We are hosting a small two-day workshop at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh on the 11th-12th September 2014 to discuss issues around morphologically cryptic species, whether we can gather meaningful ecological data for them, and how to deal with issues of cryptic plant rarity. RBGE holds a large molecular data set for Aneura, comprising recognized plant barcoding regions within the plastid loci rbcL, matK and psbA-trnH and the nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2, and can make this molecular data and corresponding specimens available for examination and discussion during the workshop. Our focus has been on collections from the British Isles, although we have included samples from other geographic locations where available. We would like to obtain a community consensus on how to handle the species that make up ‘Aneura pinguis’; this can act as a model for other bryophytes where known morphological characters are insufficient to circumscribe biodiversity (e.g. Nothoceros, Metzgeria).
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in participating, saying whether you would be prepared to give a short presentation, or will contribute data or discussion to the project. Sequences from Aneura collections that have oil body and/or phenological data are particularly important, so please let us know if you have information from living material that we can add to the matrix.
Laura Forrest (RBGE) & Juan Carlos Villarreal (Munich)