Bryology

Studies in evolution, ecology and conservation of mosses, liverworts and hornworts at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Oct 212016
 
Globally rare Scottish moss rediscovered at type locality after nearly 120 years

Despite its internationally important bryophyte flora Scotland has relatively few truly endemic species (perhaps four), and even some of these have a rather ambiguous taxonomic status due to their uncertain affinities to more widespread taxa. Molecular data can be critical for confirming or rejecting species as distinct and can also sometimes uncover “cryptic” species that […]

Sep 142016
 
A phylogeny of Sphaerocarpos

In conjunction with Dr Daniela Schill’s monographic work on Sphaerocarpos, we’ve been building a molecular phylogeny for the genus. We have attempted to extract DNA from 66 accessions, including three S. cristatus, all from California, seven S. donnellii from the US, five S. drewei from California, two S. hians, 13 S. michelii from France, Great […]

Sep 122016
 
This tiny “animal-swallowing” liverwort is spreading rampantly through our forests (and that’s cool!)

Colura calyptrifolia (or to give it its appropriately creepy-sounding common name, the Fingered Cowlwort), is one of our most fascinating UK liverworts. Absolutely tiny (the leaves are about a millimetre long and whole plants often only 2-3 mm), it is heavily modified from the basic leafy-liverwort body plan, the leaves formed into inflated sacs like […]

Sep 092016
 
Sphaerocarpos, preview to a monograph

The Sphaerocarpales (or “Bottle Liverworts”) form a very distinct group in the complex thalloid liverworts, with ca. 30 species in five genera: originally the group just included Geothallus (monospecific), Sphaerocarpos (8-9 species) and Riella (ca. 20 species), with two more monospecific genera, Austroriella and Monocarpus, added within the last few years. All five genera have very unusual, […]

Sep 082016
 
A rapid phylogeny of Marchantia, from the RBGE collections. II. Illuminating our sampling

One of the main problems with sampling largely from herbarium specimens, rather than from material that has been specifically collected for DNA work (rapidly dried in silica gel then maintained at low humidity), is that the quality of the DNA is unpredictable and usually rather poor. Therefore, despite starting out with 169 accessions and about […]

Sep 062016
 
Student projects at RBGE: DNA barcoding of the leafy liverwort genus Herbertus Gray in Europe and a review of the taxonomic status of Herbertus borealis Crundw.

University of Edinburgh/RBGE student David Bell, studying for the Masters degree in the Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants; thesis submitted August 2009. Supervisors: Dr David Long and Dr Michelle Hart.   David used plastid DNA barcode markers rbcL (from 34 accessions) and psbA-trnH (from 36 accessions) to look at the four species of Herbertus in […]

Aug 122016
 
Student projects at RBGE: Barcoding British Liverworts: Metzgeria

University of Edinburgh/RBGE student Kimberley Fackler, studying for the Masters degree in the Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants; thesis submitted August 2013. Supervisors: David Bell, Dr David Long and Dr Laura Forrest.   Kim sampled from the six species of Metzgeria generally recognised to occur in the UK. She used standard DNA barcode markers rbcL, […]

Aug 122016
 
Student projects at RBGE: Barcoding British Liverworts: Plagiochila (Dumort.) Dumort.

University of Edinburgh/RBGE student Lucy Reed, studying for the Masters degree in the Biodiversity and Taxonomy of Plants; thesis submitted August 2011. Supervisors: Dr David Long, Dr Michelle Hart and David Bell. The leafy liverwort genus Plagiochila is known for high levels of infraspecific morphological variation and blurred species boundaries. To address this, Lucy sequenced […]

Aug 122016
 
Student projects at RBGE: DNA barcoding British liverworts: Lophocolea

University of Edinburgh Biotechnology student Kenneth McKinlay’s 4th year honours project, 2013. Supervisors: Dr David Long, Dr Laura Forrest Kenneth barcoded all six species of British Lophocolea, L. bidentata, L. bispinosa, L. brookwoodiana, L. fragrans, L. heterophylla and L. semiteres, attempting to get data from three plastid regions (rbcL, matK, psbA-trnH) and one nuclear region […]