Stabler's rustwort (Marsupella stableri)

loading
Stabler's rustwort
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Stabler's rustwort fact file

Stabler's rustwort description

KingdomPlantae
PhylumHepatophyta
ClassHepatopsida
OrderJungermanniales
FamilyGymnomitriaceae
GenusMarsupella (1)

This small, leafy liverwort grows in pinkish-green to rosy red, or occasionally purplish-brown or coppery coloured mats (4) (2). It has often been confused with the related species Marsupella boekii (3). Detailed examination can distinguish the two, with the leaves of Marsupella boekii usually being spaced further apart, and less closely pressed to the stem. Marsupella boekii also often lacks the rosy colour seen in Stabler's rustwort (2).

Size
Length: up to 15 mm (2)
Top

Stabler's rustwort biology

Liverworts, hornworts and mosses form a group of plants called bryophytes (5). Bryophytes lack many of the more complex structures of the higher plants, such as a vascular system, and flowers. They do not have roots, instead they have structures called 'rhizoids' which absorb water and anchor the plant to the substrate. In liverworts these rhizoids each consist of a single elongated cell (6). Bryophytes have an interesting life cycle, which consists of two main stages, called the gametophyte and sporophyte generations, the gametophyte generation is dominant (6).

Top

Stabler's rustwort range

This liverwort has been recorded from sites in Scotland, the Lake District and from two sites in north Wales (3). The range outside of Britain is unclear, due to confusion with Marsupella boekii, but Stabler's rustwort has been recorded from western Norway and Canada (3).

You can view distribution information for this species at the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
Top

Stabler's rustwort habitat

Found in mountains at altitudes of between 300 and 1160 m, where it grows on wet or moist, steeply sloping to vertical acidic or mildly basic rocks, including rocks and gravely soil (3) (2). Typical habitats supporting this species are flushed with water periodically throughout the year (3).

Top

Stabler's rustwort status

Classified as Nationally Scarce in Great Britain (3).

Top

Stabler's rustwort threats

The threats facing this species are not understood, but it seems likely that the building of ski lifts and disturbance and erosion caused by walkers and climbers may have resulted in losses of Stabler's rustwort in some areas (3).

Top

Stabler's rustwort conservation

This liverwort is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) priority species; a Species Action Plan has therefore been produced to guide its conservation (3). The plan aims to maintain viable populations throughout the current range of the species. A large number of the present sites that support this species are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), and some occur in National Nature Reserves (NNRs), the species therefore benefits from a degree of protection at these sites (3).

The UK Biodiversity Action Plan for this species is available at UK BAP.
There may be further information about this species available via the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
Top

Authentication

Information authenticated by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew:
http://www.rbgkew.org.uk/

Top

Glossary

Gametophyte
A life cycle stage in plants, which has one set of chromosomes (threads of DNA protein) in the cell nucleus (a condition known as ‘haploid’), which arises from a spore (which is also haploid). Sex cells (gametes) are produced during the gametophyte stage. This is the dominant life-cycle stage in liverworts and mosses.
Rhizoids
Thread-like structures that help to anchor the plant to the substrate, and absorb minerals and water. In liverworts they consist of a single cell, in mosses they are multi-cellular.
Sporophyte
The stage of a plant life cycle that produces spores (microscopic particles used in dispersal and reproduction). This stage is diploid (in the cell nucleus there are two sets of chromosomes - threads of DNA protein) and is dominant in ‘higher’ plants such as flowering plants.
Vascular system
In plants, the system that allows water and nutrients to move around.
Top

References

  1. National Biodiversity Network Species Dictionary (September 2002) http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nbn/
  2. Paton, J. A. (1999) The liverwort flora of British Isles. Harley Books, Colchester, UK.
  3. UK BAP Species Action Plan (September 2002): http://www.ukbap.org.uk
  4. Hill, M.O., Preston, C. D. & Smith, A. J. E. (1992) Atlas of the bryophytes of Britain and Ireland. Volume 1: liverworts. Harley Books, London.
  5. Church, J. M., Hodgetts, N. G., Preston, C. D. and Stewart, N. F. (2001) British Red Data Books: mosses and liverworts. Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough.
  6. Mosses and Liverworts in Wales (May 2002): http://home.clara.net/adhale/bryos/
X
Close

Image credit

Stabler's rustwort  
Stabler's rustwort

© British Bryological Society / National Museum & Gallery, Cardiff

National Museum & Gallery, Cardiff
Cathays Park
Cardiff
CF10 3NP
United Kingdom
biosyb@nmgw.ac.uk
http://www.nmgw.ac.uk/nmgc/

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Stabler's rustwort (Marsupella stableri) Embed this ARKive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about

X
Close

MyARKive

MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!

Blog