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Data Paper (Biosciences)
Biota of coastal wetlands of Praia da Vitória (Terceira Island, Azores): Part 2 - Bryophytes
expand article infoRosalina Gabriel, César M.M. Pimentel§, David Claro|, Mariana R. Brito§, Javier Díaz-Castillo, Cecília Sérgio|, Manuela Sim-Sim|, Paulo Alexandre Vieira Borges
‡ CE3C – Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes / Azorean Biodiversity Group and Universidade dos Açores, Angra do Heroísmo, Azores, Portugal
§ LIFE CWR – LIFE project “Ecological Restoration and Conservation of Praia da Vitória Coastal Wet Green Infrastructures”, Praia da Vitória, Azores, Portugal
| CE3C-Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
¶ Os Montanheiros - Speleological Association, Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal
Open Access

Abstract

Background

During the LIFE-CWR project "Ecological Restoration and Conservation of Praia da Vitória Coastal Wet Green Infrastructures", there was the opportunity to undertake a systematic record of bryophytes at Paul da Praia da Vitória (PPV), Paul do Belo Jardim (PBJ) and Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia (PPCP), three coastal wetland areas of Praia da Vitória (Terceira, Azores, Portugal). The objective of the study was to perform a biodiversity assessment, comparing the three sites at two different moments, before and after the implementation of several conservation measures. This project also contributed to improve the knowledge of Azorean bryophyte diversity at both local and regional scales, including the recording of two new taxa for the Azores and three new taxa for Terceira Island.

New information

This paper reports the results of the first extensive survey of bryophyes of the three coastal wetland areas of Praia da Vitória (Terceira Island, Azores, Portugal). The identification of a total of 504 samples, 240 collected in 2013 and 2016 (before the LIFE-CWR intervention) and 265 in 2017 and 2018 (after the intervention), resulted in a list of 58 species of bryophytes (one hornwort, eight liverworts and 48 mosses). These include two new records for the Azores (Bryum klinggraeffii, Ptychostomum bornholmense), three new records for Terceira Island (Bryum tenuisetum, Dicranella howei, Trichostomum crispulum) and at least 15 new records for the municipality of Praia da Vitória (e.g., Cephaloziella hampeana). Some species that had not been recorded on the island since 1937 (e.g., Fissidens crispus) were collected during this study, as well as a Macaronesian endemic liverwort (Radula wichurae), an Iberian-Macaronesian liverwort (Frullania azorica) and a moss species with European distribution (Ptychomitrium nigrescens). From the recorded species, only one moss (Leptophascum leptophyllum), of subtropical origin, is considered invasive in Europe.

Keywords

bryophytes, mosses, liverworts, hornworts, coastal wetlands, bryophyte surveys, standardised sampling, Terceira Island (Azores)

Introduction

Bryophytes are small plants without vascular tissues, directly depending on immediate environmental conditions. Most species are poikilohydric, i.e., lacking the ability (structural or functional) to maintain and/or regulate water content to achieve homeostasis of cells and tissue. Because they are so dependant on their immediate environment, they respond quickly to environmental change, which makes them good bioindicators of changes in land use, precipitation regime, temperature, salinity and pollution.

The Azores archipelago is well-known for its rich bryoflora (480 species and subspecies) (Gabriel et al. 2010), which may be related to the high humidity and mild temperatures, influenced by the Atlantic Ocean, and scarce pollution sources.

Although the coastal areas of the islands are among their most deteriorated habitats, mainly due to urbanization pressure, some interesting, though fragmented, ecosystems remain at lower elevations in the Azores. The three coastal wetlands of Praia da Vitória municipality are a case in point, well worth restoration and habitat protection. The areas, studied during the LIFE-CWR Project – Paul da Praia da Vitória (PPV), Paul do Belo Jardim (PBJ) and Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia (PPCP) – are best known for their birds (Barcelos et al. 2015; Dias 2018; Goulart et al. 2019); however, they harbour other important and interesting biological groups, such as molluscs and arthropods (Martins and Borges 2019), plants and lichens (Elias et al. 2019).

The coastal areas of the Azorean Islands are not thoroughly studied, since bryologists tend to focus on the rich natural forests of the archipelago (e.g., Aranda et al. 2011) and the bryophytic flora of these coastal wetlands had never been systematically sampled.

This is the second contribution in a series of papers (Borges et al. 2018) intending to characterize the biota of the three areas.

General description

Purpose: 

The main aim of this work was to inventory the bryophyte species present in Paul da Praia da Vitória (PPV), Paul do Belo Jardim (PBJ) and Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia (PPCP), three neighbouring areas focused on by the restoration project LIFE-CWR, in order to improve knowledge on the regional distribution of bryophytes (mosses, liverworts, hornworts) and set a baseline for future research in the area.

Project description

Title: 

Inventory of bryophytes in three coastal wetlands of Terceira Island (Azores)

Personnel: 

The inventory was conducted during the years of 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2018 under the responsibility of Rosalina Gabriel, with the participation of Javier Diaz Castillo (2013), César Pimentel and Mariana Reis Brito (2016, 2017). Sampling dates and collectors are listed in Table 1. Species identifications were performed by César Pimentel under the supervision of Rosalina Gabriel (2016 and 2017), and David Claro (2013) under the supervision of Cecília Sérgio. The identification of some challenging samples was performed by Manuela Sim-Sim and Cecília Sérgio.

Dates of collection and collectors of bryophytes from the three wetlands of the county of Praia da Vitória (PPV - Paul da Praia da Vitória; PBJ - Paul do Belo Jardim; PPCP - Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia).

Area

Year

Sampling date

Transects

Latitude Longitude

Collectors

PPV

2016

31-03-2016

1

38,73534 -27,06042

César Pimentel

01-04-2016

2

38,73449 -27,05833

César Pimentel & Mariana R. Brito

28-06-2016

3

38,73590 -27,06027

César Pimentel & Mariana R. Brito

28-06-2016

4

38,73443 -27,05944

César Pimentel & Mariana R. Brito

2017

12-06-2017

1A

38,73443 -27,05944

Rosalina Gabriel, César Pimentel & Mariana R. Brito

2A

38,73534 -27,06042

Rosalina Gabriel, César Pimentel & Mariana R. Brito

3A

38,73449 -27,05833

Rosalina Gabriel, César Pimentel & Mariana R. Brito

4A

38,73590 -27,06027

Rosalina Gabriel, César Pimentel & Mariana R. Brito

PBJ

2013

18-10-2013

1A

38,71337 -27,06080

Javier Diaz Castillo

28-10-2013

1B

38,71298 -27,06102

Javier Diaz Castillo

2A

38,71389 -27,06119

Javier Diaz Castillo

01-11-2013

2B

38,71317 -27,06123

Javier Diaz Castillo

2017

13-06-2017

1

38,71355 -27,06182

Rosalina Gabriel, César Pimentel & Mariana R. Brito

2

38,71350 -27,06107

Rosalina Gabriel, César Pimentel & Mariana R. Brito

3

38,71333 -27,06113

Rosalina Gabriel, César Pimentel & Mariana R. Brito

PPCP

2016

24-02-2016

1

38,70367 -27,04556

Rosalina Gabriel, César Pimentel & Mariana R. Brito

2

38,70327 -27,04553

Rosalina Gabriel, César Pimentel & Mariana R. Brito

13-05-2016

3

38,70440 -27,04513

Rosalina Gabriel, César Pimentel & Mariana R. Brito

4

38,70267 -27,04801

Rosalina Gabriel, César Pimentel & Mariana R. Brito

2017

14-06-2017

1A

38,70367 -27,04556

Rosalina Gabriel, César Pimentel & Mariana R. Brito

2A

38,70327 -27,04553

Rosalina Gabriel, César Pimentel & Mariana R. Brito

3A

38,70440 -27,04513

Rosalina Gabriel, César Pimentel & Mariana R. Brito

4A

38,70267 -27,04801

Rosalina Gabriel, César Pimentel & Mariana R. Brito

2018 01-09-2018 na 38,70306 -27,04745 Rosalina Gabriel & Paulo A.V. Borges
Study area description: 

Terceira Island (area: 400.6 km²; elevation: 1,021.14 m) is one of the nine islands of the Azores archipelago, located in the North Atlantic, roughly at 38°43′49″N, 27°19′10″W (Forjaz 2004). The climate in the Azores is temperate oceanic, with regular and abundant rainfall, high levels of relative humidity and persistent western winds, mainly during the winter and autumn seasons (Azevedo et al. 2004).

Terceira Island is known for the presence of some very important native forest areas at high elevation (e.g., Gabriel and Bates 2005). However, few natural areas remain at lower elevations, notably in Praia da Vitória county. Three coastal wetland areas were studied in this project: Paul da Praia da Vitória (PPV) (Figs 1, 2), Paul do Belo Jardim (PBJ) (Figs 3, 4) and Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia (PPCP) (Figs 5, 6).

Figure 1.  

General aspect of Paul da Praia da Vitória with its islands and surrounding urban area (Photo by Paulo A.V. Borges).

Figure 2.  

Detail of the recently created "islands" of Juncus acutus in Paul da Praia da Vitória (Photo by Paulo A.V. Borges).

Figure 3.  

Paul do Belo Jardim' s dune area (Photo by Paulo A.V. Borges).

Figure 4.  

Juncus maritimus growing in the Paul do Belo Jardim area (Photo by Paulo A.V. Borges).

Figure 5.  

General view of Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia, at low tide (Photo by Paulo A.V. Borges).

Figure 6.  

Detail of the margin of Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia during high tide (Photo by Paulo A.V. Borges).

Potentially, the plant cover of Praia da Vitória would include Erica-Morella coastal woodlands (cf. Elias et al. 2016). However, apart from some native shrubs of Morella faya, still found in PPV and PPCP, the main native species found in the area include species typical of humid zones, namely Juncus (J. acutus, J. maritimus, J. effusus) and Ruppia maritima (Elias et al. 2019). Presently, most of the area is covered with exotic and invasive species, with the giant cane (Arundo donax), being especially abundant in PBJ, and the sticky snakeroot (Ageratina adenophora) in PPCP. Both these species are included in the first quartile of invasive species in the three archipelagos of Macaronesia (Silva et al. 2008). The bryophytic component of the flora had previously not been systematically studied in the area.

Design description: 

In each wetland, a network of three (PBJ) or four (PPV, PPCP) transects (160 m × 2 m or 300 m × 2 m), was set and sampled every 20 m (ocasionally every 10 m), in quadrats/sampling points of 4 m2; each quadrat was searched for bryophytes. Whenever possible, a maximum of six samples or microplots (10 cm × 5 cm) were collected: three replicates from soil and three replicates from rock. Bryophyte samples were brought to the laboratory for identification and herborization at the Herbarium of the University of Azores (AZU) – section Bryophytes.

In 2018, after the project's completion, the areas continued to be visited and in one of those visits a new species for the Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia location was collected.

Funding: 

This study was financed by the project LIFE+ (LIFE12 BIO/PT/000110: Ecological Restoration and Conservation Infrastructure Green Wet Coast Praia da Vitória) (2013–2018).

Sampling methods

Study extent: 

This study coverered a small coastal area, extending from PPV (to the North) to PPCP (to the South), with an extent of 3.58 km.

Sampling description: 

In each site, bryophytes were sampled using standardised methods, during one or two visits in 2013, 2016 and 2017, respectively (Table 1). Within each transect, a quadrat with an area of 4 m2 was delimited at intervals of 10 or 20 meters. Each sampling point (quadrat) was carefully examined to collect three samples (replicates or microplots) for each of the available substrates (soil, rock); microplots were randomly selected from areas colonized by bryophytes. The area collected in each replica (microplot) was 50 cm2 (10 cm × 5 cm). The maximum number of samples obtained per sampling point was six (three replicates of bryophytes growing on soil and three of bryophytes growing on rock), but many sampling points did not contain bryophytes, especially those located in areas periodically flooded with brackish waters. For each microplot, some ecological variables were also measured (e.g., insulation, water availability) using ordinal scales adapted from Gabriel and Bates (2005), and some soil or rock was recovered for pH measurement.

Quality control: 

The correct identification of the sampled taxa is crucial in an inventory. Keys and floras were used to identify the species, and their coverage (in %) was also estimated for each microplot in the laboratory. The main floras used for the identification of liverworts were by Paton (1999) and Casas et al. (2009), whereas for mosses Smith (2004), Casas et al. (2006) and different volumes of "Flora Briofítica Ibérica" (Guerra 2018) were used. Taxonomic keys provided by Schumacker and Váňa (2005) and field guides (Atherton et al. 2010, Llimona et al. 2004) were also checked. Some important internet databases were consulted, namely the Azorean Biodiversity Portal and TROPICOS for taxonomic data and BBS Field Guide online pages, Bildatlas der Moose Deutschlands and Swissbryophytes for morphological and ecological data. Nomenclature mostly follows Gabriel et al. (2010) and Ros et al. 2013.

Samples were mostly examined by CP and DC, and their identification was supervised by RG and CS.

Geographic coverage

Description: 

Praia da Vitória municipality, Terceira Island, Azores archipelago, Macaronesia, Portugal.

Coordinates: 

38º42'09''N and 38°44'12''N Latitude; 27º03'46''W and 27°02'39''W Longitude.

Taxonomic coverage

Description: 

Bryophytes, including Division Anthocerotophyta, Division Bryophyta, and Division Marchantiophyta.

Temporal coverage

Notes: 

The main sampling was performed in 2013, 2016 and 2017; a single sample was collected in 2018.

Usage rights

Use license: 
Open Data Commons Attribution License
IP rights notes: 

Additional information on this study may also be requested from the first author.

Data resources

Data package title: 
LIFE_CWR_TER_Bryophytes
Number of data sets: 
1
Data set name: 
Bryophytes from Praia da Vitória.
Data format: 
Darwin Core Archive.
Data format version: 
1.
Description: 

In this data table, we include all records for which a taxonomic identification of the species was possible. The dataset submitted to GBIF is structured as a sample event dataset, with two tables: event (as core) and occurrences. The data in this sampling event resource have been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardised format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 188 events. One extension data table also exists. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated in the IPT link.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for downloadin the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.

Column label Column description
Table Event The sub-table with events
id Identifier of the events, unique for the dataset
type Type of the record, as defined by the Public Core standard
license Reference to the license under which the record is published
institutionID The identity of the institution publishing the data
institutionCode The code of the institution publishing the data
datasetName Name of the dataset
eventID Identifier of the events, unique for the dataset
samplingProtocol The sampling protocol used to capture the species
samplingEffort The amount of time of each sampling
eventDate The date-time or interval during which an Event occurred. For occurrences, this is the date-time when the event was recorded.
startDayOfYear The earliest ordinal day of the year on which the Event occurred
habitat The habitat for an Event
continent The name of the continent in which the Location occurs
islandGroup The name of the island group in which the Location occurs
island The name of the island on or near which the Location occurs
country The name of the country or major administrative unit in which the Location occurs
countryCode The standard code for the country in which the Location occurs
municipality The full, unabbreviated name of the next smaller administrative region than county (city, municipality, etc.) in which the Location occurs
locality The specific description of the place
verbatimCoordinates Original coordinates recorded
decimalLatitude Approximate centre point decimal latitude of the field site in GPS coordinates
decimalLongitude Approximate centre point decimal longitude of the field site in GPS coordinates
Table Occurrences The sub-table with occurrence data
id Identifier of the events, unique for the dataset
license Reference to the license under which the record is published
institutionID The identity of the institution publishing the data
institutionCode The code of the institution publishing the data
collectionCode The code of the collection where the specimens are conserved
datasetName Name of the dataset
basisOfRecord The nature of the data record
dynamicProperties A list of additional measurements, facts, characteristics, or assertions about the record. Meant to provide a mechanism for structured content
occurrenceID Identifier of the record, coded as a global unique identifier
occurrenceRemarks Remarks on the occurrence substracte from where the specimens were captured
recordNumber An identifier given to the Occurrence at the time it was recorded
recordedBy A list (concatenated and separated) of names of people, groups, or organizations responsible for recording the original Occurrence
organismQuantity A number or enumeration value for the quantity of organisms
organismQuantityType The unit of the identification of the organisms
establishmentMeans The process of establishment of the species in the location, using a controlled vocabulary: 'native non-endemic', 'introduced', 'endemic'
disposition The current state of a specimen with respect to the collection identified in collectionCode or collectionID
eventID Identifier of the events, unique for the dataset
fieldNumber An identifier given to the event in the field
minimumElevationInMeters Minimum elevation in metres
identifiedBy Name of the person who made the identification
dateIdentified Date on which the record was identified
scientificName Complete scientific name including author
kingdom Kingdom name
phylum Phylum name
class Class name
order Order name
family Family name
genus Genus name
specificEpithet Specific epithet
infraspecificEpithet Infraspecific epithet
taxonRank Lowest taxonomic rank of the record
scientificNameAuthorship The authorship information for the scientificName formatted according to the conventions of the applicable nomenclaturalCode

Additional information

The identification of the samples (242 before the LIFE-CWR intervention [2013, 2016], 261 after it [2017]) resulted in a set of 57 species of bryophytes, including one hornwort, eight liverwort species (Table 2) and 48 moss species (Table 3), representing about 80% of the bryophyte species present in the three sampled areas, according to the first-order Jackknife estimator (Table 4) (Gabriel 2018).

List of hornworts (Division Anthocerotophyta) and liverworts (Division Marchantiophyta) identified in the three coastal wetlands of Praia da Vitória, Terceira Island, Azores, Portugal (PPV – Paul da Praia da Vitória; PBJ – Paul do Belo Jardim; PPCP – Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia), indicating their Class, Order and Family as well as the number of samples obtained for each species during LIFE-CWR fieldwork.

Class Order Family Species/Subspecies PPV PBJ PPCP
Anthocerotopsida Notothyladales Notothyladaceae Phaeoceros laevis (L.) Prosk. 1 2
Jungermanniopsida Fossombroniales Fossombroniaceae Fossombronia caespitiformis De Not. ex Rabenh. subsp. multispira (Schiffn.) J. R. Bray et D. C. Cargill 9
Jungermanniopsida Jungermanniales Cephaloziellaceae Cephaloziella hampeana (Nees) Schiffn. 2
Jungermanniopsida Porellales Frullaniaceae Frullania azorica Sim-Sim et al. 2 8
Jungermanniopsida Porellales Lejeuneaceae Marchesinia mackaii (Hook.) Gray 1
Jungermanniopsida Porellales Radulaceae Radula lindenbergiana Gottsche ex C. Hartman 1
Jungermanniopsida Porellales Radulaceae Radula wichurae Steph. 2
Marchantiopsida Lunulariales Lunulariaceae Lunularia cruciata (L.) Dumort ex. Lindb. 1 8 7
Marchantiopsida Marchantiales Ricciaceae Riccia huebeneriana Lindenb. 1

List of mosses (Division Bryophyta) identified in the three coastal wetlands of Praia da Vitória, Terceira Island, Azores, Portugal (PPV – Paul da Praia da Vitória; PBJ – Paul do Belo Jardim; PPCP – Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia), indicating their Class, Order and Family as well as the number of samples obtained for each species during LIFE-CWR fieldwork.

Class Order Family Species/Subspecies PPV PBJ PPCP
Bryopsida Bartramiales Bartramiaceae Philonotis marchica (Hedw.) Brid. 7
Bryopsida Bartramiales Bartramiaceae Philonotis rigida Brid. 1 2
Bryopsida Bryales Bryaceae Anomobryum julaceum (P. Gaerth., B. Mey. et Scherb.) Schimp. 45
Bryopsida Bryales Bryaceae Bryum argenteum Hedw. 9
Bryopsida Bryales Bryaceae Bryum canariense Brid. 4
Bryopsida Bryales Bryaceae Bryum klinggraeffii Schimp. 4
Bryopsida Bryales Bryaceae Bryum ruderale Crundw. et Nyholm 5 1
Bryopsida Bryales Bryaceae Bryum subapiculatum Hampe 1 14
Bryopsida Bryales Bryaceae Bryum tenuisetum Limpr. 1 16
Bryopsida Bryales Bryaceae Ptychostomum capillare (Hedw.) D. T. Holyoak et N. Pedersen 36 84
Bryopsida Bryales Bryaceae Ptychostomum dichotomum Hedw. 1
Bryopsida Bryales Bryaceae Ptychostomum bornholmense (Wink. & R.Ruthe) Holyoak & N.Pedersen 7
Bryopsida Bryales Bryaceae Ptychostomum pseudotriquetrum (Hedw.) J. R. Spence et H. P. Ramsay ex D. T. Holyoak et N. Pedersen 1
Bryopsida Bryales Bryaceae Ptychostomum rubens (Mitt.) D. T. Holyoak et N. Pedersen 12 6 2
Bryopsida Dicranales Dicranaceae Dicranella howei Renauld et Cardot 1 1
Bryopsida Dicranales Ditrichaceae Ceratodon purpureus (Hedw.) Brid. subsp. purpureus 4
Bryopsida Dicranales Fissidentaceae Fissidens crispus Mont. 61 7 12
Bryopsida Dicranales Fissidentaceae Fissidens viridulus (Sw. ex anon.) Wahlenb. 1
Bryopsida Dicranales Leucobryaceae Campylopus pilifer Brid. 31
Bryopsida Grimmiales Grimmiaceae Grimmia lisae De Not. 3 11 57
Bryopsida Grimmiales Ptychomitriaceae Ptychomitrium nigrescens (Kunze) Wijk et Marg. 1
Bryopsida Hypnales Brachytheciaceae Brachytheciastrum velutinum (Hedw.) Ignatov et Huttunen 7 1 4
Bryopsida Hypnales Brachytheciaceae Brachythecium mildeanum (Schimp.) Milde 1
Bryopsida Hypnales Brachytheciaceae Brachythecium rutabulum (Hedw.) Schimp. 5 1 12
Bryopsida Hypnales Brachytheciaceae Brachythecium plumosum (Hedw.) Schimp. 1
Bryopsida Hypnales Brachytheciaceae Kindbergia praelonga (Hedw.) Ochyra 7 3 10
Bryopsida Hypnales Brachytheciaceae Oxyrrhynchium hians (Hedw.) Loeske 1 1
Bryopsida Hypnales Brachytheciaceae Oxyrrhynchium speciosum (Brid.) Warnst. 1
Bryopsida Hypnales Brachytheciaceae Rhynchostegiella litorea (De Not.) Limpr. 3
Bryopsida Hypnales Brachytheciaceae Rhynchostegium confertum (Dicks.) Schimp. 17 6 19
Bryopsida Hypnales Brachytheciaceae Rhynchostegium megapolitanum (F. Weber et D. Mohr.) Schimp. 1
Bryopsida Hypnales Hypnaceae Hypnum cupressiforme Hedw. var. cupressiforme 15
Bryopsida Hypnales Leucodontaceae Leucodon sciuroides (Hedw.) Schwägr. 1
Bryopsida Pottiales Pottiaceae Barbula convoluta Hedw. 1 8 12
Bryopsida Pottiales Pottiaceae Barbula unguiculata Hedw. 1
Bryopsida Pottiales Pottiaceae Didymodon australasiae (Hook. & Grev.) R.H. Zander 6
Bryopsida Pottiales Pottiaceae Didymodon sicculus M.J. Cano, Ros, García-Zam. & J. Guerra 11
Bryopsida Pottiales Pottiaceae Didymodon tophaceus (Brid.) Lisa 1
Bryopsida Pottiales Pottiaceae Didymodon umbrosus (Müll. Hal.) R.H. Zander 5 3 10
Bryopsida Pottiales Pottiaceae Leptophascum leptophyllum (Müll. Hal.) J. Guerra et M. J. Cano 8 1
Bryopsida Pottiales Pottiaceae Pseudocrossidium hornschuchianum (Schultz) R. H. Zander 1
Bryopsida Pottiales Pottiaceae Tortella flavovirens (Bruch.) Broth. 3 10 23
Bryopsida Pottiales Pottiaceae Tortula muralis Hedw. 3 3 2
Bryopsida Pottiales Pottiaceae Tortula solmsii (Schimp.) Limpr. 2 1
Bryopsida Pottiales Pottiaceae Tortula truncata (Hedw.) Mitt. 1
Bryopsida Pottiales Pottiaceae Trichostomum brachydontium Bruch 14 12 119
Bryopsida Pottiales Pottiaceae Trichostomum crispulum Bruch 2 15
Bryopsida Pottiales Pottiaceae Weissia controversa Hedw. 3
Polytrichopsida Polytrichales Polytrichaceae Polytrichum piliferum Hedw. 1

Some statistical data from the collection of bryophytes in Praia da Vitória wetlands per year of collection (Number of samples; Observed richness or number of species (S); Number of estimated richness according to the first order Jackknife estimator; Percentage of completeness, i.e., ratio between the number of estimated species and the number of observed of species).

2013|2016

2017

PPV

Number of samples

44

83

Observed richness (S)

14

17

Estimated richness

17,91

22,93

% Completeness

78,17

74,14

PBJ

Number of samples

42

58

Observed richness (S)

14

24

Estimated richness

18,88

32,84

% Completeness

74,15

73,08

PPCP

Number of samples

156

120

Observed richness (S)

33

28

Estimated richness

43,93

32,96

% Completeness

75,12

84,95

TOTAL

Number of samples

242

261

Observed richness (S)

45

42

Estimated richness

57,95

52,96

% Completeness

77,65

79,31

Comparison between years (before and after CWR intervention): The main interventions performed by the LIFE-CWR project in the three coastal areas included the removal of garbage and litter from PPCP, the opening of a small lagoon in PBJ and the connection of PPV to the sea.

The number of species varied slightly before and after the interventions, but the level of completeness is acceptable, higher than 75%, for both sampling periods (Table 4). The highest value of bryophyte species richness was observed in Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia, probably due to the availability of a higher proportion of rocky substrata, while the lowest richness value was observed in Paul da Praia da Vitória.

A Ward's dissimilarity analysis performed with the diversity of species found at the three studied wetlands shows a remarkable homogeinity of results between the studied years (Fig. 7). Thus, the LIFE-CWR restoration interventions, especially focused on the improvement the bird habitat and water flow, did not hinder the conservation of bryophytes.

Figure 7.  

Dendogram showing the result of a Ward's dissimilarity analysis including the bryophytes from the three wetlands of the municipality of Praia da Vitória (Terceira Island, Azores) before (2013, 2016) and after (2017) the interventions made by the LIFE-CWR project.

Main biogeographic distribution of the species: Most species found in the three studied wetlands have a broad biogeographic distribution, generally circumpolar and European, showing temperate climatic characteristics. Although most of the collected species are common in the Azores, three species are classified as Rare by IUCN (Grimmia lisae, Tortula solmsii and Riccia huebeneriana) (Dierssen 2001), and a single moss species (Leptophascum leptophyllum), of subtropical origin, is considered invasive in Europe. This species is widespread in humanized areas and may commonly be found on the sidewalks of some cities (Blockeel et al. 2014).

Noteworthy species: Among the observed species, two represent new records for the Azores, Bryum klinggraeffii (Ellis et al. 2016) and Ptychostomum bornholmense (Ellis et al. 2018). There are also three new records for Terceira Island (Bryum tenuisetum, Dicranella howei and Trichostomum crispulum) and at least 15 new recordsfor the municipality of Praia da Vitória, including the moss Leucodon sciuroides, a species previously known only from Monte Brasil (Angra do Heroísmo, Terceira Island) (Fontinha and Sérgio 1995) and which has been declining in the United Kingdom (Blockeel et al. 2014), and the liverwort Cephaloziella hampeana, also known from a single location on Terceira Island (Algar do Carvão) (Crundwell et al. 2013).

Some species that had not been recorded on Terceira Island since 1937 (e.g., Fissidens crispus) (Gabriel et al. 2011) were found on the wetlands, which may be explained by a lack of fieldwork at low elevations on the island (Aranda et al. 2011).

A Macaronesian endemic liverwort (Radula wichurae) and an Iberian-Macaronesian liverwort (Frullania azorica; Fig. 8) were found growing on rocks in the different wetlands. Actually, Praia da Vitória county, parish of Cabo da Praia, represents the classical locality of Frullania azorica, the place from where the species was originally collected and described (Sim-Sim et al. 1995). This species is frequently found in the area, sometimes forming extensive colonies on exposed rocks near the ocean. However, in this study, it was not identified in Paul da Praia da Vitória, possibly because there are not many rocks available for colonization.

Figure 8.  

The liverwort Frullania azorica was described from material collected in the Praia da Vitória area (Photo by Rosalina Gabriel).

The acrocarpic moss species Ptychomitrium nigrescens, endemic to Europe and Macaronesia (Macaronesia, Portugal and France), was also reported from Paul da Pedreira do Cabo da Praia (PPCP), where boulders and large rocks are available for colonization.

Further details related to the LIFE-CWR project can be found in the book by Brian Morton, Elisabete Nogueira and António Frias Martins (Morton et al. 2019) and in the report by RG (Gabriel 2018).

Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge the financial support for field and lab work provided by the project LIFE CWR – Ecological Restoration and Conservation of Praia da Vitória Coastal Wet Green Infrastructure (2013-2018; Life12 bio7pt/000110). Open access was funded by FEDER (85%) and by Azorean Public funds (15%), through Operational Program Azores 2020 under the project AZORESBIOPORTAL – PORBIOTA (ACORES-01-0145-FEDER-000072).

We are deeply grateful to the leader of the LIFE CWR project, Eng.ª Elisabete Nogueira, for her visionary leadership on this project over the years, and to Dr. Rui Figueira and Tainan Messina, GBIF - Portugal, for the creation of the Darwin Core Archive.

We would also like to thank to the editor of BDJ, Yasen Mutafchiev, and the reviewers of our work, Michele Aleffi, Juana González-Mancebo, Niels Klazenga, Robert Mesibov and Tatyana Shubina, for their thoughtful feedback on an earlier version of the manuscript, which has greatly enhanced the final publication.

Author contributions

RG conceived the project. RG and PAVB conceived and drafted the manuscript. RG, CMMP, JDC and MRB collected the data. RG, CMMP, DC, CS and MSS identified the species. RG organised the final database. All authors revised and contributed to the final text.

References