Bryolog 26 (25 November 2021)
- Run for the Chapter’s Board of Directors
A volunteer organization like ours only runs if people step up and take part. Positions on the Chapter Board begin their two-year terms on 1 April, but terms are staggered such that two positions are up for election each year. This year, the President Elect and Treasurer positions will be voted on. The duties of the positions are spelled out here: https://chapters.cnps.org/bryophyte/about/. If you are interested in running for one of these positions, please contact Brent Mishler at firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 December 2021. The election will be held in February 2022; to be announced in the next issue of Bryolog.
- SO BE FREE 26 will be held 25–28 March 2022 in the Mojave Desert. Slots are filling up fast and are expected to be full by the end of December. Register here: https://bryophyte.cnps.org/images/pdf/2022_SBF_Flyer.pdf. If you need more convincing, read Kirsten’s invitation with enticing photos here…
- Friends of the Jepson Herbarium OPEN MICroscope night (virtual) with Brent Mishler 1 December 2021. Details here…
- Beginner walk and microscopy session in San Luis Obispo, Saturday, 8 January 2022. Details here…
- Walk focusing on non-flowering plants at Temescal Gateway Park in Santa Monica, Saturday, 15 January 2022. Details here…
- Andy Pigniolo will give a talk on the Liverworts and Hornworts of San Diego County on Saturday, 12 February 2022 at 3 pm at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. Details here…
- Virtual Workshop, “Introduction to Bryophytes,” Saturday 12 March 2022—a good complement to SO BE FREE! Details here…
- Opening for Student Service Contractor: Botanist/Ecologist, USGS at Western Ecological Research Center, with special focus on the management and restoration of vascular plants and biological soil crusts. Start date negotiable. Read the full announcement here:
- Taxa lists for SO BE FREE 25, compiled by Ed Dearing.
- Adorable leafy liverwort, Mesoptychia polymorpha, spotted on South Coast, by Amanda Heinrich. Details here…
- The special bryophyte issue of Madroño, A West American Journal of Botany, published by the California Botanical Society (CBS), Volume 68, Issue 3, 2021, is now available. Order here https://calbotsoc.org/order-issues/#bryoflora
This year’s SO BE FREE will take place in the stunning Mojave Desert—while the desert might not be the first destination you associate with all things bryological, the Mojave supports a number of fascinating and resilient bryophytes, if you know where to look! Our home base for this excursion will be the Desert Studies Center in historic Zzyzx, CA. Nestled amongst several natural springs on the edge of a dry soda lake, Zzyzx and its surrounding habitats has been a draw for humans and wildlife for thousands of years. The Desert Studies Center is also situated within the Mojave National Preserve, where we will explore habitats hosting desert mosses and liverworts.
Register here https://bryophyte.cnps.org/images/pdf/2022_SBF_Flyer.pdf.Check out Brent Mishler’s Virtual Workshop, “Introduction to Bryophytes,” Saturday 12 March 2022, a good complement, here…
On 1 December 2021, from 6:30–8:30 p.m., Brent Mishler will talk on Zoom about bryophytes and their biology, and share new information resulting from his integrative project on the moss clade Syntrichia that ranges from genomes through systematics and physiology, to the important ecological role these mosses play in fragile biotic soil crust environments in drylands around the world. All questions are welcome, anything from basic biology to species concepts are all fair game! Registration is free, but is limited to members of the Friends of the Jepson Herbarium. To sign up see: https://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/workshops/
Beginner walk and microscopy session in San Luis Obispo, Saturday, 8 January, 2022 unless it is raining, in which case the event re-schedules for Saturday, 22 January, 2022. Starts at 9:00 a.m. on the campus of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in Fisher Science 33-354. Enter campus via Grand Ave or Highland Drive—Grand Ave is closer to the building. Buy a day parking pass from one of the electronic kiosks. Parking in the K1 lot is best followed by a short walk downhill to the lab. From the lab, we will walk Poly Canyon. Those who wish to, can stay for a microscope session after the walk. For updates, email Paul, email@example.com
Walk focusing on non-flowering plants at Temescal Gateway Park in Santa Monica, Saturday, 15 January, 2022 unless it is raining, in which case the event re-schedules for Saturday, 29 January, 2022. Starts at 9:30 a.m. at the parking lot (though if you walk in, you can save on parking fees). For updates, email Paul, firstname.lastname@example.org
Andy Pigniolo will give a talk on the Liverworts and Hornworts of San Diego County to the Torrey Pines Docent Society on Saturday, 12 February, 2022 at 3 p.m. at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. The event is free (with parking fee) and open to the public. Meet at the pavilion area near the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve Lodge and upper parking lots. For more information and updates, please email Andy, email@example.com
Saturday 12 March 2022 – a good complement to SO BE FREE! On 12 March 2022 (9:00–12:00 & 1:00–4:00), Brent Mishler will lead a virtual workshop, “Introduction to Bryophytes,” hosted by the Jepson Herbarium. This is a virtual reincarnation of the famous in-person Jepson workshop offered every other year since 1994, and like its predecessors will provide participants with the opportunity to learn more about the evolution, ecology, and systematics of mosses, liverworts, and hornworts. It will also cover introductory topics on how to identify them. Given the virtual format, we will not be able to have the hands-on microscope sessions and field trip we have traditionally included, but we will cover some useful techniques through demonstrations.
The timing of this workshop is perfect for SO BE FREE 26, which will be held 25–28 March 2022 in the Mojave desert at Zzyzx. Hands-on microscope sessions and field trips will be held there. The usual beginners session will be held the first morning of SBF, but we’ll do that in the field rather than repeating the introductory material given in the March 12th workshop.
So those who can attend both this workshop and SO BE FREE will get a very complete introduction to the world of bryology, although each freestanding event is valuable in itself. Registration details for the workshop will be posted on December 1st at https://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/workshops/
—compiled by Ed Dearing, firstname.lastname@example.org
—edited by David Toren and Jim Shevock
Saratoga Springs, Lake County, CA
Didymodon brachyphyllus (Vinealobryum brachyphyllum)
Didymodon tophaceus (Geheebia tophacea)
Didymodon vinealis (Vinealobryum vineale)
—list compiled by David Toren and Ed Dearing, July 2020
Bridge Arbor/Robinson Creek, Lake County, CA
Didymodon norrisii (Vinealobryum norrisii)
Didymodon vinealis (Vinealobryum vineale)
—Collections and observations by David Toren, Brent Mishler, and Ed Dearing
Muir Mill Canyon, Mendocino County, CA
Conocephalum conicum s.l.
Didymodon nicholsonii (Vinealobryum nicholsonii)
Didymodon vinealis (Vinealobryum vineale)
Plagiobryoides cf. renauldii
hornwort- collected by Kleinman & Blisard
—Collections and observations by Jim Shevock, Marisela De Santa Anna, Kerry Heise, Russ Kleinman, Karen Blisard, John Spence, and Ed Dearing
Adorable leafy liverwort, Mesoptychia polymorpha Stotler, Crandall-Stotler & Bakalin, spotted on the South Coast
—Amanda Heinrich, Channel Islands Chapter Liaison
After a recent visit to Nojoqui Falls, a popular tourist attraction here in Santa Barbara County, I discovered a tiny, delicate, leafy liverwort in several of my photos.
I did not recognize the species and returned to the site to assess the population and make a microcollection. Unable to key the little darling out to any degree of satisfaction, I sent photos to David Wagner, who assured me with utter confidence that it was none other than Mesoptychia polymorpha.
Mesoptychia polymorpha was described in 2013 by Crandall-Stotler, B., R.E. Stotler, V.A. Bakalin, and W.T. Doyle (http://archive.sciendo.com/PBJ/pbj.2013.58.issue-1/pbj-2013-0009/pbj-2013-0009.pdf), and was thought to be restricted to a few locations among the coastal redwoods in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties.
Mesoptychia polymorpha has been found on “continuously moist, deeply shaded calcareous substrates,” which fits the bill. The ~100 foot high Nojoqui Falls are fed by a spring and typically have at least a trickle of water year round. Calcium and magnesium carbonate from the rocks above are dissolved in Nojoqui Creek and deposited on the cliff wall as the water evaporates, forming a porous limestone deposit called travertine.
A small population of Mesoptychia polymorpha is growing in the tiny dark cavelets of travertine, scattered amongst other bryophytes such as Eucladium verticillatum, Fissidens bryoides and Phaeoceros pearsonii, in the drips adjacent to the main falls, shaded by Big Leaf Maple, California Bay, and the steep cliffs forming the narrow canyon.
Nojoqui Falls (pronounced Naw-ho-wee) were named after a nearby Chumash village, Naxuwi, which is thought to mean “meadow.” They are at the base of the north face of the Santa Ynez Mountains, the westernmost of California’s east-west running Transverse Ranges, and are just 4 miles north of the south coast. The short trail up to the falls passes through the Cretaceous Jalama shale formation, which has been eroded by Nojoqui creek over millennia, forming the canyon. The falls cascade over Jalama sandstone, which is more resistant to erosion, and as the travertine deposits slowly build up, the cliff actually grows outward.
One of the great mysteries of Mesoptychia polymorpha is its mechanism of dispersal. Although antheridia and archegonia have been found on plants, sporophytes have never been seen. Indeed, on my many subsequent trips to visit the plants this past year, I failed to find any sporophytes. In the absence of spores, how would these plants have spread to adjacent canyons in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, let alone down to Santa Barbara County? Perhaps time will tell.