Bryolog 18 (27 November 2019)


As a general policy, check the website for event updates before you walk out the door!

  • The Bristlecone Chapter will be having its annual potluck on 4 December in Bishop, and Paul Wilson will be speaking. Details are posted at
  • Ben Carter will lead a beginner bryophyte hike for the Santa Clara Valley Chapter at Almaden Quicksilver County Park on Saturday 7 December, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Meet at the Hacienda Entrance parking lot at the southern tip of the park along Almaden Road. Bring lunch, snacks, liquids, and a hand lens if you have one. The hike will be 2.5 miles with a moderate uphill climb, but the path is well-shaded. Heavy rain will cancel. For more information, contact Ben Carter at or 805-704-0616.
  • Kiamara Ludwig will lead a beginner bryophyte walk 12 December 2019 at the Regional Parks Botanic Garden in Berkeley, leaving from the visitor’s center at 1:00 p.m. All are welcome. This walk is incorporated into a couple of local college classes (Laney Biology and Biology for non-majors at UC Berkeley).
  • We will have an open microscope day on Saturday 21 December 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at Cal State Northridge. Please RSVP…
  • Students: get in your proposals for mini-grant scholarships, due on New Year’s Eve. RFP…
  • Cancelled: Amanda Heinrich will lead a beginner moss walk for the Channel Islands Chapter Saturday 1 February 2020, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at Lizard’s Mouth along W Camino Cielo in Santa Barbara County. We will slowly make our way along side trails amongst the large boulders and coast live oaks, focusing on some of our larger moss species such as Dendroalsia abietinaAntitrichia californicaPseudobraunia californicaHedwigia detonsa and Homalothecium pinnatifidum. Hand-outs with photos of key species will be provided. Bring water, snacks and a hand lens if you have one. The walk will not be long or strenuous but footing is uneven. For the last hour or so we will head back to San Marcos Pass and walk along Kinevan Road to gaze at the likes of Atrichum selwynii and Claopodium whippleanum. Space between the boulders is limited so please RSVP to  An additional walk will be added Sunday 2 February if enough people RSVP. For those interested in carpooling from the south, meet at the informal parking area along Cathedral Oaks Blvd just west of Highway 154 at 8:30 am. We will gather at the official trailhead into Lizard’s Mouth (with large sign, just east of Winchester Gun Club) at 9:00 a.m. Heavy rain will cancel.
  • On 15 February 2020, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, Kerry Heise, Marisela de Santa Anna, and Jenn Riddel will lead a bryophyte and lichen walk for the Sanhedrin Chapter to Leonard Lake Reserve in Reeves Canyon. This is a private landholding owned by the Dakin Family. The eleven-mile canyon road winds through oaks, redwoods, and rock outcrops, then ends at a freshwater marshy area from the outflow of Leonard Lake. The reserve is about 4,000 acres and has old-growth redwoods, oak woodlands, and open meadows. A USGS core sedimentation study of the lake bottom indicates that the lake was created about 5,000 years ago by a landslide blocking the creek ravine fed by mountain springs. This is the largest natural lake In Mendocino county and the westernmost headwaters of the Russian River. It is 11 miles off US-101 to the west and north of Redwood Valley towards Willits on the Reeves Canyon Road. We will meet at 9:00 am at the CVS in Ukiah for people coming from the south and 9:00 at the Rite Aid in Willits for people coming from the north for carpooling. Bring lunch, snacks, water and a hand lens if you have one. For information and to RSVP, please contact Marisela de Santa Anna at 707-841-7172 or Kerry Heise at 707-459-1500.
  • Scot Loring will teach an introductory two-day bryophyte workshop for the Siskiyou Chapter, 20-21 February 2020 at Shasta College in Redding. The first day will consist of a PowerPoint presentation and lab activities. The following day will be a walk beginning at 10:00 am (destination to be determined). For more information, contact Scot at Our event updates page will list more information as it becomes available.
  • SO BE FREE, our annual foray and chapter meeting, will be held 20-23 March 2020 at the Saratoga Springs Retreat Center in Lake County, California, in the heart of the North Coast Ranges, with a diverse flora ranging from redwoods and mixed evergreens in the lower elevations near the coast, to boreal forests and rocky crests in the higher elevations, to savannas, chaparral, and oak woodlands of the lower elevations in the interior. Details and registration:

Quarterly Report

  • Read Jim Shevock’s Message from the President HERE…
  • Kiamara Ludwig, Jenna Ekwealor and David Hutton lead a successful moss walk. MORE…

Timeless Bits

  • Instructions on how to make a microscope slide holder for your dishwasher by Ken Kellman and Lise Peterson, MORE…
  • Michael Lüth has published a three volume photographic moss flora of Europe. Plates consist of a picture of the habitat, a macro shot, and micrographs of the characters that distinguish the species. It is almost like having one’s own herbarium. A very large proportion of California’s mosses occur in Europe. ORDER ONLINE…
  • Enjoy David Wagner’s gorgeous photo of a Rivulariella gemmipara male shoot and brief introduction to the species, MORE…

Message from the President

—Jim Shevock

I am writing this message to you from the alpine slopes and forests above 9,500 feet of central mountainous Taiwan. Earlier in November I was hiking and collecting in the Trinity Alps of northern California. Fantastic bryophytes up there in the Trinity Alps! And the bryophytes here in Taiwan are stunning too.

Fall is here and the holiday season is upon us. With the end of another year, we can look back at some of the accomplishments the Bryophyte Chapter has made during 2019. Perhaps the biggest action item this year was the implementation of our new student research grant program where we received research proposals and then awarded our first two student research grants for the study of California bryophytes. We are now receiving more proposals, so for those of you who are students and want to pursue a study of bryophytes, check out the program here on the webpage. The application is simple and straightforward. Of course, we seek additional financial support for this new program from the membership, so if you value contributing to the development of the next generation of bryologists, then consider making a year-end tax deduction earmarked specifically for this educational grant program. This can be done via our website or by more traditional venues such as a personal check (yes, some of us still use them).

The second big success was our SO BE FREE foray, number 24, in San Luis Obispo. ‘Hard to believe that was already 8 months ago. We look forward to our number 25 SO BE FREE next March. I hope we have a great turn out, since it will be a memorable event. If you still have not registered, it’s only four months away, so it is indeed time to make plans and register without further delay.

There still is so much our chapter could do to advance the awareness, appreciation, and conservation of bryophytes. Of course our chapter liaisons are doing lots of great things by lining up bryological field trips and presentations to various chapters. However, there is also the need for the Bryophyte Chapter to focus on refining those bryophyte species that should be part of the CNPS Rare Plant Inventory where more direct conservation action can be provided. Determining which bryophytes are indeed rare throughout California continually needs refinement. We need to update information on the status of known occurrences, identify possible threats to populations, and seek-out new occurrences through focused surveys. A two to three page status report for a species is the type of document that would move this activity along. Adding new bryophytes or revising the rarity status of species currently in the CNPS Inventory requires updated information. If you are interested in adopting a California bryophyte and developing an updated status report for it, let me know. And if you have species that you believe should be on the CNPS Rare Plant Inventory, then a status report will be the first piece of data needed to move that discussion and evaluation along.

As a final note, please support our bryophyte chapter by either becoming a member or renewing your membership when the notice arrives from the Sacramento office. Being a non-geographically based chapter within the CNPS family, we lack the opportunity for more frequent get-togethers, so we need to use this medium of the Bryolog newsletter and our chapter website to share information among us.


Mount Diablo

Despite the lack of rain, Kiamara Ludwig, Jenna Ekwealor and David Hutton lead a successful moss walk on 16 November for the CNPS East Bay Chapter along the Trail through Time at Mount Diablo State Park. They identified many bryophytes, including a large patch of Pseudobraunia californica, two Porella species, and an Asterella. Jenna was able to photograph and enlarge the Asterella’s reproductive parts for the thirteen attendees to see.

people standing around and one looking at a moss on a tree

A Homemade Holder to Wash Microscope Slides in Your Dishwasher

— Ken Kellman and Lise Peterson

We continually find a pile of used microscope slides on our desk. I guess that means we don’t have the discipline to wash and wipe our slides after we finish looking at each specimen. Rather than throwing out these slides, we decided to create a dishwasher-ready holder to clean and dry about a dozen at once.

Step 1: Buy four combs of the styles and sizes shown below.  The teeth should be about 2mm apart. (We recommend that you buy the least expensive combs that you can find, as that makes step 2 easier.) We found these in the dollar store in packs of 12.

The combs on the left will hold the slides, while the ones on the right are for the crossbars.

plastic combs and a ruler

Step 2: Using scissors, remove the handles from the holder combs, and most of the fine-tooth sections from the crossbars. The crossbars should be the length of a slide (3”).  Save the handles for use in Step 4.

glass slide and plastic combs cut up

Step 3: Intersect the combs so that the holders are spaced the correct distance for holding a slide.

combs and slide fitted together

Step 4: Using a soldering iron, melt combs together at corners.  DO THIS ONLY IN A WELL-VENTILATED SPACE. Use handles from Step 2 as extra solder material.  Don’t be concerned if your finished stand does not lie flat on a table. Most dishwasher top racks don’t have a flat surface anyway.

* If you don’t have access to a soldering iron, try urethane caulk or a viscous adhesive such as Gorilla glue. We can confirm that latex caulk does not hold up to dishwasher temperatures. If you use some sort of glue, try to keep it from the inner surfaces.

soldering the combs together

Step 5: Load up the holder, allowing two teeth (about ¼”) between slides.  (This spacing keeps water from being trapped between slides and leaving spots on them.) Stretch a rubber band around the circumference of the stand to hold the slides in place during the turbulent dishwasher spray.

apparatus all loaded up with slides

Step 6: Place in top rack of dishwasher.  Run dishwasher according to manufacturer’s recommendations. We welcome suggestions to improve this gadget.

Next up: washing slips?

A Brief Introduction to Rivulariella gemmipara

—David Wagner

liverwort as seen through a dissecting microscope
Male shoot of Rivulariella gemmipara, found in the Three Sisters Wilderness in Oregon in July 2019.

Rivulariella gemmipara was first found in Utah in 1938 and described as Chiloscyphus gemmiparus by Alexander Evans. It has never been found in Utah since. It is quite rare yet widespread: from the Aleutian Islands down to Washington, Oregon and California. It is known from fewer than 15 localities worldwide. The genus was erected when I found fertile material in Oregon and Barbara Thiers found similar fertile material in California. This demonstrated it had been placed in the wrong family by Evans (Wagner, D.H. 2013. Rivulariella gen. nov. (Jungermanniaceae), endemic to western North America. Phytoneuron 2013-11: 1-9). The genus name recognizes its affinity for small rivulets.

Most known localities are in the Three Sisters Wilderness in the central Cascades, probably because that’s where I’ve done most of my field work in subalpine communities. It is a strict aquatic with precise habitat requirements: it is found only in small streams a short distance below a permanent, cold water spring so water levels and temperature are constant. It grows exclusively on pebbles and small rocks; not on bedrock nor on wood; not in still water nor in fast-moving water. It is almost exclusively alpine-subalpine except for a recent discovery in along the Coquille River in SW Oregon.

♥ ♥ ♥

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