Sphagnum identification workshop

As part of the Field Studies Council’s Biodiversity Fellow programme, I once again found myself hanging out with other bryophyte enthusiasts in a beautiful part of Shropshire.  It’s a hard life *sigh*

We gathered at FSC’s Preston Montford field centre, and, after catching up with friends, set to identifying Sphagnum species.  The day focused on microscopy techniques including cutting sections of stems and leaves so that we could learn to separate those tricky species which have a nasty habit of looking the same in the field (I’m looking at you, Sphagnum palustre/papillosum…).

By lunchtime I was covered in bits of Sphagnum, which is generally a good sign with me, and by the time the afternoon ended I really felt I had progressed with my microscope work.

Now that I have my own microscope I’ll be spending some time over the winter prodding specimens I collected on my recent bryophyte course to see whether I can identify them all by myself.  Here’s hoping…

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