Regeneration capacity of oceanic-montane liverworts: implications for community distribution and conservation

Maren Flagmeier, David G. Long, David R. Genney, Peter M. Hollingsworth, Sarah J. Woodin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Scotland’s mountains are home to a rare and unique liverwort community, ‘the oceanic-montane liverwort-rich heath’, but its component species are absent from regions where they could potentially thrive. Many biological characteristics of these species are unknown, making it impossible to explain the reasons for their rarity; however, they have not been observed to produce sporophytes within Britain. We use ex situ cultivation of whole liverworts and fragments, and in situ cultivation of fragments, to assess the growth rate and the potential for vegetative reproduction of several species. Most of the species grew from both fragments and as whole plants, indicating that the rarity of the liverwort heath is not due to poor powers of regeneration. We propose that growth rate and the potential to regenerate from fragments are important factors structuring the liverwort heath community, at least locally. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that there is potential for ex situ conservation of rare liverwort species, in situ enhancement of existing populations, and creation of new ones.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-19
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bryology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2013


  • hepatic mat
  • conservation
  • asexual reproduction
  • liverwort health
  • regeneration
  • growth rate
  • leafy liverwort
  • bryophytes


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