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tasmanian liverworts - aneuraceae

aneura species

Aneura rodwayi
Aneura rodwayi
Aneura alterniloba
Aneura alterniloba

The family comprises of two genera of thallose liverworts numbering 28 species in Australia, mainly of Riccardia species.

A single cluster of the relatively uncommon Aneura rodwayi was discovered growing on a south facing road bank which is obviously moist but by no means 'boggy' as reported in Meagher & Fuhrer's book. The soil in neighbouring areas is acidic, around pH5.2 when tested some time ago so they are either tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions or some of the reported sightings on limestone cliffs are incorrect. [This specimen has since been destroyed by road clearing but we came across another population at Douglas-Apsley National Park.]

A. alterniloba is reported to be more common in rainforest but we have not encountered many specimens so far. The existence of a third Tasmanian species, A. stolonifera has not been confirmed.

riccardia species

Riccardia aequicellularis
R. aequicellularis
Riccardia cochleata
R. cochleata
Riccardia colensoi
R. colensoi
Riccardia crassa
R. crassa
Riccardia wattsiana
R. wattsiana

Riccardia is a much larger genus in Australia with a reported 22 species of which Tasmania has 16. Some of the species are so tiny as to be unrecognizable to the naked eye - it is only by collecting soil scrapings and observing them under the microscope that they become obvious.
Some species, not necessarily of Australian origin, are starting to find their way into homes as aquarium plants.

R. colensoi is somewhat more substantial and its pinnate growth is obvious under a hand lens. It has been found growing in dense masses on road banks and permanent seepages. The difference between this and R. crassa is not obvious to the naked eye - we have provided cell details in the inserts for each image - R. colensoi has mamillae (small projections) over the cells providing it a rough surface compared to R. crassa.

R. wattsiana came as a scraping from an intersting looking mound, possibly a rock or rotting log. As the scale shows individual segments are less than 0.2 mm wide. Elsewhere this is depicted as having palmate growth but we have not been able to capture this with the small section we collected.

Page URL: http://www.bluetier.org/Liverwort/aneuraceae.htm

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