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Dr M’s Marvellous Mosses: Introduction

Dr M is particularly fond of bryophytes and the following described two days spent with his students on the MSc Plant Diversity and MSc SISS at University of Reading getting to know these wonderful little green things intimately!

Botanical hello’s and goodbye’s at the University of Reading!

Dr M says: It’s that time of year again! Last year’s University of Reading MSc Plant Diversity students (class of 2015 pictured above) are just about finishing their dissertations and we are already wishing them well as they get ready to move on to botanical pastures new, while the class of 2016 are soon to be on their way to Reading for a new exciting
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Dr M’s Botany bus Diary – Day 5 Wistmans Wood, Dartmoor

Day 5 of Dr M’s University of Reading MSc Plant Diversity field course and our eXtreme botanists head from the coast of Dorset to Cornwall making a diversion through the uplands of Dartmoor, and a stop off at Wistman’s Wood – a rare relict example of the ancient upland woodlands of Dartmoor. Wistman’s Wood, situated amidst acid grassland heath and bog, is a famous botanical site situated on
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London’s first Moss Trail!

Dr M is delighted to present this post on London’s first moss trail at the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI), based in Tulse Hill, launched London’s first Moss Trail in its garden on Saturday 14 March 2015. The Moss Trail features twelve different kinds of moss, all clearly labelled in a trail around the garden. The Moss Trail launch was part of the SLBI’s “Moss Day”
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Dr M’s botanical selfies head north to a Swedish Sphagnum fancier…

Dr M is always delighted when his students move on from University of Reading to push botanical boundaries forward in their careers, and Charlie Campbell is one such, one of Dr M’s recent MSc Plant Diversity students and now a PhD student and deep Sphagnophile to boot! Charlie is already known to DrMGoesWild, previously seen discussing, you guessed it, Sphagnum (check his previous Sphagnum post here). But now
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Dr M’s field day diary #2 – eXtreme botanists on the bog!

This week Dr M has been taking his MSc students on a week of field days, visiting a range of sites and habitats not too far from Reading. Here is the second post from Dr M’s field day diary: Day 2: Student botanists on the bog at Wildmoor Heath, Berkshire.

Dr M’s Marvellous Mosses: 9 Hypnales – (most of) the Pleurocarps

A very large order comprising most of the pleurocarpous mosses with perhaps 4400 species world-wide!

Dr M’s Marvellous Mosses: 8 Orthotrichales

An order of epiphytic acrocarps, about 100 species world-wide and forming cushions on trees or rocks. The leaves are lanceolate and recurved at the margin, and are either overlapping when dry (e.g. Orthotrichum) or twisted when dry (e.g. Ulota).

Dr M’s Marvellous Mosses: 7 Booby-licious Bryales

Bryales is a large order of acrocarpous mosses containing about 500 species world-wide, and found growing on soil, rocks and walls.

Dr M’s Marvellous Mosses: 6 Funariales

A small order in Britain (but about 135 species world-wide), including a very common and characteristic species, Funaria hygrometrica, growing on old bonfire sites, disturbed ground and garden and other horticultural habitats.