I’m just back from the John Child Bryophyte Workshop for 2009, which I helped organise (along with Massey University’s Lara Shepherd and Jill Rapson).
The Bryophyte Workshop studies mosses, liverworts, and hornworts, as well as lichens. Although often overlooked because of their small size, these plants are significant biodiversity and biomass components of many habitats.
The 35 participants encompassed beginners to experts, amateurs to professionals, and came from all over New Zealand (plus Australia).
We were based this year in the Hawke’s Bay at Waipukurau, with the excellent venue of Pukeora Estate.
We collected samples from several nearby sites (with a permit from the Department of Conservation).
Once we had finished in the field, we returned to ‘base’ for a closer examination of the collected specimens. Many of these small plants cannot be identified precisely without the aid of a microscope.
Some of the specimens will be stored permanently in Te Papa’s herbarium (dried plant collection).