Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Tetrad SD86 1: - Recording Wharfedale Mosses: 1

23 March

These next few posts about a Tetrad (2x2 km square) in Hectad (10x10km square) 86 are put up as a self indulgent reminder of what I did on these days.. whilst surveying for Bryophytes (mosses) -- - and probably only of interest to others who do such obscure/esoteric activities.

Dear X,

It was good meeting you at the Yorkshire Naturalists Union Conference at York Last week. I was pleased to see your maps of  Wharfedale showing the distributions of all the bryophytes you have so far recorded on a tetrad (2by2m) basis.

Thank you for sending me the map showing how many bryophytes have been recorded in each tetrad.
I see that the scoring system is:
1 1 - 21
2 22 - 42
3 43 - 63
4 64 - 84
5 85 - 105
6 106 - 126
7 127 - 147
8 148 - 168
9 169 - 191

I have chosen to study tetrad SD8868
That's the top right tetrad in the hectad SD 86.
I fact I shall start with the 1km square SD 8868. It is  at the water divide between Airedale and Wharfedale, It is on the road making life easy for me  1km north of  Waterhouses and Malham Tarn Field Centre.

So  I took my car up on 23 March morning and did the tourist exercise of
staying within 100m of the car.. for an hour or two

It  was  fascinating  working  out  where  the true "water divide" is
between Airedale and Wharfedale.

"I'll find 22 species -no problem" I thought "and get up to level 2...
maybe even over 42 and get to level 3?"


The  habitat  is  grassland -acres - (with 2 species of bryophyte)
and one limestone wall.  There was a big difference in lichens on the north and south side of the wall.

and - big treat - at the end of my morning: 1 sycamore tree.

Well,  I may have come  home  with over 22 specimens.. but could only write 18
names on the card.. Well that is level 1. Hey Ho.

I have a BIG pile envelopes labelled Schistidium, Ulota
and Orthotrichum and Didymodon...

I also made a list of 22 Lichens that I could name.

I  met  Robert  Harrison, the farmer at Malham Tarn who I had not seen for several years. He pointed to his sheep - He now has "Clins" he said - not  horned sheep. I looked it up on the internet.. spelled "Lleyns" - so I have learned a new breed. They have white faces and no horns, and crucially, they don't jump over walls as do horned sheep such as Swaledales and Dalesbred

We heard some curlew.

But no Lapwings.
We used to hear hundreds 30 years ago here.
 "The Lapwings have gone" he said.

Well  I'll  go  up  another  day  and  venture  a  bit further over the
grassland.. when it is a bit warmer..


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