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tasmanian liverworts - lepidoziaceae

Tricholepidozia pulcherrima var. mooreana (Steph.) E.D.Cooper, comb. nov. (Telaranea p. var. m.)

Tricholepidozia pulcherimma
1. Two forms of Tricholepidozia pulcherrima from the Blue Tier


Cooper et al¹ have assigned this species formerly known as Telaranea to Tricholepidozia on the basis of molecular evidence.

We have observed two forms growing on the Blue Tier. Form A, from 2010, was growing in full sunlight on swampy ground subject to periodic inundation. It was a pale green color. A chlorophyllous Form B, collected in 2018, was growing in permanent shade on moist soil and was of a deeper hue (pix 1). Micrographs of the latter showed a large number of chloroplasts (pix 2) that we had not observed in the earlier specimen. This is the first time we have observed density of chloroplasts obscuring oil bodies in a liverwort.

We assume the darker form is a phenotype that has adapted to life in the shadows (or the other way around); it would be interesting to see how far they have diverged genetically.

Schuster², Engel & Smith Merrill³ (E&SM) as well as Engel & Glenny⁴ describe this as having (7)9-12(13) uniseriate leaf lobes but we have encountered main stem leaves sporting 6 lobes on Form B (pix 3). Discs are reported to be 18-20(24) cells wide but our observations as well as published diagrams show 2 cells per lobe so (7)9-12(13) lobes should have (14)18-24(26) cells.

Stephani's 1909 description quoted in E&SM below cite 2 different species in Tasmania - T. pulcherrima and T. mooreana, the latter 'regarded as a somewhat weaker plant with 8-lobed rather than 12-lobed leaves'. However 'his figure of T. mooreana is of a 13-lobed, symmetric leaf with a disc 3 cells high throughout' (p.77). Our specimens conform to his description but not to the diagram.

2. Form B chloroplasts
stem leaf
3. Form B stem leaf

- ¹Cooper, E.D., Soderstrom, L., Hagborg, A & von Konrat, M, 2013, 'Notes on Early Land Plants Today. 38. New combinations and synonyms in Lepidoziaceae (Marchantiophyta)' Phytotaxa
- ²Schuster, R., Austral Hepaticae Part 1, ISBN 3-443-51040-X; pp 236-240
- ³Engel JJ & Smith Merrill GL (2004) Austral Hepaticae. 35. A taxonomic and phylogenetic study of Telaranea (Lepidoziaceae), with a monograph of the genus in temperate Australasia and commentary on extra-Australasian taxa. Fieldiana Botany, New Series 44. University of Illinois provides several free versions of this monograph - the pdf file is around 30MB
- ⁴Engel, J.J. & Glenny, D., A Flora of the Liverworts and Hornworts of New Zealand: Volume 1, ISBN 1930723679; Landcare Research has made the contents of the entire volume online


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