The Biota of the Gordon Natural Area - Bryophytes

Bryophytes (non-vascular plants which include the mosses, liverworts, and hornworts) have received relatively little investigation at the GNA. In 2007, WCU undergrad Spencer Ruston, under the supervision of Dr. Sharon Began, conducted a site-wide survey of bryophytes at the GNA, in which he noted 17 species. In 2009, undergrad Cindy Law, also under the supervision of Dr. Began, began another site-wide study of the GNA’s bryophytes. Although she didn’t finish this work, she did compile a photographic record of the eight species of bryophytes that she encountered. No additional work was done on bryophytes from that time until 2019, at which point GNA staff began photographing and collecting bryophytes with an aim towards create a more complete account of this biotic group at the GNA. The principal staff associated with this work are GNA Stewardship Manager Nur Ritter and GNA Student Intern Noah Long.

To date, 36 species of bryophytes, in 29 Genera, 23 Families, and 13 Orders have been noted at the GNA. This number is thought to significantly under-represent bryophyte richness at the GNA. Currently, we have numerous yet-to-be-identified species captured in photographs, and we hope to be able to use these to augment the species list. Because much of the bryophyte work at the GNA has employed photographs, this biotic group is extremely well-represented in our photo collection, with photos available for nearly nine-tenths (86.2%) of the known GNA species.

Note: the checklist is also available as a pdf