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Sphagnum fuscum

Discuss the wonderful plant life of the Outer Hebrides here
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Tristan
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Sphagnum fuscum

Post by Tristan » 15 May 2013, 08:35

fuscum.jpg
Attached is a photo of the moss Sphagnum fuscum that I took at the weekend. This species is found in undisturbed bogs and although it appears only to have been recorded in two 1 km squares in the Outer Hebrides in the past, I have recently found it at two new locations in the South Lochs area of Lewis and it may turn out to be quite widespread.

It is a hummock-forming species and the colour is characteristic - described as 'ginger-brown' in the books, it reminds me of ground cumin. (Incidentally, the colour of the attached photo looks quite different on my desktop and laptop.) There are few potential confusion species, but the very common Sphagnum capillifolium, which is usually red, can look similar. If in doubt, extract a shoot from the hummock and you should find at least a trace of crimson colour on the stem and leaves of S. capillifolium. This is never the case with S. fuscum.

Tristan

Matt T
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Re: Sphagnum fuscum

Post by Matt T » 15 May 2013, 10:27

Hi Tristan,

Thanks for your post. If you have not already done so, it would be great if you could pass records on to Outer Hebrides Biological Recording - http://www.ohbr.org.uk/

You might also consider nominating S.fuscum as one of your Hebrides Little 5? I'd love to see lots of bryophytes in the list!

Or entering your photo into the photographic competition this year?

Happy botanising.
Matt
Matt Topsfield
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chrisjohnson
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Re: Sphagnum fuscum

Post by chrisjohnson » 15 May 2013, 16:45

Hi Tristan

A nice find. There are 5 records for VC110, all recorded by the British Bryological Society's meeting to Lewis and Harris in July 2007.

The field guide suggests finding it at over 500 metres, is this the sort of altitude where you found yours?

Regards,

Chris

Tristan
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Re: Sphagnum fuscum

Post by Tristan » 16 May 2013, 09:17

Thanks, Chris. I've a suspicion that some of the five previous records might involve the same information being entered more than once by different people, but anyway, they relate to just two 10 km squares. My three sightings (which include one of the BBS sites) were at altitudes of 105 m, 48 m and 67 m, and all were in pool-and-hummock areas.

And Matt, I shall definitely be submitting my records, but I am still a relative newcomer to bryology and working to achieve a 'clean' set of records.

Tristan

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