One of the BBS’s main activities is recording bryophytes throughout the UK and Ireland. These records are collated in a database and used to produce distribution maps, checklists and the like. This page brings together the various resources and utilities built upon this data, and provides links to some related resources for other areas of the world.
The BBS periodically reviews taxonomic changes and the recording database, and produces a checklist which lists all accepted species and a census catalogue which lists the vice-counties in which they have been recorded.
During 2020, the Recording Committee reviewed the latest European checklist released at the start of the year, and produced a new UK checklist (list of accepted species). This was published in the Journal of Bryology in March 2021.
A new census catalogue was then published in December 2021, including all records up to the end of 2020.
The resources provided here are the latest available. New versions will be uploaded as and when they are published or otherwise made publicly available.
It is a condition of downloading any files within this section that due acknowledgement is made to the British Bryological Society in any publications or reports of work which incorporate or make use of these data.
Blockeel, T.L, Bell, N.E., Hill, M.O., Hodgetts, N.G., Long, D.G., Pilkington, S.L. & Rothero, G.P. 2020. A new checklist of the bryophytes of Britain and Ireland. Journal of Bryology online, March 2021
The latest checklist, 2020, available online on the Taylor & Francis website; free to download from March 12th for 3 months, then available to members as usual.
Checklist cross-reference from 2008 to 2020 names
This spreadsheet cross references the previous (2008) checklist names to the latest (2020) names.
The BBS Census catalogue documents the occurrence of species across vice-counties at a particular point in time and is generated from the database of bryophyte records maintained by the BBS Recording Secretary.
The latest Census catalogue was published in December 2021, and is available to order as a printed book, and to download (free of charge) from the Census Catalogues page.
The Census Catalogues page also lists all previous catalogues, with downloads where available.
Species dictionary files
Dr Phil Stanley has generated new dictionary files corresponding to the 2020/2021 species checklists for the UK and Europe. These can be used in Microsoft Word and similar applications to check the spelling of the new species names.
Dictionary of species names for Great Britain and Ireland (2021)
The file will download as a .txt file, so you will need to rename it to a .dic file, then import as a custom dictionary into Word or similar.
If your browser is configured to open text files rather than download them, you may need to right-click the link and take the ‘Save link as…’ option to save the file to your hard drive.
BBS member John Lowell has developed a utility to display the BBS vice-county bryophyte distribution data (up to and including 2019 records) on maps. This is a very quick and simple visual way of displaying the data of any species.
The NBN is a collaborative partnership formed to exchange biodiversity information. The BBS partners with the NBN, which means that all verified records are submitted for inclusion in the NBN database. This makes the data available to the NBN Atlas which is a powerful tool for searching and viewing species distribution data. Note however that it takes time for records to make their way into the NBN database, so the distribution data isn’t completely up to date.
Blockeel ,T.L., Bosanquet, S.D.S., Hill, M.O. & Preston, C.D. (Eds). 2014. Atlas of British and Irish Bryophytes.
The 2014 Atlas of British and Irish Bryophytes is a very useful 2-volume reference book to have in your library, and comes with a CD of the entire contents so that you can take it wherever you go! It is available to purchase from Nature Bureau.
Hodgetts, N. et al. 2020. An annotated checklist of bryophytes of Europe, Macaronesia and Cyprus. Journal of Bryology 42: 1-116
A new European checklist was published in Journal of Bryology in May 2020 and is available from the Taylor & Francis website or as a download below. This monograph lists the accepted names for all hornwort, liverwort and moss species known in Europe.
Hodgetts, N. and Lockhart, N. 2020. Checklist and country status of European bryophytes. Irish Wildlife Manuals, No. 123.
Following the publication of the new European checklist, Nick Hodgetts and Neil Lockhart published an updated Checklist and country status of European bryophytes which can be downloaded from the Irish National Parks and Wildlife Service website .
Hodgetts, N. and Lockhart, N. 2020. Checklist and country status of European bryophytes – spreadsheets
The data for the above report is also available as 2 downloadable spreadsheets: one for mosses and the other for hornworts and liverworts. These are again available from the Irish National Parks and Wildlife Services website.
Since 2014, Burkhard Biel has been working on a project to survey the bryophytes of the Aegean Islands, and to make the results available online in the form of distribution maps for each species. You can view the results so far on his website, which is updated regularly.