announced

January 22, 2010

The Crum Workshop will be held this year in Tobermory, Ontario, Canada, at the very tip of the Bruce Peninsula, sticking out into Lake Huron, on September 23-28, 2010. Save the dates. There will be more information later in the year about facilities, etc. Our local representative is Jennifer Doubt (

William R. Buck
Institute of Systematic Botany
New York Botanical Garden
Bronx, NY 10458-5126, U.S.A.

phone: 718-817-8624
fax: 718-817-8648

October 2008 NY Rare Moss List Now Available

May 7, 2009

Aissa Feldmann of the New York Natural Heritage Program has just posted the new rare moss list for New York State. This is the first revision of the moss list since the late 1980s and reflects the recent work of Nat Cleavitt, Sue Williams and Nancy Slack. Click Here.