Bryophytes of North Carolina

Welcome to the "Bryophytes of North Carolina" website!


Aims of this Website

This website provides an up-datable list of the 691 bryophytes documented by specimens collected from North Carolina. The term bryophytes, which literally means moss plants, is used in two ways. As used in current scientific literature they actually consist of three groups of plants: hornworts, which are members of the Phylum Anthocerotophyta; liverworts, which are members of Phylum Marchantiophyta; and mosses, which are in Phylum Bryophyta. More generally, the term refers to all the small phytosynthetic land plants classified in these three groups.

These plants have no true roots, flowers or seeds. Vascular tissue is present in some mosses. This tissue is organized into a hydrom that contains hydroids and a leptom tissue that contans leptoids. These cells function in water and photosynthate materials transport, respectively, but contain no lignin that would, if presrnt, add rigidity to vascular plant cellulose. The hydrom is analagous to the xylem of vascular plants and the leptom is analagous to the phloem.

They are further characterized by dominance of a gametophyte generation. Currently in North Carolina, these three groups consist of 7 hornworts, 230 liverworts, and 454 mosses. All are characteristic of habitats occurring throughout North Carolina’s four major physiographic provinces, Coastal Plain, Sandhills, Piedmont and Mountains.

As a part of this website we will provide an expanding compendium of information that can assist anyone studying bryophytes by way of interpreting, identifying and coming to understand these amazing little plants.

How to Use This Website

To access the list, click on View List in the menu. The bryophyte checklist has been formatted into the following 14 columns:

Phylum Taxon that includes all classes.

Family Taxon that includes all genera.

Scientific name Latinized bi- or trinomial used to name a species, subspecies or variety.

Author Standardized name(s) used to identify the species’authority.

Common name A common or coloquial call name applied to a taxon. Common names are not currently standardized.

Accepted name A currently accepted scientific name.

Tropicos Link goes to the Tropicos website: Tropicos®, a registered trademark, was created by the Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT) as an internal taxonomic search device, since opened to the general bryological community.

Bryophyte portal This link provides access to The Consortium of North American Bryophyte Herbaria (CNABH), which offers a variety of tools to locate, access and work with bryophyte specimen data in cooperating herbaria.

Global Rank This is the measure of the relative rarity or commonness of a taxon globally. The criteria were developed by NatureServe, and their staff code the appropriate rank for each taxon.
   G1 = Critically imperiled globally. Typically 5 or fewer occurrences or very few remaining individuals (<1,000).
   G2 = Imperiled globally. Typically 6-20 occurrences or few remaining individuals (1,000 – 3,000).
   G3 = Vulnerable globally. Typically 21-100 occurrences or between 3,000 and 10,000 individuals.
   G4 = Apparently secure globally. Usually more than 100 occurrences or more than 10,000 individuals.
   G5 = Demonstrably secure globally.
   GH = Historical; known only from historical occurrences, but with some expectation that it may be rediscovered.
   GX = Presumed extinct.
   GNA = Not applicable. Not a suitable target for conservation.
   Q = Questionable taxonomy.
   T_ = the rank of a subspecies of variety. For example, G4T1 indicates that the species is apparently secure globally, but the subspecies or variety is critically imperiled.
   _NR = Not yet ranked by NatureServe.
   ? = Uncertain rank; denotes an inexact or uncertain numeric rank.

State Rank This is the measure of the relative rarity or commonness of a taxon in the state. The criteria were developed by NatureServe, and each state’s natural heritage program staff code the appropriate rank for each taxon.
  S1 = Critically imperiled in the state. Typically 5 or fewer occurrences or very few remaining individuals (<1,000).
 S2 = Imperiled in the state. Typically 6-20 occurrences or few remaining individuals (1,000 – 3,000).
 S3 = Rare or uncommon in the state. Typically 21-100 occurrences or between 3,000 and 10,000 individuals.
 S4 = Apparently secure in the state. Usually more than 100 occurrences or more than 10,000 individuals.
 S5 = Demonstrably secure in the state.
 SH = Of historical occurrence, last record over 20 years ago, with at least some effort to relocate occurrences. Some expectation that it can be rediscovered.
 SX = Presumed extirpated in the state.
 SE = Exotic, presumed not native to the state.
 SU = Unknown; unrankable due to lack of, or conflicting, information about status or population trends.
 SR = Reported, but without conclusive documentation.
 SRF = Reported falsely; reported in the state but almost certainly is not present
 ? = Uncertain rank; denotes an inexact or uncertain numeric rank.

NHP Status This is the endangerment status for each taxon in the state. Taxa with no state status have this field blank on the plant list. E, T, and SC statuses are legal designations by the NC Plant Conservation Program. SR and W statuses are provided by the NC NHP.
E = Endangered
T = Threatened
SC-V = Special Concern – Vulnerable
SC-H = Special Concern – Historical
SR = Significantly Rare. Any taxon not already listed as E, T, or SC but which is rare in the state and needs monitoring.
SR-D = The species is disjunct to the state from a main range in a different part of the country or world.
SR-L = The range of the species is limited to North Carolina and adjacent states (endemic or near endemic).
SR-P = The species is at the periphery of its range in North Carolina.
SR-T = The species is rare throughout its range.
SR-O = The range of the species is sporadic or cannot be described by other Significantly Rare categories.

Watch List Any taxon that is rare or otherwise threatened with serious decline but for which current information does not justify placement on the main list (as E, T, SC, or SR).
W1 = Rare, but relatively secure.
W2 = Rare, but taxonomically questionable.
W3 = Rare, but of uncertain documentation.
W4 = Rare, but possibly or perhaps not native.
W5 = Rare because of severe decline.
W6 = Regionally rare. Maybe be uncommon to abundant in much of the state, but of concern in one region.
W7 = Rare and poorly known.