New publications on mosses

Vouchers of specimens studied for these two projects are housed in the CONN herbarium.

Medina R., M.G. Johnson, N. Patel, G. Tocci, D. R. Toren & B. Goffinet. 2022. Vindication of Physcomitrium pygmaeum: an elusive and endangered moss from North America’s Great Basin. The Bryologist 125: 528-540. pdf

Abstract reads: Physcomitrium pygmaeum is an ephemeral moss described in 1871 from a single collection from Utah, currently considered conspecific with Physcomitrium pyriforme. The interpretation of the taxon has been problematic due to its rarity in the field, the elusiveness of the type material, and an extremely scattered and inconsistent collection record. Here we present a comprehensive description and assessment of the taxon following the identification of the original material and lectotype designation, the examination of all existing herbarium specimens to the best of our knowledge, the collection of fresh material in Nevada, and the molecular barcoding of the latter using four plastid and two nuclear loci. Available information, albeit scant, suggests that this member of the North American bryoflora should be considered critically endangered following IUCN criteria.


He S., J.R. Shevock, N. Patel, O. Lemieux & B. Goffinet. 2022. Rediscovery of Florschuetziella scaberrima (Bryophyta, Orthotrichaceae) a century after its description leads to its transfer to Leratia. Bryophyte Diversity and Evolution
45 (1): 188–198. pdf
Abstract reads: Florschuetziella scaberrima (Broth.) Vitt, previously known only from the type material collected in 1915 from Yunnan, China, was rediscovered nearly a century later in 2005. The species is morphologically indistinguishable from the Mexican endemic F. steerei Vitt, but given the paucity of material the two are provisionally retained as distinct, allopatric species. Both species exhibit traits reminiscent of Leratia neocaledonica Broth. & Paris, a species endemic to New Caledonia. A shared ancestry with the other species currently accommodated in Leratia Broth. & Paris, i.e., L. exigua (Sull.) Goffinet and L. obtusifolia (Hook.) Goffinet, and the phylogenetically nested position of Florschuetziella Vitt within Leratia supports the merger of the two generic names, and hence the transfer of species of Florschuetziella, prompting the proposed new combinations Leratia steerei (Vitt) Goffinet, S.He & Shevock and Leratia scaberrima (Broth.) Goffinet, S.He & Shevock.