Ontario Mosses and Liverworts and Their Role in Environmental Ecosystems
Date: Saturday, September 30, 2017
Start Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Room 2015, Simcoe Hall, Lakehead University, 500 University Ave., Orillia
Instructors: David Bradley, Natural Heritage Information Centre, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and Bob Bowles, Coordinator of the Ontario Master Naturalist Program
Description: There are 548 species of mosses, 172 species of liverworts, and 4 species of hornworts recorded in Ontario. This introductory level workshop will briefly describe the life cycle of bryophytes in comparison to that of vascular plants, and present a general overview of the ecological requirements of these understudied species. In 2001, Dr. Frank Cook compiled a list of 239 species of mosses in Simcoe County. In this workshop, we will group the species on that list by habitat, location, leaf shape, leaf midrid, and special features, to create smaller groups. Following two presentations in the classroom, we will visit some sites close to the university campus to learn how to identify the many species of mosses that we have in Ontario. We will move beyond the historical, technical study of mosses and liverworts using compound microscopes to assess habitat, leaf shape and characteristics in order to group the species into smaller groups of species that look very similar. We will use hand lenses and microscopes, but only on the final stages of identification. This friendly approach to the study of mosses and liverworts will enable participants to understand the ecological value of these plants and how they can be effectively incorporated into home landscaping in ways that are more environmentally friendly than tuft grass lawns.
Fee: $75 +HST