Helodium blandowii

Helodium blandowii

name = Blandow's Feathermoss
status = G5
status_system = TNC
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Bryophyta
classis = Bryopsida
subclassis = Bryidae
ordo = Hypnales
familia = Helodiaceae
genus = "Helodium"
species = "H. blandowii"
binomial = "Helodium blandowii"
binomial_authority = (F. Weber & D. Mohr) Warnst.
Blandow's bogmoss ("Helodium blandowii"), also known as Blandow's feathermoss, is a rare plant in the Western U.S., including Oregon and California. It occurs all around the northern hemisphere in higher latitudes, and in some places is not as rare as in the Western U.S.

Technical description

*Plants yellow-green, in loose tufts: ascending even though pleurocarpous, regularly and closely pinnately branched, the branches all in one plane like a feather.
*Stems 4–11 cm long, more or less erect (quite stiff when dry), densely clothed in unbranched (but lobed) green filamentous paraphyllia becoming brown below.
*Branches unequal, simple, widely spaced on stem, about 1 cm long.
*Stem leaves large, more or less triangular-ovate, shortly and slenderly acuminate, somewhat plicate (concave), appressed except at the tips, with paraphyllia emanating from the decurrent leaf bases; margins plane or often revolute, entire or irregularly serrulate or dentate in the middle and lower part of the leaf; costa extending beyond the middle, 1.3–1.8 × 0.7–1 mm.
*Branch leaves small (about 0.8 mm long) and contorted when dry, broadly ovate-acuminate to ovate-lanceolate. Autoicous, the perigonia and perichaetia on the stems.
*Seta 3–5 cm long, slender, reddish-brown.
*Capsules rare; when present, smooth, oblong-cylindric, becoming strongly arcuate (curved) and cernuous (incurved), the short neck somewhat wrinkled, the urn 2½–3½ mm long, yellowish-brown becoming reddish-brown with age; operculum conic, pointed, to 0.8 mm long; annulus of 3 rows of deciduous cells; cilia 2–3, long, and more or less appendiculate.
*Spores smooth, mature in August.
*Calyptra cucullate.cite book
last = Christy
first = John A.
coauthors = David H. Wagner
year = 1996
chapter = "VII"
title = Guide for the Identification of Rare, Threatened, or Sensitive Bryophytes in the Range of the Northern Spotted Owl, Western Washington, Western Oregon, and Northwestern California: A Cooperative Project of the Eugene District, USDI Bureau of Land Management; Siuslaw National Forest, USDA Forest Service; The Nature Conservancy; and the Northwest Botanical Institute.
pages = 34
] cite journal
author = Lawton, Elva
year = 1971
title = Moss Flora of the Pacific Northwest
journal = Journal of the Hattori Botanical Laboratory
volume = Supplement No. 1
pages = 261
] cite book
last = Flowers
first = Seville
coauthors = Arthur H. Holmgren
year = 1973
chapter = "Helodium"
title = Mosses: Utah and the West
Publisher = The Blackburn Press
pages = 399
] cite book
last = Vitt
first = Dale H.
coauthors = Janet E. Marsh & Robin B. Bovey
year = 1988
chapter = "Helodium blandowii"
title = Mosses, Lichens, and Ferns of Northwest North America
Publisher = Lone Pine Publishing
pages = 85
] cite journal
author = Norris, Daniel H.
coauthors = James R. Shevock
year = 2004
title = Contributions toward a Bryoflora of California: II. A Key to the Mosses
journal = Madroño
volume = 51
issue = 2
pages = 198

Distribution, habitat, and ecology

This species has a circumboreal distribution.

The habitat of Blandow's bogmoss is montane “minerotrophic” or “moderately rich” fens or mires, usually with calcareous groundwater, where it forms mats and small hummocks; sometimes it can be found under graminoids and shrubs at the edges of these aquatic features, or within them in small rivulets. Associated vascular plants include "Agrostis idahoensis", "Betula glandulosa", "Salix geyeriana", "Carex limosa", "Eleocharis pauciflora", and "Scheuchzeria palustris". Associated mosses include "Aulacomnium palustre", "Calligeron stramineum", "Hamatocaulis vernicosus", "Meesia triquetra", "Tomenthypnum nitens", "Philonotis fontana", "Drepanocladus vernicosus", and "Hypnum lindbergii". Fens with "Scorpidium" spp. or "Drepanocladus revolvens", however, are too ion-rich, and not suitable habitat for "H. blandowii".cite web
title = "Helodium blandowii"
publisher = California Native Plant Society
url = http://cnps.web.aplus.net/cgi-bin/inv/inventory.cgi/Show?_id=helodium_blandowii
accessdate = 05/01/2007
] cite journal
author = Seyer, Susan C.
year = 1979
title = New Moss Species from Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
journal = The Bryologist
volume = 82
issue = 9
pages = 83
doi = 10.2307/3241974

The fire ecology of this plant is not known; however, fens rarely burn. Excess soot from a nearby fire, however, might negatively affect habitat quality.

Conservation status and threats

U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region Sensitive Species.

California Native Plant Society List 2.3

NatureServe California State Rank: S1.3; Global Rank: G5

Fens are delicate habitats susceptible to impacts from livestock grazing, hydrologic alteration, construction and continued use of roads, and peat mining. Hydrologic alteration has caused the “well-documented extinction” of this species in Britain.cite book
last = Porky
first = Ron
coauthors = Nick Hodges
year = 2005
chapter = The Dawn of Bryophytes
title = Mosses and Liverworts
Publisher = Collins
pages = 53

Field identification

This species is superficially similar to other, somewhat related mosses, but presence in a fen habitat significantly helps in identifying this moss. Its feather-like, flattened stems and branches are distinctive, as are its yellow-green colour and the presence of dense paraphyllia on the stems. The pale, yellow-green colour might at first glance look like "Sphagnum", but "H. blandowii" can be distinguished by its pinnate growth habit, as opposed to the fasciculate habit of "Sphagnum".


External links

* [http://cnps.web.aplus.net/cgi-bin/inv/inventory.cgi/Show?_id=helodium_blandowii California Native Plant Society Rare Plant Inventory Article for "Helodium blandowii"]
* [http://www.natureserve.org/explorer/index.htm NatureServe Web Page]

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