Bryophyte flora of the Chagos Archipelago

The 1996 Chagos Expedition provided an opportunity to study the archipelago's bryophyte flora: 25 of the 55 islands were ecologically investigated, some in more detail than others, and lists and representative collections of mosses, hepatics and other cryptogamic plants were assembled for many of them. Although the islands have a low biodiversity for most of these groups, as would be expected in terms of their relatively young age, remoteness and small terrestrial surface areas, those organisms that are present are often found in abundance and play significant ecological roles. Where the status of taxa on islands has been determined, there appears to be a good correlation between bryophyte biodiversity and island size. Epiphytic bryophytes were not host specific and no epiphyllous species was observed. Biogeographic details are provided, where possible, for the 19 taxa recorded, of which four are new to the Indian Ocean and seven are new to the Chagos Archipelago. A new taxon, Cololejeunea planissima var. chagosensis Pocs var. nov. is described, and notes and illustrations of a probably new Lejeunea species are provided.
Seaward Mark , Ellis L , Pocs T , Wigginton M .
bryophytes, Island bryophytes, lejeunea, cololejeunea, planissima var. chagosensis