A Saprophytic Liverwort

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THE saprophytic liverwort described in this communication was found by Mr. M. V. Brian, of the Department of Zoology in this University, early in December 1948, while investigating an ant's nest in a wood near Cardross, Dumbartonshire. The first specimens found and brought into the Botany Department were white, fleshy, irregularly lobed bodies which were provisionally identified as the thalli of a liverwort. A little later, Mr. Brian found further material, which, since it bore young sporogonia, could be identified as a species of Aneura, or, at any rate, as being closely related to that genus. Since then, Dr. Bond and I have examined the plant in the field, and a fuller investigation has been started since its completely saprophytic habit is of considerable interest. The occurrence of a similar saprophytic liverwort in France was reported in 1919 by Denis1 ; but, apart from this brief account, referred to by Rayner2 and by Nicolas3, I know of no further reference in the literature.

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  1. 1

    Denis, M., C.R. Acad. Sci., 168 (1919).

  2. 2

    Rayner, M. C., "Mycorrhiza", New Phyt. Reprint No. 15 (1927).

  3. 3

    Nicolas, G., "Manual of Bryology" (Verdoorn, 1932).

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WILLIAMS, S. A Saprophytic Liverwort. Nature 163, 769–770 (1949) doi:10.1038/163769b0

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