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The “knot-hole moss” [Anacamptodon splachnoides (Fröhl. ex Brid.) Brid.] is seldom collected by bryologists, and is considered uncommon or even rare. However, 24 collections of A. splachnoides were made from trunks of red maple (Acer rubrum L.), sugar maple (Acer saccharumMarsh.), and chestnut oak (Quercus montana Willd.), as well as from the upper pilear surface of basidiomata (“conks”) of the “mossy-cap polypore” [Oxyporus populinus Fr. = Fomes connatus (Weinm.) Gillet]. Most collections were made in Pennsylvania. Of the 24 collections, 11 were from moist knotholes, seven from moist decayed hollows or crevices, three from limb/trunk crotches, and three from mossy-cap polypore conks. Twenty-three of the 24 collections were made during the summer of 2006. Anacamptodon splachnoides was found in both closed forests and open parks, and at both high and low elevations. These results indicate that A. splachnoides is not uncommon, but overlooked because of its specific habitat.
Using a random sampling scheme, we surveyed mountain streams of western Washington, western Oregon, and northern California for Leptogium rivale and Peltigera hydrothyria We report 36 new records for L. rivale and 10 new records of P. hydrothyria
The dung moss Splachnum ampullaceum is reported from a high elevation pitch pine — spruce—sphagnum wetland in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia. The only previous collection was made in 1968. This collection is the first to be included in state herbaria. The two collections (made in 1968 and 2005) were found growing on soil (presumably humified dung) in the Allegheny Front region (Spruce Knob and Red Creek Plains, respectively) in the Monongahela National Forest. The distance between the two sites was only 35 km (and 37 years). The abundantly fruiting plants, with conspicuous red setae (6–7 cm long) and two-tone capsules (yellow above, purple and swollen below), were overgrown by Sphagnum, as is typical for this ephemeral moss. Spores from two capsules were introduced onto peat pellets sprinkled with composted cow manure. Protonemata covered the pellets in three weeks and developed into a dense tuft (1.2 cm high after six months in culture) of bright green shoots that showed primarily vertical growth. This appeared to mimic the two-stage process in nature whereby a dung moss claims a dung pat: establishment phase of spreading protonemata and subsequent vertical vegetative phase. S. ampullaceum is a circumboreal-montane species that tends to have a scattered distribution. It evidently favors cool, moist conditions that retard decay of the dung, thereby allowing time for sporophyte maturation and fly-mediated spore dispersal to fresh dung. The best approach for conservation of this staterare species is to preserve high-elevation wetland habitat, particularly Sphagnum-dominated wetlands in the Allegheny Front.
Four mosses collected in West Virginia (Sphagnum magellanicum, S. fallax, S. girgensohnii, and A. angustatum) were sent into the stratosphere in April 2006, in or on a foam box tied to a weather balloon. Moist shoots of the three Sphagnum species were placed both inside the box (normal conditions: 1 atmosphere pressure, temperatures between 25 and 30° C) and on the outside of the box (stratospheric conditions, with temperatures as low as -30° C). Two samples of dry shoots were also exposed to the stratosphere: S. fallax (two capitula from a WVA herbarium specimen) and A. angustatum (local collection with capsules). The balloon ride lasted about four hours, with two hours in the stratosphere. Mosses were tested for viability by culturing shoots (all species) or spores (Atrichum only) in the laboratory for 28 days. All four mosses survived the ride inside the box, as expected. Three of the four mosses (all except S. girgensohnii) survived exposure to the stratosphere in that they showed at least initial stages of regeneration (secondary protonemata and juvenile shoots). Fragments from two (of three) peat mosses exposure to the stratosphere produced bright green thalloid protonemata and juvenile shoots on stems and branches. Our data suggest that three of the four tested mosses would survive strong updrafts during wind dispersal in nature, which would help explain their broad distributions.