In recent treatments of Fissidens subgenus Fissidens, the species delimitation of F. bryoides, the type species of the subgenus, has been rather variable. In Finland, F. bryoides has either been split into F. bryoides, F. gymnandrus and F. viridulus, or treated as a single species, F. bryoides s. lato, including two or more intraspecific taxa. The herbarium material of Finnish F. bryoides, F. gymnandrus and F. viridulus was studied to clarify the distribution and ecological requirements of the three taxa and to find out which morphological and ecological characters are best for their delimitation. The phylogeny lends support to recognizing F. bryoides s. lato including F. gymnandrus and F. viridulus as F. bryoides var. gymnandrus and F. bryoides var. viridulus. The phylogeny reconstruction based on 18 morphological characters that are commonly used to distinguish the taxa could not resolve F. bryoides, F. gymnandrus and F. viridulus as monophyletic species. However, F. bryoides s. lato including all herbarium material of the three species was resolved as a monophyletic group morphologically distinct from the closely related F. pusillus. The synapomorphic characters that distinguish F. bryoides s. lato are the percurrent costa, limbidia that reach the leaf acumen, the acuminate leaf acumen, and a preference for substrates other than rock. We found differences in habitat requirements between the varieties, while sexual systems sometimes vary even within a single specimen. Fissidens bryoides var. bryoides and F. bryoides var. gymnandrus appear to have wider distribution in Finland than expected. Unlike F. bryoides var. viridulus the number of localities of F. bryoides var. bryoides and F. bryoides var. gymnandrus is low. Information on their conservation status is also provided.
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Vol. 55 • No. 4-6