Moss Dissection

Here you can post pictures and videos to show others.
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Re: Moss Dissection

#31 Post by hkv » Fri Nov 23, 2018 8:32 pm

Cool! Very interesting to see!

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Re: Moss Dissection

#32 Post by mrsonchus » Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:33 pm

PNWmossnerd wrote:It is wonderful to see some mosses in the limelight! The excitement in this thread is palpable.

Those archegonia images are beautiful!

I find that for mosses a one to one mixture of PVA and pure glycerine makes a fantastic mounting medium which lasts slightly longer than PVA by itself. There is a journal article published by Richard Zander (a moss expert at the Missouri Botanical Garden) published comparing various semi permanent mounting mediums. I will try to find it, it is very informative.

I also have some general advice for dissecting and identifying mosses which I can post here if anyone is interested.

Finally, if anyone wants a consult on a moss (or liverwort or lichen) ID I would be happy to chime in. I have taught college courses on moss, liverwort, and lichen identification and have a great deal of experience working with these critters.
Thanks, really pleased you like them. It's very handy indeed to have you here and very generous of you to offer help re moss ID! I and surely others would definitely like to see. I've really only just started to look at bryophytes, mainly mosses but also liverworts, closely, and could do with any help you can give if you have the time.
I'd also be most keen to ask your advice re different mosses I'm trying to ID, especially how to ID perhaps to Genus, maybe even species, the mosses I find that have no mature capsules.....

Thanks also for the Zander article, very handy indeed - I'm going to try the PVOH/glycerin for sure, hopefully tomorrow.....

Thanks for your interest, great to have your input.

John B.
John B

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Re: Moss Dissection

#33 Post by MichaelG. » Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:41 pm

PNWmossnerd wrote: I have also attached the .pdf of the R. Zander article which I mentioned earlier.
Thanks for that, and for the other links.

Too many 'projects'

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Re: Moss Dissection

#34 Post by PNWmossnerd » Sun Nov 25, 2018 5:16 am

I will post a new thread tomorrow or Monday where I describe my process for IDing mosses based only on their gametophytes. Bearing in mind which characters are important can speed up the process a lot. Fortunately, a lot of the process is simply making detailed observations of leaf anatomy and morphology under a compound microscope. When I teach moss identification to students, the most difficult part is getting them comfortable with the idea that most mosses require examination under a compound microscope to identify confidently to species. It certainly seems like that element won't be an issue for you. I am always happy to help someone discover the "tiny forest" of mosses and liverworts.

As have you have already found out, the sporophytes contain most of the characters which delineate orders and families of mosses. However, many genera are defined primarily based on gametophyte characters and many families often have broadly similar-looking gametophytes.

I try to identify samples to genus using "easy" characters. Then, use a key to species in the genus to ID to species. As with everything else in taxonomy, it is all about remembering nested sets of characters.

Bryophyte ID is tricky, but addicting!

I find that liverworts are a little bit easier since there are far fewer genera than mosses in temperate regions of the world. You may quickly be able to "sight ID" most of the genera in your area. There are only a few dozen genera of liverworts in most temperate parts of the world. There are usually far more mosses. Mosses after all are the second most speciose lineage of plants! Liverworts are much more diverse in tropical parts of the world, so those of us in temperate regions rarely get to see most of the world's liverwort diversity.

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