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Marvellous Mosses!

Autumn brings eXtreme botanical challenges of the bryophyte variety: mosses flourish and become especially luxuriant in the wet autumnal weather and it is an ideal time to renew and refresh our acquaintance with these marvellous little plants!

Guest blog: Mosses, Mosses, everywhere, is that Sphagnum? You think?!

Dr M continues his occasional series of guest blog posts with a glimpse into the wonderful world of the bog mosses (Sphagnum species) by Charlie Campbell.  As you read this, Charlie is travelling north to bog moss capital Sweden, to really indulge his passion through PhD research in Sphagnum ecology!

Tools of the eXtreme botanists trade 4: the RNG herbarium

Dr M is very fond of taking his students into the University of Reading Herbarium to demonstrate the role of the modern herbarium in teaching, research and consultancy.

Dr M’s botanical postcard from the English Lake District

Dr M spent a long weekend in the English Lake District by Wastwater, the deepest lake on the Lake District and just down the road from Scafell Pike which reaches around 1000 m and is shown here hidden in cloud.

Dr M’s common bryophytes: Grey-cushioned Grimmia

Dr M says its high time for another bryophyte blog post! And with all this recent rain the bryophyte flora has really perked up again for its peak autumn season. Mosses are of two main kinds: pleurocarps – branched and creeping for the most part, and acrocarps – unbranched and erect.  One of the commonest acrocarps in the lowlands, growing on base rich and
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Tools of the trade for the field botany student!

The new University term is nearly upon us and students enrolling for the University of Reading MSc Plant Diversity and MSc Species Identification and Survey Skills will be taking Dr M’s module on Vegetation Survey and Assessment on Thursdays in the Autumn Term.

How many species of Bryophytes are there in Britain?

Dr M has previously posted about the number of vascular plants in Britain.  In addition to vascular plants are the so-called lower plants or cryptogams including the Mosses, Liverworts and Algae.

How many vascular plant species are there in Britain?

  Why not  try to answer this question before reading on!     By “plants” Dr M means green plants (containing chlorophyll) and this includes vascular plants (flowering plants, conifers, ferns, horsetails and clubmosses), bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) and green algae.  NB The Plant Kingdom does NOT include the fungi and lichens. Dr M focuses on vascular plants here and will deal with
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