Taxonomic workshop 1981: Thames Polytechnic, Woolwich, London

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28 November 1981 - 29 November 1981

Workshop report

The eighth Taxonomic Workshop was held on November 28-29 at Thames Polytechnic, London, by kind permission of Mr M. D. Morisetti, head of the School of Biological Sciences. The meeting was well attended, with eighteen participants coming not only from London, Essex, Hampshire and Hertfordshire but from as far afield as Wales, Cheshire, Derbyshire, Hereford, Norfolk and Bristol.

Prof. J. G. Duckett took the morning session and clarified the identification of Barbulas, pointing out well-marked field characters as well as distinctive appearances and habitats. Particular attention was paid to distinguishing between confusing pairs of species. Useful hints on technique included chopping leaves to enable flattened pieces to be mounted for observation of cell lengths over nerves.

The afternoon was spent on SphagnaMr M. O. Hill spoke on the sections of the genus and supplied an illustrated guide for reference. He listed difficulties met with in identification and demonstrated with the microscope features which, to the uninitiated, are not obvious from printed descriptions. These features included variability of papillae on cell wails in some species. A number of exercises were also set, including the recognition of pore sizes in different species.

The field day in Epping Forest and Balls Park Wood, Herts., produced a fair range of common lowland species. Thus, this latest in the annual series of teach-ins once again proved the need for them and their popularity. Thanks go to Dr P.D. Coker for making all arrangements, and to Mr Hill and Prof. Duckett for generously giving of their time and knowledge.

G.G. Geyman


Thames Polytechnic, Woolwich, London