Sphagnum Mosses of PA Workshop

May 4, 2018 • 9:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
Black Moshannon State Park • Philipsburg, PA  16866

Instructor: Scott Schuette, Ph.D., Bryologist, Natural Heritage Inventory Manager, PA Natural Heritage Program, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy

Cost: $ 50.00. Register here now!

This workshop is designed to foster a greater appreciation for the ecological roles and introduce participants to the tremendous diversity of Sphagnum in Pennsylvania. Two primary objectives for the workshop are to introduce participants to the unique biology as well as observational and technical skills necessary to identify our common Sphagnum species.

With 41 species representing 8 different sections, Sphagnum is the most speciose genus of mosses in Pennsylvania. Nearly all of these species will be covered, but emphasis will be placed on the more commonly encountered species from each section. Herbarium and live material will be examined for diagnostic characters for the sections and the species.

No prior knowledge of Sphagnum is necessary for this workshop, but some familiarity with basic plant biology will be helpful.  Magnification is a must for identifying mosses.  Please bring along a magnifier of about 14x.  Microscopes will be provided for use during the indoor portion of the workshop.  We will be using Mosses, Liverworts, and Hornworts: A Field Guide to Common Bryophytes of the Northeast (Cornell University Press, 2016; ISBN 9781501700781) and Peat Mosses of the Southeastern United States (New York Botanical Garden Press, 2009 ISBN-13: 978-0-89327-505-1)for hands-on plant identifications.  Other reference material will be available throughout the workshop.

Part of the workshop will be outdoors to familiarize participants with finding, collecting, and identifying Sphagnum in the field.  Bring along boots, or be prepared to get your feet wet.


9:00   –  9:15 a.m. – Introductions and Overview of the Day

9:15   – 10:15 – Introduction to Sphagnum biology/ecology

10:15 – 12:00 – Sphagnum section identification (indoors)

12:15– 12:45 – Lunch. Please plan to bring your own lunch.

12:45 –  1:45 – Sphagnum species identification (indoors) continued

1:45  –  4:45 – Identification, collecting, specimen preparation (outdoors)