A provisional red data book of bryophytes in Gloucestershire. The Gloucestershire Naturalist No. 25, Special Issue. Gloucestershire Naturalists’ Society, Gloucester.
In bryological terms, Gloucestershire is one of the richest counties in Britain. The two Watsonian vice counties which make up Gloucestershire represent approximately 1.8% of the total area of Britain but support or have supported nearly 44% of the total British bryophyte flora. The IUCN Red List criteria were applied to all the species which have been recorded in the county and the result is this RDB which presents a review of the past records, ecology, current condition and conservation requirements of 76 bryophyte species of national conservation concern, as well as 199 which are of concern in Gloucestershire. More than 150 images are presented, illustrating both the species discussed and the habitats in which they occur. Distribution maps are also provided. The RDB is considered provisional because there are still many areas for which there are few or no recent records, it is likely that detailed survey of these areas would lead to the rediscovery of many taxa and require a change in their Red List status. Species covered include the only populations of Atrichum angustatum and Ceratodon conicus currently known in the UK, as well as a range of other rare or threatened species from Anomodon longifolius and Seligeria campylopoda in the Wye Valley, to Weissia condensa and W. sterilis in the Cotswolds. In addition to the species accounts, short descriptions are given of conservation projects actively underway in the county. This RDB has been produced, in part to illustrate the bryological diversity of the county and the declines or losses of many species, but also to highlight areas which are under-recorded in the hope of stimulating more recording.
There introductory chapters provide useful details on bryophyte habitats and land use in Gloucestershire, critical genera, conservation and recording and remarks on the methodology employed. There is also a reference section, glossary and index.
This account provides much more than a red data list and the excellent arrangement and illustrations, make the book useful both for reference and as a field guide.