Home   eXtreme botany   Dr M’s field day diary #2 – eXtreme botanists on the bog!

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.

This is a lovely site demonstrating the full range of plant communities from dry heath on the sandy slopes to wet heath and bog in the valley and wet woodland beyond that.

In terms of British Plant Communities here are the main types and the key species associated with each:

Dry heath on the slope – H2 Calluna vulgaris-Ulex minor heath

Dwarf shrubs
Calluna vulgaris (Heather)
Erica cinerea (Bell Heather)
Ulex minor (Dwarf Gorse)

Tree seedlings
Betula pendula (Silver Birch)
Pinus sylvestris (Scots Pine)
Quercus robur (Pedunculate Oak)

Monocots
Luzula multiflora (Heath Wood-rush)
Agrostis capillaris (Common Bent)
Deschampsia flexuosa (Wavy Hair-grass)

Dicots
Veronica officinalis (Heath Speedwell)

Fern
Pteridium aquilinum (Bracken)

Bryophytes:
Campylopus introflexus
Dicranum scoparium
Hypnum jutlandicum

Lichens
Cladonia chlorophaea
Cladonia floerkeana

Wet heath at base of slope – M16 Erica tetralixSphagnum compactum wet heath

Dwarf shrubs
Calluna vulgaris (Heather)
Erica tetralix (Cross-leaved Heath)

Tree seedlings
Betula pendula (Silver Birch)
Pinus sylvestris (Scots Pine)

Monocots
Juncus acutiflorus (Sharp-flowered Rush)
Juncus effusus (Soft-rush)
Luzula multiflora (Heath Wood-rush)
Carex binervis (Green-ribbed Sedge)z
Eriophorum angustifolium (Common Cottongrass)
Molinia caerulea (Purple Moor-grass)

Dicots
Potentilla erecta (Tormentil)

Bryophytes
Sphagnum compactum
Sphagnum fallax
Sphagnum palustre

The main bog –  M21 Narthecium ossifragumSphagnum papillosum valley mire

Dwarf shrubs
Calluna vulgaris (Heather)
Erica tetralix (Cross-leaved Heath)

Tree seedling
Quercus robur (Pedunculate Oak)

Monocots
Juncus bulbosus (Bulbous Rush)
Juncus acutiflorus (Sharp-flowered Rush)
Carex demissa (Common Yellow-sedge)
Carex panicea (Carnation Sedge)
Carex pulicaris (Flea Sedge)
Eriophorum angustifolium (Common Cottongrass)
Rhynchospora alba (White Beak-sedge)
Eleocharis palustris (Common Spike-rush)
Molinia caerulea (Purple Moor-grass)
Narthecium ossifragum (Bog Asphodel)
Potamogeton polygonifolius (Bog Pondweed)

Dicots
Drosera rotundifolia (Round-leaved Sundew)

Mosses
Aulacomnium palustre
Campylium stellatum
Sphagnum capillifolium
Sphagnum papillosum

Wet woodland – W4 Betula pubescensMolinia caerulea woodland

Trees and shrubs
Betula pendula (Silver Birch)
Betula pubescens (Downy Birch)
Salix cinerea (Grey Willow)
Rubus fruticosus agg. (Bramble)

Monocots
Juncus conglomeratus (Compact Rush)
Juncus effusus (Soft-rush)
Molinia caerulea (Purple Moor-grass)
Carex remota (Remote Sedge)
Carex echinata (Star Sedge)

Dicots
Galium aparine (Cleavers)

Ferns
Athyrium filix-femina (Lady-fern)
Dryopteris carthusiana (Narrow Buckler-fern)

Bryophytes
Brachythecium rutabalum
Hypnum cupressiforme
Kindbergia praelonga
Mnium hornum
Polytrichastrum formosum
Sphagnum fimbriatum
Sphagnum palustre 

Dr M says: For more summary descriptions of mire and heath communities you can download the JNCC Guide here

JNCC guide to mires and heaths

Dr M says: Got all that?  Must be time for a drink then, and how about a good old Irish song all about the bog in the valley?

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*