Mosses: Structure, Ecology, and Identification
June 9 - 15, 2019
A beginning course in mosses, emphasizing ecology, structure, and graphic identification. We will focus on the species in the major habitats near Eagle Hill—boreal forests, rocky barrens and shores, wooded swamps, and open bogs—and spend roughly equal amounts of time in the lab and in the field. In both the field and the laboratory our approach is problem based. In the field, we want students to be able understand how habitats work, what the field characters of the common moss groups are, and how to make diagrams showing the ecological relations of the common species. In the lab, we want them to be able to examine a moss systematically, describe its features, and place it in a structural group based on these features. Our approach to identification uses structure and ecology. Almost all of our mosses can be identified by combining information about ecology and substrate with a set of diagnostic features. With some species this can be done in the field, and we will stress field identification whenever possible. With other species it requires a microscope. We have found that both field and microscope work are much easier if you have good tools. We have prepared such tools—ecological and structural charts, a digital atlas, and an identification guide—for the moss volume of the Northern Forest Atlas, and will provide them to students to use. The class will start at the beginning, and is designed to introduce the mosses systematically. It is suitable for, and actually intended for, people who have never studied mosses. It also might be good for someone who has worked on them but is confused by them, or wants to fill some gaps.
Susan Williams (Rowemosser@gmail.com), of Rowe, Massachusetts, has studied the northeastern mosses for twenty-five years, taught about them for twenty, and is currently working on a field guide using the ecological approach we emphasize in this course.
Jerry Jenkins (firstname.lastname@example.org), of White Creek, New York, has studied plants for fifty years and mosses for forty, and taught about them almost that long. He is currently a researcher with the Adirondack Program of the Wildlife Conservation Society, and directs the Northern Forest Atlas Project, which is developing graphic tools for botany and ecology. His social media channels are facebook.com/jerryjenkinswcs, twitter.com/jerryjenkinswcs, and instagram.com/jerryjenkinswcs.
Sue and Jerry work work together creating bryophyte image libraries and identification tools for the Northern Forest Atlas. You may see their image libraries at http://northernforestatlas.org/images/. The Digital Atlas of Northern Forest Bryophytes that we will use in the will be available for free download in November, at http://northernforestatlas.org/2016/01/26/moss-digital-atlas/, and the charts of bryophyte genera at http://northernforestatlas.org/2016/07/29/moss-genera-of-the-northern-forest-acrocarps-2/.
Click Here for Link to Descriptive Flyer