Field of Science

Mosses in Ohio

I recently learned of a moss website of which I was previously unaware. It is the website of the Ohio Moss and Lichen Association. I thought that this was very timely since I am currently on vacation visiting my family in Cincinnati, Ohio, hence the lack of posts for the past week. Also Ohio has a fond place in my heart, since I attended Miami University, Oxford, Ohio for my undergraduate education.

I have checked it out the website and there is some really great information. Here are the highlights.

1) They have yearly forays in Ohio which are announced on the website. The next one will be held on June 21st. So if you are in the area it would be a great way to meet other moss enthusiasts.

2) There is a map that shows the number of moss species per county. The most speciose is Hocking County with 200+ moss species.

3) The part of the website that will be of the most interest to persons not in Ohio is the Introduction to Moss Identification. This guide does not assume any previous moss knowledge and starts by discussing how mosses are related to other plants and their life cycle. The later posts transition into discussions of common moss genera and their characteristics. These posts have great color photos that give an up close view of the moss plants. However my favorite illustrations are the hand drawn life cycle diagrams. I think that they add a personal touch to what is a complicated and confusing topic for those new to studying plants.

4) There is also a section on lichens. (Click here for some of my previous posts on lichens and a refresher on their biology.) It includes a couple of lists of the species in the state and those that are rare/endangered. There is also a map of the number of species per county similar to the one for mosses.

Overall I would recommend this site as a good resource to Ohio moss and lichen information. Additionally the Introduction to Moss Identification has great information on moss biology and common genera.

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