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Pseudotaxiphyllum Moss

Pseudotaxiphyllum distichaceum Iwatsuki 1987

Comprehensive Description

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Pseudotaxiphyllum distichaceum

Pseudotaxiphyllum distichaceum (Mitt.) Z. Iwats., J. Hattori Bot. Lab. 63: 449. 1987. Stereodon distichaceus Mitt., J. Proc. Linn. Soc., Bot., Suppl. 1: 105. 1859; Isopterygium distichaceum (Mitt.) A. Jaeger, Ber. Thätigk. St. Gallischen Naturwiss. Ges. 1876–77: 439. 1878. Type: Nepal, India, Wallich s.n. (lectotype: NY!, here designated).

Plagiothecium subfalcatum Austin, Musci Appalach. 366. 1870; Isopterygium subfalcatum (Austin) A. Jaeger, Ber. Thätigk. St. Gallischen Naturwiss. Ges. 1876–77: 438. 1878. Type: Mountains of New Jersey and New York, Austin’s, Musci Appalach. 366 (isotypes: CANM!, DUKE!, NY!, US!).

Isopterygium poasense Renauld & Cardot, Bull. Soc. Roy. Bot. Belgique 41(1): 141. 1904 [1905]. Type: Costa Rica, Potrero del Alto, volcán de Poás, 2463 m, Pittier 5791 (isotypes: FH!, US!).

Taxiphyllum howellianum H. A. Crum & L. E. Anderson, J. Elisha Mitchell Sci. Soc. 74: 38. 1958. Type: North Carolina, Jackson Co., W of Cashiers, below Cowee Gap, Howell Tract, 1158 m, Anderson 11071 (isotype: CANM!).

Plants in thin to loose mats, glossy, light green to yellowish green. Stems to 2 cm long, 1.0–3.5 mm wide, complanate-foliate, simple or irregularly branched. Asexual reproductive bodies often present, 0.1–0.5 mm long, clustered in leaf axils at or near stem apices, yellowish green, elongate, twisted-vermiform, composed of 2–4 layers of smooth cells, with 1–5 acute, erect teeth at apex. Leaves 1.0–1.8 mm long, 0.3–0.6 mm wide, semiflaccid to rigid, distant, squarrose, complanate, smooth, ovate- or oblong-lanceolate, often cultriform, asymmetric, acuminate; margins plane or narrowly recurved at base, serrate to serrulate above, serrulate to entire below; costa usually strong, short and double; median cells 56–120 × 4–7 µm, smooth; apical cells sometimes prorulose at upper ends

on dorsal surface; alar cells undifferentiated or 1–3 marginal cells quadrate to rectangular. Sex organs and sporophytes not seen on Latin American plants. Reported from India (Buck, 1998) to be dioicous? (no perigonia seen) or monoicous (Gangulee,1980). Buck also reported setae ˜1.5 cm long, reddish, curved just below the urn; capsules ˜1.1–1.5 mm long, horizontal, symmetric, broadly cylindrical with a distinct neck; operculum conic. Crum and Anderson (1981) report spores 8–10 µm in diameter, minutely roughened.

Distribution and ecology: Rare or seldom collected; known from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador and Brazil (Figure 27); also known from southeastern

Canada, eastern United States, Asia, and Australia; occurring on shaded, moist to somewhat dry soil or soil over rocks and boulders, limestone cliffs, often on humid, steep ravines, 0–4040 m.

Discussion: Pseudotaxiphyllum distichaceum is best recognized by the distant, squarrose, complanate, ovate- or oblong-lanceolate, often cultriform, asymmetric, acuminate leaves with serrate to serrulate margins, the narrow median leaf cells, the poorly differentiated alar cells, sometimes 1–3 quadrate to rectangular cells on the margins, and the usual presence of clusters of elongate, twisted-vermiform propagula with 1–5 acute teeth at apices in the upper leaf axils. The Mexican plants studied often lacked the characteristic propagula that occur clustered in the upper leaf axils and, when present, make this one of the easiest plants to recognize. Most of the plants seen elsewhere in Latin America, however, have propagula.

Pseudotaxiphyllum distichaceum is easily confused with P. elegans, especially when propagula are not present. The asymmetric, often cultriform leaves of P. distichaceum will distinguish it from P. elegans, which has symmetric leaves that are never cultriform. When propagula are present, their location on the stems as well as their morphology are distinctly different in the two species. Pseudotaxiphyllum distichaceum has propagula that are elongate, twisted-vermiform with 1–5 acute teeth at the apices, and they occur in the leaf axils at or near the stem apices. On the other hand, P. elegans has propagula in the leaf axils that always occur below the stem apices and they resemble the parent plant, being much smaller, possessing small leaf-like structures along their length.

Specimens examined: MEXICO. Jalisco: Nevado de Colima, 3940–3970 m, De Luna 509a (CANM). Veracruz: 10 km NE of outskirts of Huayacocotla, Juárez G. 1630 (CANM). Zacatecas: Cerro de la Bufa, 2700 m, Cárdenas 339 (CANM, MEXU). GUATEMALA. Quezaltenango: Canyon above Baños Georginas, 8 km above Zunil, ˜2470 m, ˜14°46'N, 91°28'W, Gereau & Martin 1876 (NY). HONDURAS. Lempira: Montana de Celaque, Cerro Mojon, 13 km SW of Gracias, 14°32'N, 88°41'W, Allen 12271 (MO). COSTA RICA. Cartago: ˜97 km S of Cartago, behind Hotel La Georgina on Interamerican Hwy., 2900 m, Bowers 830-1A (TENN). San José: Cerro de Zurqui, N of San Luis Norte, 17 km NNE of San José, 10°03'N, 84°01'W, Crosby 9686 (MO). Parque Nacional Volcán Poás, Morales 538 (CANM). DOMINICAN REPUBLIC. La Vega: Vicinity of pyramids, 13.8 km S of Valle Nuevo, 44.7 km S of Constanza, 2256 m, Shaw 5642 (NY). San Juan–Santiago: Parque Nacional J. Armando Bermúdez, on the Loma La Pelona, 3100–3200 m, Zanoni et al. 42050 (NY). COLOMBIA. Boyacá: Mpio. de Duitama, around Páramo “La Rusia,” 2620 m, Ireland 23602 (CANM, COL). Cundinamarca: Mpio. de Subachoque and Supata, N of Bogota, “El Tablazo,” 3500 m, Ireland 23422 (CANM); Páramo de Palacio, between Mina de Cal and Río Chuza, Páramo Seco, Florschütz 3883 (U). Santander: La Sierra, along road between Párama de la Rusia and Virolin, ˜2600 m, Lewis 88-1350 (CANM, LPB). VENEZUELA. Mérida: Páramo de los Conejos, Sierra del Norte, 3300 m, Griffin & Lopez PV-611 (CANM). ECUADOR. Imbabura: E side of Cerro Imbabura above La Esperanza, ENE of Otavalo, 4040 m, Lewis 78-2969B (F). BRAZIL. Paraná: Ponta Grossa, Park Vila Velha, 900 m, Schäfer-Verwimp & Verwimp 9201 (CANM).
bibliographic citation
Ireland, Robert Root and Buck, William R. 2009. "Some Latin American Genera of Hypnaceae (Musci)." Smithsonian Contributions to Botany. 1-97. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.0081024X.93