A comparison of distribution patterns in British and Irish mosses and liverworts

Preston, Christopher D.; Harrower, Colin A.; Hill, Mark O.. 2013 A comparison of distribution patterns in British and Irish mosses and liverworts. Journal of Bryology, 35 (2). 71-87.

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We classified 747 species of British and Irish mosses into 10 clusters, based on their recorded distribution in 10610 km grid squares (hectads). We generated the clusters in a two-stage process using the CLUSTASPEC program, the method that we had earlier used for British and Irish liverworts and hornworts. The clusters are named after the species with distributions which are most similar to those of the clusters as a whole. Clusters of widespread species (Bryum capillare), southern, lowland species (Rhynchostegium confertum), widespread calcifuges (Pleurozium schreberi), upland species (Blindia acuta), and montane calcifuges (Kiaeria falcata) closely match clusters recognised in the liverworts. The remaining clusters (Tortella flavovirens, Weissia longifolia, Mnium stellare, Encalypta alpina, Mnium lycopodioides) are less similar. The classification of mosses into 15 and 20 clusters generates additional clusters of hyperoceanic and montane mosses which also resemble liverwort clusters. The influence of calcareous bedrock has a more marked effect in determining moss distributions and, unlike the liverworts, the 10 moss clusters include one which is predominantly coastal. Mosses tend to be a less upland group than liverworts; a smaller proportion of their species have northern and western distributions and the lowland clusters are characterised by more extreme environmental conditions. As with the liverworts, geographically restricted clusters of species with predominantly Mediterranean-Atlantic, Arctic-montane and Boreo-arctic Montane world ranges include marked concentrations of threatened species, and species which are not recorded as fruiting in the British Isles.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 1 - Observations, Patterns, and Predictions for Biodiversity
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: UKCEH Fellows
ISSN: 0373-6687
Additional Keywords: climate, cluster analysis, geology, nested distributions, phytogeography, threat
NORA Subject Terms: Botany
Date made live: 18 Jun 2013 09:14 +0 (UTC)

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