Checklist of the Mosses of French Guiana
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Compiled by William R. Buck

This checklist of the mosses of French Guiana is based on the one published by Florschütz-de Waard (1990) and supplemented by my own collections. My work is an outgrowth of the Mori et al. (1997) work on the vascular plants of the vicinity of Saül. Technically the region treated in central French Guiana is a 133,600 hectare track of land that was proposed as a national park in 1975. In reality, though, it is based on a much smaller area and, at least for mosses, well less than 10% of the total area has been explored. Nevertheless, what land has been surveyed has proved to be surprisingly rich in mosses, much more so than one might expect in lowland northern South America.

I first visited French Guiana in November 1990, as part of a general collecting trip organized by Scott Mori and Carol Gracie. During this two week trip, of which only 11 days were spent collecting, I made about 675 collections of cryptogams, principally mosses and lichens. Because of the richness of the moss collections I committed to working more extensively in the area and subsequently applied for and received a grant from the National Geographic Society for cryptogamic collecting in the region. In late August 1994, once again accompanied by Scott Mori and Carol Gracie, a team consisting of myself, Richard Harris, and Sabine Huhndorf, spent two weeks in the Saül region and a few days in the northern part of French Guiana collecting, respectively, mosses, lichens, and ascomycetes. On this expedition I took advantage of an opportunity to hike into and camp at the base of Mont Galbao, the region's highest peak of around 760 m. The summit of Mont Galbao is exceedingly rich in bryophytes, with most of the tree trunks and branches mossily sheathed. During that trip I made about 500 cryptogamic collections. Among the mosses were numerous records new to French Guiana and even to the Guianas and the Americas. Finally, in November 1997, I returned to French Guiana as part of another National Geographic Society-sponsored expedition. Because of the richness of Mont Galbao, I wanted to return there to collect more knowledgably. Prior to this hike, I was able to take an overnight hiking trip to Crique Saint-Éloi, the largest river in the area, about 10 km N of our base at Eaux Claires. Once again, this different habitat, a floodplain, significantly increased the number of previously undiscovered moss taxa. I am sure that with additional collecting, especially in unusual and different habitats, e.g., Pic Matécho, that a significant number of additional mosses will be added to the present checklist.

French Guiana lies on the northern coast of South America, sandwiched between Surinam and Brazil. It is an overseas department of France and as such has the collecting regulations of a European country, unlike most of its concontinental neighbors. French Guiana is thus a relatively easy Neotropical area in which to conduct field work. Unlike Amazonian Brazil, French Guiana has an undulating topography, giving rise to a rich diversity of microhabitats. Most of the land is never subject to inundation and, although not common, rocky areas do exist. The summit of Mont Galbao is probably best characterized as a lower montane forest but, due to the fog and cloud cover, mimics cloud forests elsewhere in the Neotropics.

The lowland forest over much of the area ranges from about 200 m to 400 m on various ridges. Even this variation in elevation makes a large difference in the bryoflora. In the lowest areas it is more humid and shaded, and harbors a rich diversity of Hookerialean mosses. On the ridges the forest is more open and a breeze blows through it, decreasing the humidity. In such sites the Calymperaceae are particularly rich and a number of exceedingly rare species are present. The largest genus in the local flora, Fissidens, with 20 species and surely more to be found, grows throughout the range of habitats, on almost all imaginable substrates.

The following symbols are used in the checklist:

*collected by Buck in Saül region, 1990
§collected by Buck in Saül region, 1994
#collected by Buck in Saül region, 1997
bold is new to French Guiana
names in parentheses are synonyms used by Florschütz-de Waard (1990)

(Click on a letter above to jump to the genera beginning with that letter in the list below.)

*#Acroporium pungens
Actinodontium sprucei
Archidium ohioense
Barbula agraria
Barbula indica
Brachymenium speciosum (sipapoense)
Brachymenium wrightii
*Bryum apiculatum
Bryum beyrichianum
Bryum billardieri
Bryum capillare
Bryum coronatum
*Callicostella colombica (grossiretis)
Callicostella merkelii
#§*Callicostella pallida
§Callicostella rufescens
§*Calymperes afzelii
#*Calymperes erosum
§*Calymperes guildingii
#§*Calymperes lonchophyllum
*Calymperes mitrafugax
Calymperes nicaraguense
§*Calymperes othmeri
#*Calymperes palisotii
*Calymperes platyloma
#§*Calymperes rubiginosum
*Calymperes smithii
Calymperes uleanum
Calymperes venezuelanum
Campylopus arctocarpus
Campylopus cubensis
§Campylopus lamellinervis var. exaltatus
Campylopus savannarum
Campylopus surinamensis
#§*Chryso-hypnum diminutivum
Crossomitrium epiphyllum
#§*Crossomitrium patrisiae
Crossomitrium rotundifolium
#Cyrto-hypnum involvens
#§*Cyrto-hypnum scabrosulum
*Cyrto-hypnum schistocalyx
#Daltonia longifolia
Dicranella hilariana
*Donnellia commutata
§*Ectropothecium leptochaeton
*Eulacophyllum cultelliforme
#*Fissidens allionii
*Fissidens angustifolius
#§*Fissidens elegans
#Fissidens flaccidus (mollis)
#§*Fissidens guianensis
*Fissidens hornschuchii
#§Fissidens inaequalis
§Fissidens lagenarius (diplodus var. wainionis)
§Fissidens lagenarius var. muriculatus (diplodus)
Fissidens leptophyllus
§*Fissidens minutus
§Fissidens oblongifolius
#Fissidens obtusissimus
#*Fissidens ornatus
*Fissidens palmatus
#*Fissidens pellucidus
§*Fissidens prionodes
*Fissidens radicans
§Fissidens saülensis
§Fissidens scariosus
Fissidens submarginatus (intermedius)
Fissidens subramicola (austro-americanus)
Fissidens weirii var. weirii
#Fissidens weirii var. bistratosus
Fissidens zollingeri
#§Floribundaria plumaria
#§*Groutiella mucronifolia
#*Groutiella obtusa
#Groutiella tomentosa
#§*Henicodium geniculatum
#Holomitrium arboreum
§Homaliodendron piniforme
Hydropogon fontinaloides
#*Hyophila involuta
Hypnella pallescens
Isodrepanium lentulum
#Isopterygium subbrevisetum
#§*Isopterygium tenerum
#*Jaegerina scariosa
Lepidopilidium portoricense
§*Lepidopilum affine
#§*Lepidopilum amplirete
#§*Lepidopilum brevipes
#§*Lepidopilum polytrichoides
#§*Lepidopilum scabrisetum (radicale, stolonaceum)
#§*Lepidopilum surinamense
Lepidopilum tortifolium
Lepyrodontopsis trichophylla
Leucobryum albidum
#Leucobryum antillarum
Leucobryum crispum
#§*Leucobryum martianum
#§*Leucoloma cruegerianum
Leucoloma mariei
#§*Leucoloma serrulatum
Leucoloma tortellum
#*Leucomium strumosum
#§*Leucophanes molleri
#§*Macromitrium cirrosum
*Macromitrium leprieurii
#Macromitrium pellucidum
§*Macromitrium podocarpi (portoricense)
#§*Macromitrium punctatum (pentastichum)
Macromitrium scoparium (schwaneckeanum)
Macromitrium stellulatum
#*Meiothecium boryanum
Meteoridium remotifolium
§Meteorium nigrescens
Microdus muralis
§Mittenothamnium reptans
Mniomalia viridis
#*Neckeropsis disticha
*Neckeropsis undulata
*Octoblepharum albidum
§*Octoblepharum cocuiense
Octoblepharum cylindricum
Octoblepharum erectifolium
Octoblepharum pellucidum
#§*Octoblepharum pulvinatum
*Octoblepharum stramineum
Orthostichella pentasticha
Orthostichidium guyanense
§*Orthostichopsis praetermissa
#§*Orthostichopsis tetragona
*Philonotis uncinata var. glaucescens
#*Phyllodon truncatulus
*Phyllodrepanium falcifolium
§Phyllogonium fulgens
Phyllogonium viride
#*Pilosium chlorophyllum
#§*Pilotrichum bipinnatum
#§*Pilotrichum evanescens
Pilotrichum fendleri
§Pireella cymbifolia
§*Pireella pohlii
Porothamnium stipitatum
Porotrichum korthalsianum
Porotrichum molliculum
#§*Porotrichum substriatum
Potamium lonchophyllum
§Pterogonidium pulchellum
Pyrrhobryum spiniforme
Racopilum tomentosum
Renauldia paradoxica
#§*Rhacopilopsis trinitensis
Schlotheimia jamesonii
§*Schlotheimia rugifolia
Schlotheimia torquata
#Sematophyllum allinckxiorum
Sematophyllum cochleatum
#Sematophyllum squarrosum
#Sematophyllum subpinnatum
#*Sematophyllum subsimplex
Sematophyllum vulpinum
Squamidium leucotrichum
#§*Syrrhopodon africanus ssp. graminicola
Syrrhopodon circinatus
#*Syrrhopodon cryptocarpos
Syrrhopodon cymbifolius
§Syrrhopodon disciformis
#§*Syrrhopodon elatus
§Syrrhopodon flexifolius
*Syrrhopodon hornschuchii
#§*Syrrhopodon incompletus
Syrrhopodon incompletus var. berteroanus
*Syrrhopodon incompletus var. luridus
#§*Syrrhopodon lanceolatus
§*Syrrhopodon leprieruii
#§*Syrrhopodon ligulatus
#*Syrrhopodon parasiticus
§Syrrhopodon prolifer
§Syrrhododon prolifer var. acanthoneuros
Syrrhopodon prolifer var. cincinnatius
Syrrhopodon prolifer var. scaber
*Syrrhopodon rigidus
*Syrrhopodon simmondsii
#§*Taxithelium planum (quelchii)
#§*Taxithelium pluripunctatum
§Thuidium tomentosum
#*Trachyxiphium guadalupense (falcatum)
Trichosteleum fluviale
Trichosteleum intricatum
#*Trichosteleum papillosum
§Trichosteleum subdemissum (hornschuchii)
#Vesicularia eligiana
#§*Vesicularia vesicularis
Wijkia costaricensis
#§*Zelometeorium patulum

Total taxa known from French Guiana = 194
Number of taxa collected by Buck near Saül = 147
76% of taxa known from French Guiana collected in vicinity of Saül
39 taxa found new to French Guiana (including 2 new to the New World)

Literature Cited

Florschütz-de Waard, J. 1990. A catalogue of the bryophytes of the Guianas. II. Musci. Trop. Bryol. 3: 89-104.

Mori, S. A., G. Cremers, C. Gracie, J.-J. de Granville, M. Hoff & J. D. Mitchell. 1997. Guide to the Vascular Plants of Central French Guiana: Part 1. Pteridophytes, Gymnosperms, and Monocotyledons. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 76(1):1-422.

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