NOTES ON SOME BRYOPHYTES RECORDED IN SUFFOLK IN 1996 R. FISK Although there are few active bryologists in Suffolk, new VC records continue to be made and the latest is Campylopus fragilus found at Redgrave Fen by David Strauss in February. Redgrave Fen was once noted for the variety and abundance of Sphagnum moss which occurred there, the low water level has had a dramatic effect on these sensitive plants. In some measure of compensation three new sites for Sphagnum were found during the year. The first at Stanstead Great Wood where David identified S. fimbriatum, 5. palustre, S. recurvum v. mucronatum and S. squarrosum [This site consisted of a pond with a strĂ¤nge floating island some twenty feet by ten feet which supported a small birch tree. The tree acted as a sail enabling the island to move from one side of the pond to the other. The island consisted almost entirely of moss bound together by the roots of brambles, ferns and the tree. On a visit in May, half a dozen intrepid souls, including Oliver Rackham, were able to cross to the island via a ladder and remained dry shod. Simon Leatherdale, the local Forestry Warden teils me the pond was originally completely overgrown and the island is the result of clearance around the edges which left the central portion floating - MNS]. The other sites are a wood north of Beiton Common where S. fimbriatum and 5. squarrosum were found and Waveney Forest with S. fimbriatum, S. palustre, S. auriculatum and 5. recurvum v. mucronatum. If any members know of any areas where Sphagnum occurs particularly in the South or West of the County I would be pleased to hear from them. A number of interesting epiphyte species were again recorded, lt is assumed due to improving air quality, but the lack of old records makes lt difficult to assess just how rare these were in the past. Cryphaea heteromalla was found at Stuston Common, Holton and Newbourne Springs, Ulota phyllantha at Thorpeness and Brundish, and Frullania dilatata at Cretingham and Fntton. Man-made structures have to Substitute for rock formations in Suffolk and some of these provided interesting records, Zygodon viridissimus v. stirtonu on Dennington Bridge, Grimmia trichophylla on Nacton Church, Tortella flavovirens on an old W W 2 structure at Landguard, Tortula papillosa on Gislingham Church and Radula complanata on the wall of Walberswick churchyard is the only record 1 have for this species on 'rock' in Suffolk. Roadside embankments have revealed a number of rare species in recent years and Pterygoneurum ovatum at Risby was a surprise discovery. the only recent record for this minute moss is from a chalk pit at Little Blakenham. In volume 24 of Suffolk Natural History Peter Wanstall reported the discovery of the moss Leptodontium gemmascens (Mitt. ex Hunt) Braithw. at Wortham ling That remained the only record of this moss in Suffolk until January 25th 1997 when, during the course of a meeting arranged by the Cambridge Group of the British Bryological Society, it was discovered by Dr. H. L. K. Whitehouse. As at Wortham Ling it was growing in damp hollows on mats of decaying grass and rush. It was in scattered colomes over a Wide area and obviously well established. It was found in Dorsel in 1994 but remains a very
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Sujfolk Natural Hislory, Vol. 33
rare plant in Britain. On March 29th I visited Wortham Ling to try and re-find it there. It does still occur in a damp hollow where first found but only in small quantity. The hollows where it was found are now much drier and the mats of decaying Juncus on which it was found are being invaded by the moss Campylopus introflexus (Hedw.) Brid. and it is probably facing an uncertain future. R. J. Fisk 1 Paradise Row Ringsfield Beccles Suffolk NR34 8LQ
Trans. Suffolk Nat. Soc. 33 (1997)
Fisk, R. J.