Checklists and distribution

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Bryophytes in Britain and Ireland

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 Census Catalogue which lists all accepted species and the vice-counties in which they have been recorded.

The last full Census Catalogue was published in 2008, although the data has been updated at regular intervals since then.

During 2020 the Recording Committee have been reviewing the latest European checklist released at the start of the year, and have produced a new UK checklist (list of accepted species). Work has now begun on a new Census Catalogue which will contain data up to the end of 2020, and will probably be published towards the end of 2021.

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.

Download the spreadsheet
The 2008 checklist of British and Irish bryophytes

This spreadsheet, last updated in 2009, has now been superseded by the 2020 checklist above, but will be retained for a time.

Download the 2009 checklist of British and Irish Bryophytes

Census catalogue

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 last printed Census catalogue was produced in 2008, although there have been interim updates since then which are published via the website.

Hill, M.O., Blackstock, T.H., Long, D.G. & Rothero, G.P. 2008. Check-list and Census Catalogue of British and Irish bryophytes

The printed 2008 Census Catalogue is still available to order from the BBS.

Order the Census Catalogue
Blockeel, T. 2018. Interim Census Catalogue of British and Irish bryophytes

The 2008 Census Catalogue, updated in 2018 with all vice-county records submitted between 2008 – 2018

Download the Interim Census Catalogue 2018
Blockeel, T. 2018. Interim Census Catalogue of British and Irish bryophytes – spreadsheet

The 2008 Census Catalogue (updated 2018) data is also provided as a downloadable spreadsheet with a record for each species / vice-county combination. These can be used to create individual vice-county checklists of species found

Download the latest Census Catalogue in spreadsheet form

Distribution in Britain and Ireland

Species distribution map utility

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.
National Biodiversity Network Atlas

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.

European bryophytes


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.

Download the checklist

Checklist and country status

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 .

Download the European checklist
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.

Aegean Bryophyte Atlas

Burkhard Biel’s Aegean Bryophyte Atlas

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.

View the Aegean Bryophyte Atlas