Leucodon sciuroides var. morensis

Range & Status

The species is widespread in Europe, Macaronesia, N. Africa and temperate parts of Asia, but var. morensis has a more restricted range in S. and W. Europe, being the predominant form in Portugal (Sergio & Carvalho, 2003) and extending east to the Ukraine and Turkey. British records of this variety are thinly scattered, from Cornwall, Dorset and Surrey north to Scotland (Easterness).

Regional Distribution

Known at three sites: E. of St Just (SW33V), S. of Treviscoe (SW95M) and at Poundstock (SX29E).

Habitat & Ecology

Two of the Cornish sites each have a single substantial patch on steeply inclined concrete of old walls of china-clay ' dries' . At Poundstock it occurs on the roof of the historic Gildhouse near the church. Var. morensis bears capsules less infrequently than does var. sciuroides , but they have not been recorded in Cornwall. The species reproduces vegetatively by means of deciduous branchlets.

Threats

Growth of Bramble Rubus fruticosus agg. and other scrub could eventually shade the wall at the site E. of St. Just, rendering it unsuitable. At Poundstock the species is potentially vulnerable to maintenance work on the Gildhouse roof.

Conservation

The owner of the St. Just site is aware of the plant and the need to protect its habitat. The church-wardens and others responsible for the Gildhouse at Poundstock are also aware of the need to protect this moss when works on the roof are carried out.