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The Moss Flora of China

Welcome | About the Project | About the Checklist
Checklist of Chinese Mosses | References | Guide for Contributors

Moss Flora of China (English Version) Project Guide for Contributors

IV. Sample Treatment

The following sample treatment of the Grimmiaceae illustrates an example of how to treat families, genera and species for the Moss Flora of China (English version). This sample is a modified version from the monographic work of Cao & Vitt (1986).

Family Grimmiaceae
Chinese characters (zi e xuan ke)
by Cao Tong & D. H. Vitt

Plants small to robust, perennial, in dark, rigid tufts or mats, mostly on dry exposed rocks, erect or prostrate, forked or fasciculately branched. Leaves in many rows, not at all complanate, rarely secund, usually hygroscopic, contorted when dry, mostly lanceolate and acute, often piliferous; costa single; upper cells small and obscure, sometimes papillose, rounded-quadrate; lower cells elongate with walls often somewhat to strongly sinuose or nodose. Setae terminal or lateral, erect or curved; capsules subglobose to cylindric, immersed or exserted, mostly erect; annuli sometimes present; stomata few and small, at base of the urn; peristome teeth usually present, single, consisting of 16 teeth, entire or perforate, mostly papillose; opercula rostrate; calyptrae generally small, mitrate or cucullate, naked, sometimes campanulate, occasionally plicate.

The family has 12 genera in the world; and five have been found in China.

Key to the genera
1. Calyptrae large, campanulate, covering most of the run, plicate . . . .2
1. Calyptrae small, mitriform or cucullate, slightly covering the urn, smooth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . .. . . .3

2. Plants rigid, dull; leaves with sheathing base and strongly inrolled upper part, muticous at the apex. . . . . . . . ...Indusiella
2. Plants soft, somewhat shiny; leaves with plane base and upper part, hyaline hair at the apex. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jafflueliobryum

3. Plants cladocarpous; stems prostrate, often with short lateral branches; basal leaf cells linear with nodulose lateral walls; peristome teeth deeply divided into two slender branches, with a basal membrane. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Racomitrium
3. Plants acrocarpous; stems erect, often with long lateral branches, basal leaf cells quadrate to rectangular with straight or sinuose lateral walls; peristome teeth undivided or divided above, without a basal membrane. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

4. Opercula falling with attached columella; calyptrae covering only part of opercula. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Schistidium
4. Opercula falling without columella; calyptrae covering opercula and part of urn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Grimmia

Grimmia Hedw. Chinese characters (zi e xuan shu)
Plants small to medium-sized, yellow-green to green above, dark-green to brown or blackish below, in dense cushions or loose comose tufts, often hoary. Stems erect, with or without a central strand in cross-section. Leaves imbricate, somewhat contorted when dry, erect-spreading when moist, mostly lanceolate, sometimes oblong or ovate, gradually tapered to an acute apex, occasionally blunt or rounded-obtuse, mostly piliferous, keeled or concave; margins plane or recurved, rarely bistratose, mostly entire; costa strong, single, subpercurrent to percurrent; upper leaf cells small, rounded-quadrate with walls often nodose-thickened, mostly smooth; basal leaf cells near margins quadrate to rectangular, thin-walled, or with transverse walls thicker than longitudinal walls, otherwise mostly elongate, with thin or thick, fruently sinuose walls. Perichaetial leaves not much differentiated, sometimes enlarged. Autoicous or dioicous.

Setae terminal, very short to long, erect or arcuate; capsules immersed to exserted, obovoid or subglobose to cylindric, mostly symmetric, smooth or ribbed; peristome teeth usually present, reddish in color, flat, lanceolate, sometimes linear-lanceolate, often truncate, entire or variously perforated or cleft above, more or less papillose; annuli sometimes present; opercula often rostrate. Calyptrae mitrate or cucullate. Spores spherical.

The modern generic concept of Grimmia was established by Bruch and Schimper (1845). The genus can be distinguished from the closely related Schistidium by the following characters: 1) opercula falling free from columella; 2) calyptrae small, smooth, covering opercula and part of the urn; 3) annuli present in most species; and 4) setae mostly longer than the urn. Grimmia can be confused with Orthotrichum, which occurs more often on bark and has a campanulate-mitrate, plicate, and hairy calyptra, and often with a inner peristome as well.

Grimmia, as defined here, has about 60 species in the world and twenty-two species are found in China, with two endemic species and two others restricted to Xizang and Himalyan range. Deguchi's (1979) revision of Japanese species of Grimmia has been useful in the study of Chinese taxa.

Key to Chinese species of Grimmia
1. Setae shorter than urn; capsules immersed in perichaetial leaves . . . .2
1. Setae longer than urn; capsules exserted above perichaetial leaves . . .4

2. Plants less than 1.5 cm high; setae curved when moist; capsules subglobose, asymmetric; peristome absent. . . . . . . . 2. G. anodon
2. Plants more than 2.0 cm high; setae straight when moist; capsules ovoid to oblong-ovoid, symmetric; peristome present . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

3. Leaves oblong-ovate, concave; margins plane or incurved; basal juxtacostal cells with straight, thin-walled; perichaetial leaves with membranous and pallid margins . . . . . . . .21. G. tergestina
3. Leaves lanceolate, keeled above; margins recurved, basal juxtacostal cells sinuose, thick-walled; perichaetial leaves similar to upper vegetative leaves. . . . . . . . . . . .18. G. pilifera

4.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
4 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

18. Grimmia pilifer P. Beauv., Prodr. Aeth‚og., p. 58. 1805.
Chinese characters (mao jian zi e xuan)
Grimmia atraviridis Card., Bull. Herb. Boiss. ser. 2, 8: 333. 1908.
Grimmia elatior var. squarrifolia Dix. et Th‚r. in Dix., Hong Kong Nat. Suppl. 2: 10. 1933.
Grimmia kirienensis Ch. Gao, Fl. Musc. Chin. Bor. Orien. 379. 1977, syn. nov. Type. -JILIN (Kirin): Linkiang Distr., Mao-ehr-shan (Mt.), Ch. Gao 7714 (holotype, IFSBH!).
Grimmia tenax C. Moll., Nuov. Giorn. Bot. Ital. n. ser. 3: 109. 1869. Type. SHAANXI (Schen-si): In monte medio Si-Ku tzai-san, J. Girald 878 (Lectotype, FI-not seen; isolectotypes, H! BM! S!).

Plants robust, to 3-4(-6) cm high, in loose, coarse tufts. Stems erect, moderately branches, without well-developed central strand in cross-section. Leaves erect, loosely imbricate when dry, spreading when moist, keeled above, 2.6-3.8 mm long, lanceolate to ovate, somewhat sheathing base, the base suddenly narrowed and often forming a distinct shoulder, ending in a long, denticulate, hyaline hairpoint 0.2-0.8 mm long, sometimes yellow to yellow- brown; lower leaves small, muticous; margins entire, recurved on both sides, occasionally only one side in lower half of leaf, bistratose in upper half; costa prominent, ending near apex, in cross-section above midial part of leaf consisting of more or less uniform cells; upper leaf cells irregularly quadrate, obscure, 5-8 um wide, with incrassate and sinuose walls, bistratose; median leaf cells short-rectangular to quadrate, 7-15 um x 7-9 um, sinuose; basal leaf cells near margins at the extreme base rectangular, 7-15 um x 8-10 um, thin-walled, somewhat hyaline; basal juxtacostal cells elongate, 35-59 um x 5-7 um, with thick, sinuose walls. Perichaetial leaves much larger than stem leaves, with long awns. Dioicous.

Setae yellow-green, straight, 0.6-1.0 mm long, shorter than the urn; capsules erect, immersed, 1.7-2.0 mm long, oblong-ovoid, smooth; exothecial cells quadrate to rounded-hexagonal, with thin and smooth walls; peristome teeth lanceolate, red-brown, imperfectly eivided into 2-3 branches in upper part, perforate in middle; outer surface densely papillose above, sparsely papillose below; inner surface papillose throughout; annuli differentiated, composed of 2-3 rows of thick-walled cells. Opercula with a long, straight or slightly oblique beak. Calyptrae mitrate, 5-6 lobed at base. Spores ca. 9 um, yellow-green, more or less granulate.

Grimmia pilifera can be distinguished by several character states, of which the most diagnostic are as follows: 1) capsules on short, straight seta and immersed in large perichaetial leaves (Fig. 7A); 2) leaves from somewhat sheathing, ovate base, becoming narrowly lanceolate above, often with a distinct shoulder; 3) basal juxtzcostal cells elongate and with sinuose walls, becoming almost quadrate near the leaf margins.

When sterile, plants of G. pilifera are somewhat similar to G. elatior. These two species differ in numerous features: 1) the upper leaf cells of G. pilifera are smooth, while those of G. elatior are irregularly papillose; 2) G. pilifera has leaf basal marginal cells quadrate or nearly so, while G. elatior has elongate to rectangular marginal cells.

Grimmia pilifera shows some variation in its gametophytic features, such as 1) some plants have leaves with relatively narrow ovate base and oblong-lanceolate upper part, while some others have leaves with an ovate to broadly ovate base and short, lanceolate upper part; 2) plants growing in northeastern China and Xizang have distinctly keeled leaves, while plants from eastern coast have slightly keeled leaves; 3) some plants have leaf basal marginal cells short-rectangular to rectangular.

Grimmia pilifera is one of the most common species in China. It is widely distributed from northeastern region, along the eastern coast to southwestern China. This species has disjunct distribution between eastern Asia and North America.

Illustrations: Cao & Vitt (1986, Fig. 5-6, 7a-f, 8)

Habitat: on exposed, sunny granitic rocks or on shaded rocks under trees in woodlands, alt. between 350 m and 3500 m.

Distribution: China (widely distributed), India, Japan, Korea, Russia (Far east), and North America.

Selected Chinese specimens examined: -ANHUI: Mt. Huang, D.-K. Li 02246 (SHM). -FUJIAN: Chongan Co., Ch. Gao 07428 (IFP). -HEILONGJIANG: Tangyun Co., Y.-L. Zhang 1440 (IFP); Wuying Co., P.-C. Chen & Gao 487 (PE). -JIANGSU: Hu Co., D.-K. Li 06880 (SHM). -JIANGXI: Mt. Lu, D.-K. Li 017443 (SHM). -JILIN: Lijiang Co., Ch. Gao 7714 (IFP); Wangqing Co. Ch. Gao & Zhang 8762 (IFP). -LIAONING: Benxi Co., Ch. Gao & Zhang 840 (IFP). -SHANGHAI: Jinshan Co., D.-K. Li 07599 (SHM). -SHAANXI. Mt. Hua, D.-K. Li 015178 (SHM). -SICHUAN: Muli Co., Ch. Gao & Zhang 344 (IFP). -YUNNAN: Lijiang Co., W.-X. Xu 0041 (IFP). -ZHEJIANG: Pinghu Co., D.-K. Li 03448 (SHM) . . .

21. Grimmia tergestina Tomm. ex Schimp. in B.S.G., Bryol. Eur. 3: 126. 1845.
Chinese characters (nan ou zi e xuan)

Plants rough, up to 2.5 cm high, in dense, rigid tufts, yellow-green above, dark-brown below. Stems sparsely branched, with well-developed central strand in cross-section. Leaves erect, imbricate when dry, spreading when moist, 2.4-2.8 mm long, oblong-ovate, obriously concave, ending in a nearly smooth hyaline hair-point, ń 0.6-0.9 mm long, upper leaves enlarged, with pale hyaline margins along leaf base; margins plane or somewhat incurved, entire; costa slender, percurrent, flattened in cross-section; upper leaf cells bistratose, small and obscure, rounded-quadrate, 5-7 um wide, thick- walled; basal cells elongate-rectangular, 23-40 um x 7-9 um, thin-walled, straight, 3-5 row marginal basal cells colorless. Perichaetial leaves much larger and differentiated from vegetative leaves, oblong to oblong-ovate, ending in long awns, strongly concave, margins membranous and pallid, cells rectangular to elongate-rhomboidal, thin-walled. Dioicous. Setae yellow, straight, shorter than capsules, 0.3-0.4 mm long; capsules immersed, red- brown, ń 1.6 mm long, ovoid, smooth or nearly so; exothecial cells rectangular to quadrate, thin-walled; stomata near the base of urn; peristome teeth erect, lanceolate, ń0.25 mm long, yellow-brown, split above, strongly perforate to the middle; outer surface densely papillose in upper 2/3, slightly vertical strips below; inner surface papillose throughout; annuli 2-3 rows of thick-walled cells. Opercula straight rostrate. Calyptrae mitriform, lobed at base. Spores 9-11 um, granulate in regular rows.

Grimmia tergestina is easily distinguished from the other species of Grimmia by the following characters: 1) leaves awned, obviously concave, oblong-ovate, and not keeled; 2) basal leaf margins pale and hyaline, consisting of thin-walled, elongate-rectangular cells; 3) immersed capsule surrounded by large, differentiated perichaetial leaves, which have membranous and pallid margins; 4) peristome teeth strongly perforate.

The leaf shapes of G. tergestina is similar to that of G. laeviata, however, it differs from the latter in having more robust, rough plants and basal leaf cells near the margins pale, hyaline, and elongate- rectangular with rather thin-walled, whereas G. laeviata has basal cells near the margins greenish or dark, and quadrate to subquadrate with transverse walls distinctly thicker than the longitudinal ones. The sporophyte characters between these two species are more distinctive. The former has the setae shorter than the urn and capsules immersed in large, specialized perichaetial leaves, while the latter has the setae much longer than the urn and capsules exserted.

The specialized perichaetial leaves of G. tergestina are similar to those of Jaffueliobryum. However, the latter has specialized vegetative leaves as well. In addition, the peristome teeth of this species are more extensively perforate than those of other Grimmia species. Grimmia tergestina is perhaps the species that links Grimmia to Jaffueliobryum.

Illustrations: Cao & Vitt (1986, Fig. 27a-b, d-e, g, Fig. 29-30)

Habitat: on calcareous rocks.

Distributions: China, India, Russia (Caucasus, Siberia), northern Africa, France, and Italy.

Chinese specimens examined: -KANSU: Bardun Co., G.N. Potanin 18 (H, BM); Kan yen tch'e E. Licent 216 (BM). -JIANGSU: Hoang ts'ao heou E. Licent 4 (BM).

Literature Cited.

Deguchi, H. 1979. A revision of the genera Grimmia, Schistidium and Coscinodon (Musci) of Japan. J. Sci. Hiroshima Univ. ser. b, div. 2, 16: 121-256.

Bruch, P., W. P. Schimper & T. Gumbel. 1845 (1836-1851). Bryologia Europaea Seu Genera Muscorum Europaeorum Monographice Illustrate (ed. W. P. Schimper) vol. III. 268 pp. Schweizerbart Stuttgartiae.

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