Scientific Name: Haplodontium macrocarpum
Other/Previous Names: Mielichhoferia macrocarpa
Taxonomy Group: Mosses
Range: Nunavut, British Columbia, Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador
Last COSEWIC Assessment: November 2003
Last COSEWIC Designation: Threatened
SARA Status: Schedule 1, Threatened
Image of Porsild's Bryum
Although this species is currently placed in the genus Mielichhoferia, recent research indicates a closer relationship with members of the genus Bryum.
Porsild’s Bryum is a small moss that grows in short, compact cushions only 0.3 to 1 cm high. These cushions are bright green and have a spongy texture. Individual stems are reddish-brown and have multiple branches. The leaves are shiny, slightly concave, recurved, and range in length from 0.6 to 1.5 mm. Porsild’s Bryum is dioicous, meaning there are separate male and female plants. The female plants are larger, with leaves that are less concave in shape and more evenly spaced on the stems. Cushions of female plants often produce copious amounts of sporophytes (part of the plant’s reproductive process).
Distribution and Population
Porsild’s Bryum is found throughout northern latitudes around the globe, from North America, southern Siberia, the southern Ural Mountains in Kazakhstan, and the Sayan Mountains of central Asia. The distribution of the species is highly fragmented, with the majority of known populations in Canada and Alaska. There are 27 known locations of Porsild’s Bryum in North America, 10 of which are in Canada. There are five general areas where this moss is found, most of which are associated with western mountain ranges. In British Columbia, one site has been found on the north face of Mt. Socrates, occupying a total area of less than 1m2. In Alberta, the moss is found at three sites with a total area of less than 40 m2 (Whitehorse Wildland Park and Kananaskis Country). Six sites have been found in Newfoundland in the Great Northern Peninsula area (total area 18m2), and one site has been identified in Nunuvut on Ellesmere Island, total area unknown. While each colony has a different rate of die-off, there is an overall decline in the number of colonies of Canadian populations of Porsild’s Bryum.
Porsild’s Bryum is associated with western mountain ranges, preferring sites that are constantly moist with seepage or splash during the growing season, along with complete desiccation (drying out due to water freezing) during the winter season. This moss grows in cracks and cliffs of calcareous conglomerate rock, limestone, basalt, sandstone, and shale.
Porsild’s Bryum can reproduce both sexually and asexually, and the production of spores is frequent when plants of both sexes are present at the same site. This species is particularly adapted to both long periods of growth and inactivity in a desiccated (dried out) state, but it is susceptible to disturbance from drought and ice scouring, and rock slides can substantially reduce colonies. The longest record for continuous existence of colonies at the same location is 75 years for a Greenland population.
Porsild’s Bryum is susceptible to human-caused activities that destabilize rock cliffs. These can include off-road vehicle use, coal mining exploration, road construction, and blasting. Development and recreational activities are of particular concern for Porsild’s Bryum populations in Alberta and British Columbia.
Federal ProtectionThe Porsild's Bryum is protected under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). More information about SARA, including how it protects individual species, is available in the Species at Risk Act: A Guide.
Provincial and Territorial Protection
Status of Recovery Planning
Recovery Strategies :
Name Recovery Strategy for the Porsild’s Bryum (Haplodontium macrocarpum) in Canada
Status Final posting on SAR registry
BC Bryophyte Recovery Team
Brenda Costanzo - Chair/Contact - Government of BC
Phone: 250-387-9611 Fax: 250-356-9145 Send Email
PLEASE NOTE: Not all COSEWIC reports are currently available on the SARA Public Registry. Most of the reports not yet available are status reports for species assessed by COSEWIC prior to May 2002. Other COSEWIC reports not yet available may include those species assessed as Extinct, Data Deficient or Not at Risk. In the meantime, they are available on request from the COSEWIC Secretariat.
12 record(s) found.
- COSEWIC Status Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Assessments (1 record(s) found.)
- Response Statements (1 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Strategies (1 record(s) found.)
- Orders (4 record(s) found.)
- COSEWIC Annual Reports (1 record(s) found.)
- Consultation Documents (1 record(s) found.)
- Critical Habitat Descriptions in the Canada Gazette (1 record(s) found.)
- Recovery Document Posting Plans (1 record(s) found.)
COSEWIC Status Reports
COSEWIC Annual Reports
COSEWIC Annual Report - 2004 (2004)2004 Annual Report to the Canadian Endangered Species Conservation Council (CESCC) from the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
Critical Habitat Descriptions in the Canada Gazette
Recovery Document Posting Plans
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