Wednesday, February 24, 7:30 pm
Bryophytes and Their Biology: Mosses Are from Mars, Vascular Plants Are from Venus

Speakers: Brent Mishler, David Hutton, Kiamara Ludwig
Location: Garden Room, Orinda Library (see directions below)

Seen one moss, seen them all? Not likely, since there are more than 12,000 species of mosses on our planet. And mosses are just one of the three lineages of bryophytes, a grouping of non-vascular land plants that includes more than 20,000 species of hornworts, liverworts, and mosses.

In California as in the world, bryophytes have received much less attention than vascular plants, but that is about to change! In May of 2015, a group of people who appreciate the diversity, adaptability, and importance of bryophytes founded a new CNPS chapter focused on this plant group rather than on a geographic region of the state. Their mission is to teach the rest of us about these fascinating little plants, to “increase understanding and appreciation of California’s mosses, liverworts and hornworts, and to protect them and the habitats in which they grow.”

At this month’s meeting, they will introduce us to the intriguing world of bryophytes through a slide presentation, share information about the chapter’s Mount Diablo bryophyte inventory project, and entice us with descriptions of hikes they will be offering on the mountain.

Brent Mishler is Director of the University and Jepson Herbaria at UC Berkeley, as well as a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, where he teaches systematics and plant diversity and heads the Bryolab. David Hutton PhD, a business development consultant in biotechnology and the life sciences, has had a keen interest in bryophytes since his high school days in the UK. Kiamara Ludwig is a founding member of the Bryophyte Chapter and served on the steering committee that brought it into being.

East Bay CNPS membership meetings are free of charge and open to everyone. This month’s meeting takes place in the Garden Room of the Orinda Public Library at 24 Orinda Way (in Orinda Village). The Garden Room is on the second floor of the building, accessible by stairs or an elevator. The Garden Room opens at 7 pm; the meeting begins at 7:30 pm. If you have questions, email sr0433@yahoo.com or call 510-496-6016.

Directions to Orinda Public Library at 24 Orinda Way:

From the west, take Hwy 24 to the Orinda/Moraga exit. At the end of the off ramp, turn left on Camino Pablo (toward Orinda Village), right on Santa Maria Way (the signal after the BART station and freeway entrance), and left on Orinda Way.
From the east, take Hwy 24 to the Orinda exit. Follow the ramp to Orinda Village. Turn right on Santa Maria way (the first signal) and left on Orinda Way.
Once on Orinda Way, go 1 short block to the parking lot on the southeast side of the two-story building on your right. There is additional free parking beneath the building as well as on the street.

From BART (4 blocks): Exit the Orinda station, turn right and cross a pedestrian bridge, then cross a second pedestrian bridge on the left. Go 1 short block on the sidewalk to the third pedestrian bridge. Go 2 blocks on Orinda Way to the Orinda Library.

Silvery bryum moss (Bryum argenteum) grows on Mount Diable.  Photo by George Shepherd.

Silvery bryum moss (Bryum argenteum) grows on Mount Diable. Photo by George Shepherd.