Bryolog 30 (25 November 2022)


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

  • Registration is open for SO BE FREE 27, 23-26 June 2023, at the Sagehen Field Station in the Northern Sierra Nevada near Truckee, CA. What could be more pleasant than summer days in the California mountains? Read the detailed announcement and register HERE
  • LESKEA — CA Bryoflora Forum Keying Sessions: variable schedule on Saturdays and Wednesday afternoons, plus office hours, at the Center for Botanical Diversity, DAV Herbarium, UC Davis. More info HERE
  • Bryophyte field survey opportunities in Napa County and at Mt. Diablo. Details HERE 

Quarterly Report

  • Recap of the 2022 CNPS Conference Bryophyte Session HERE
  • California Bryoflora Forum update HERE
  • Rare Plant Committee report HERE

Timeless Bits

  • Photo Gallery: Moss Sporophyte Spotlight HERE

LESKEA — CaBF Keying Sessions

The CA Bryoflora Forum (Stephen Rae, John Hutton and John Game) continue to offer moss identification sessions at the Center for Botanical Diversity DAV herbarium for beginning and intermediate level bryologists on Saturdays, as well as Wednesday afternoons. Schedule is variable: please contact Stephen (sprae[at] or 707-287-0248) about dates and times.

Field Survey Opportunities

— Stephen P. Rae, CaBF

The California Bryoflora Forum (CaBF) is developing several field survey activities extending both the Mt Diablo and Napa County bryophyte flora projects recently published in Madroño. Bryologists interested in joining the survey teams should contact David Hutton for Mt Diablo (huttond475[at] or Stephen Rae for Napa County (stephen.rae[at]

Recap of the 2022 CNPS Conference

— John T. McLaughlin, SJSU Biological Sciences Graduate Student

This fall’s 2022 CNPS Conservation Conference was held in centrally located San Jose, CA, and marked my first time in attendance. I was pleasantly surprised to see such a great turnout, consisting of conservationists, horticulturists, industry professionals, ethnobotanists, and cryptogamists alike. It was a lively event that took place over three days and included workshops, field trips, lightning talks, and presentation sessions, among other activities. Preceding the conference, our current president, Ben Carter, held a comprehensive bryophyte workshop that covered many aspects of bryology, ranging from the basics to current research, and was very well received. 

Current bryophyte and lichen research was well represented at the conference in both the poster and presentation sessions. At the poster session, a number of undergraduate and graduate lichen posters were presented, displaying the often underrepresented diversity of California’s fungal forms. Berkeley’s own, Jenna Ekwealor had a lovely poster highlighting her work with Syntrichia caninervisand discussed her efforts studying this desert species’ phenological patterns. An entire hour and forty-minute session was dedicated to the presentation of bryophyte research, titled “Bryology in California: Recent Advances in Understanding the Large Contribution of our Small Plants.” Despite occurring on the last day of the conference and at eight o’clock on a Saturday, the session was full of eager botanists. The talks were headlined by Jasmine Anenberg from Northern Arizona University, who discussed her doctoral research surrounding biocrust propagation and dryland mosses. The next three presentations followed a united theme looking at biogeographical patterns of California bryophytes in ascending complexity. The first talk was given by myself, where I discussed the bryophyte bioregions in California. Following this, Ben Carter expanded by using the same data set to investigate the phylogenetic diversity of bryophytes in California. Lastly, Brent Mishler conducted more advanced analyses, again using the same data set. Among the conclusions discussed in Brent’s talk, the most central was the fact that we still lack a complete spatial understanding of bryophytes in California. Throughout the session, really insightful questions were posed after each talk, leading to even more impactful discussions. 

Throughout the conference, I recognized a number of folks from past SO BE FREE meetings, but I was also able to network with those from other concentrations. I feel this is the greatest benefit when attending a more generalized conference because it provides new perspectives from a broad spectrum of foci. Being a first-time attendee, I can highly recommend the entire experience. I learned so much about the diversity of research being conducted here in California, and I was proud to represent the CNPS Bryophyte Chapter. It should be noted that the conference was so well attended, that this was the first CNPS conference to sell out. So next time around, make sure to register early!

person speaking, screen, audience
John McLaughlin presents his research on Bryophyte Ecoregions in California at the CNPS Conference Bryophyte Session

California Bryoflora Forum (CaBF)

Since it was started by Stephen Rae in 2021 with a focus on Northern California bryophytes, the CaBF has conducted an Introductory Bryology lab session, seventeen Zoom discussion sessions, and three moss keying/ID lab sessions. Lab sessions at the UC Davis Center for Botanical Diversity have covered specimen collection and curation, floras and keys pertinent to our area of interest, and identification techniques using hand lens, dissecting and compound scopes. Zoom sessions included introduction to the BryoPortal and use of Symbiota (collection record keeping and label generation). And, of course, the Zoom sessions are a peer discussion group welcoming bryologists of all kinds and interests.

Before the end of the year, CaBF participants will be involved in field surveys in Napa County followed by efforts near Mt Diablo. Participants also were invited to be part of a group purchase of surplus dissecting and compound scopes from UC Davis. The group purchase, extended to CNPS state office Rare Plant and Education programs, is expected to be completed by mid-December.

Please contact Dr. Rae (stephen.rae[at] for lab and Zoom session participation details.

Chapter Rare Plant Activities

— Stephen P. Rae, Chapter Rare Species Coordinator (stephen.rae[at]

Chapter members affiliated through the California Bryoflora Forum (CaBF) are identifying areas of rare vascular plant occurrences that may support rare mosses. These areas will be evaluated over the next two months for access and suitability for focused moss surveys looking for the rare species which may occur. Bryologists will then be approached to determine availability to participate in survey teams. We are examining collections of Bryum calobryoides and Hedwigia filiformis to determine if notes on occurrence and range extension warrant publication.

Photo Gallery: Moss Sporophyte Spotlight

Enjoy a small sampling of the diversity of moss sporophytes, shown here in photos from our members. Note the differences in the length of the seta, the degree of coverage by the calyptra, the shape of the capsule, the architecture of the peristome teeth or lack thereof, which mosses have evolved to aid in the dispersal of spores and thus the species.

capsules with calyptrae
Syntrichia caninervis sporophytes, CC BY-NC Kirsten Fisher
calyptrae covering capsulesmouth of capsule and peristome
Orthotrichum columbicum/Orthotrichum consimile, CC BY-NC David Wagner
moss with sporophyte
Encalypta brevicollis, CC BY-NC David Wagner
capsule surrounded by leaves
Schistidium rivulare, CC BY-NC David Wagner
capsule opening by longitudinal slits
Andreaea heinemannii, CC BY-NC David Wagner
capsule with operculum attached after opening
Scouleria marginata, CC BY-NC Judy Harpel
Bryum dichotomum/Gemmabryum dichotomum/Osculatia dichotoma, CC BY-NC David Wagner
Syntrichia princeps, CC BY-NC Brent Mishler


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