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Calliergon megalophyllum rediscovered in the Netherlands after 50 years: comparison to Swedish habitats

Kooijman, Annemieke, Hedenäs, Lars, Mettrop, Ivan, Cusell, Casper
Lindbergia 2015 v.38 pp. 20-29
Bryophyta, acidification, aquatic organisms, atmospheric deposition, buffering capacity, habitats, hydrochemistry, mosses and liverworts, national parks, nutrient content, pH, species diversity, wetlands, Netherlands, Sweden
The moss Calliergon megalophyllum is rediscovered in the Netherlands after approximately 50 years of absence, in a location different from before: National Park Weerribben-Wieden. This is a Natura 2000 wetland area, and a Dutch hotspot for rich-fen bryophytes. The species was growing in a fen pool. Plant species composition and water chemistry were compared with Swedish samples collected throughout the country. Water chemistry of C. megalophyllum in Sweden was also compared with four other (semi-)aquatic species: C. giganteum, Scorpidium scorpioides, Sarmentypnum trichophyllum and S. exannulatum. The species is characteristic for poorly buffered habitats, but has nevertheless relatively high pH, which makes it sensitive to acidification, especially when atmospheric deposition is high. In the Dutch locality, buffer capacity is maintained by input of base-rich ditch water through small channels in the fen. The data further suggest that, like other Calliergon species, C. megalophyllum is growing in relatively nutrient-rich habitats, especially with respect to P and K. In the Netherlands, plant nutrient concentrations suggest that P is indeed not limiting, which may enhance survival of the species, as P-poor habitats in this country have become very rare.