Cryptogams encompass fungi, algae and plants without seeds, including ferns and bryophtyes (mosses, liverworts, and hornworts).
Individually often small, but ecologically important, cryptogams are very diverse in Scotland
Scotland is a European hotspot for cryptogam diversity, with c. 60% and 40% of European bryophyte and lichen species, including globally-rare assemblages in oceanic habitats such as temperate rainforest and liverwort heath. Our work seeks to understand this diversity and place it into a global phylogeographic and evolutionary context.
Taxonomy - We link our discovery science with conservation, by targeting taxonomic problems that weaken policy effectiveness, including the identification of ecologically important (Parmelia spp.) or priority groups such as Pseudocyphellaria spp. (lichens) or Orthodontium spp. (mosses).
Threatened Habitats - Our taxonomic work targets cryptogam diversity in threatened habitats, particularly in the Cairngorms National Park, to help characterise climate change and land management impacts, and along the Atlantic coast, to investigate the global significance of Scotland's oceanic ecosystems.
Water Framework Directive - Our biology of speciation in diatoms provides an accurate taxonomy and foundation for the molecular detection of environmental indicator species.
Key contact: Dr Rebecca Yahr
We are a delivery partner for The Scottish Biodiversity Strategy