Bryophyte Survey of Brent Island

Mike Ingram has very kindly carried out a Bryophyte survey of The Island for us.  Bryophytes are the oldest living plants on earth and include Mosses, Liverworts and Hornworts.  A previous survey was carried out in 1994 when The Island was acquired for the trust and it is interesting to see the changes in the last 24 years.

Below is Mike's introduction and summary to his full report which can be downloaded here.

" The species list is shown in appendix 1 and shows a number of 59 bryophytes  (11 liverworts and 48 mosses) recorded in 2017 compared to 76 recorded in 1994. 24 species that were recorded in 1994 were not found in 2017 however there were 10 additions to the 1994 list. These were Eucladium verticillatum, Dicranum scoparium, Campylopus introflexus, Campylopus flexuosus, Fissidens adianthoides,Polytrichastrum formosum,Plagiothecium nemorale and Brachythecium velutinum,Fissidens taxifolius var taxifolius and Hypnum resupinatum

 There is a diverse range of habitats on The Island available to bryophytes and the total list of a respectable 84 species for the site, combining both surveys, reflects the species typical of the habitats represented.

 The most significant species in terms of rarity is the Many- leaved Pocket Moss Fissidens polyphyllus which although locally common on the River Avon is nationally rare. The large flattened shoots of this species can be found on rocks and banks in the river around The Island.

 Whilst there was a lower number of species recorded in 2017 compared to 1994 it does not automatically suggest a worrying decline as species can easily be overlooked. However some key habitats that supported species in 1994, eg mature Elders, have now disappeared and some natural changes in vegetation may have made a few places unsuitable for some species."

Plagiochila porelloides (Lesser Featherwort) This liverwort produces distinctive “feathery” mats on sheltered streamside banks.

Orthotrichum pulchellum (Elegant Bristle Moss) A species that often commonly found on twigs.

The Nationally Scarce Fissidens polyphyllus (Many leaved Pocket Moss).

Below is a full list of the Bryophytes found by Mike :

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