Trainee bryophyte surveyors needed!
John and I have just spent the weekend at the British Bryological Society's (BBS) Bryophyte Ecology group training event for the new bryophyte ecology survey.
This ambitious national survey aims to collect valuable ecological data about widespread moss and liverwort species - information which, amazingly, we just do not have even about very common species!
The best way to get started with bryology is to learn the widespread, big pleurocarp species first. So because this survey focuses on the most common species, it is ideal for beginners, although there is something for everyone, as data for rare or critical species is also needed. The survey method involves collecting 0.5 x 0.25 m quadrat data representative of the various habitats found in a sample of 10 km grid squares across Britain and Ireland. Many quadrats will only have a handful of species present, plus you take 10 replicate quadrats, so you see the same species again and again - a sure fire way to learn them! It really helps with your NVC knowledge too if you also assess the wider vegetation community as the same time.
John and I will be doing the survey this year in South Northumberland on our home patch - so any keen bryophyte surveyors out there - please get in touch via http://www.ptyxis.com/ as we'd love you to join us!