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Orthotricum diaphanum

Orthotricum diaphanum
General view of Orthotricum diaphanum

 

Orthotrichum diaphanum

Usually growing on trees and wooden fences, this specimen was found growing on the wall which surrounds Bristo Square.

The reason that it was found here may be because of the numerous bird droppings that covered parts of the the wall .

These droppings are full of nitrogenous compounds and provide a rich source of essential nutrients.

Sadly, probably because of extensive trimming and removal of some bushes, this specimen is no longer there.

Capsules

This picture shows two capsules, one still with its covering calyptra, and the other  mature and open with the peristome teeth spread out horizontally.


The hyaline (clear) leaf tip can also be seen on the leaf to the right of the image.
Capsules
Capsules
 
Peristome teeth
Peristome teeth
 
Peristome

In this close-up image we can see the capsule with the peristome teeth opened to permit release of the spores.



The green spores can also be seen at the mouth of the capsule.
Spores of Orthotrichum diaphanum.



Extremely small, with a diameter of about 16 microns, the spores are easily transported by the wind.( A micron is a millionth of a metre)



The spores in the picture are not smooth but seem to posses a coat of papules (bumps).
Spores
Spores of Orthotricum diaphanum
   

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This project was funded by the RIAS Millennium Awards Scheme