NOTE: There will be a short (15 minute) pre-meeting at 7:00 PM to update our CNPS members and others on the progress of our Chapter’s Emergent Invasives Program. We will release the updated list of important invaders and the special Watchlist species. We will also take a look the upcoming season’s most important invaders and steps to take. Please join us for an update on this award-winning program.

Date: May 19, 2016, doors open 6:15 pm, meeting starts at 7:00 pm.

Location: Duck Club, Irvine (Directions)

Featured Speaker: Paul Wilson, on Bryophyte Basics

(This presentation was rescheduled from a previous date)

While we may be pretty good at identifying the flowering plants we see in our wildlands, the tiniest of Orange County plants may not even get a second look. These are the Bryophytes! Liverworts, mosses, and hornworts are quite different from the plants people are most familiar with - ferns, conifers, flowering plants, etc.

Just how do the mosses, liverworts and hornworts manage their existence without vascular tissue to move around moisture and nutriments? Actually, pretty well - their mostly tiny size helps a lot. Their habitats and life cycles are surprisingly varied and definitely intriguing.

Bryophytes tend to be desiccation tolerant, “springing back to life” when moisture arrives, and many can grow a new plant just from a tiny fragment. These are things that most vascular plants can’t do. Bryophytes occur in a wide variety of habitat and not just wet spots. For example, California deserts are home to quite a number of mosses. If you thought that there was one kind of moss and they all look alike, you will learn differently! And the liverworts and hornworts are another whole story.

The talk will end with images of some must-know Orange-County mosses and liverworts from the February field trip that Paul led for us. Those who came along learned that it would take much more than one trip to even begin to distinguish among them!

Paul Wilson is a professor of ecology and evolution at California State University Northridge where he was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award in 2011. He is cofounder of the new Bryophyte Chapter of CNPS. He teaches a variety of field biology classes for non-majors and majors. This evening’s event is co-­sponsored with the Bryophyte Chapter.

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