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Discovery of Britain and Ireland's bryophytes

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  • UserChristopher Preston
  • ClockMonday 02 November 2020, 13:00-14:00
  • HouseZoom.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Joanne Green.

The bryophytes (mosses, liverworts and hornworts) have never been as popular with naturalists in Britain and Ireland as birds, butterflies or flowering plants, but they have nevertheless been studied by enthusiasts since the late 17th century. The number of species (as currently defined) has increased from two in Gerard’s Herball (1597) to 1069 mapped in the latest Atlas of Bryophytes (2014). We have compiled a database of the details of discovery of each species (date, location, discoverer, place of publication). In the seminar we will look at the history of discovery over the last 400 years, examining the changing patterns of discovery in relation to places where they were found, the characteristics of the bryophytes themselves, the people who found them and the publications in which their finds were published.

This talk is part of the Cabinet of Natural History series.

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