on Moor of Rannoch - 1995
on Moor of Rannoch - 2005
effects on snowbed fern species
is a site on a north-facing hill near the Moor of Rannoch where
the snow used to lie from October until May or even into June. Under
the snow the dormant ferns were protected from severe weather and
in the short summer they rapidly grew and released their spores.
The photograph taken in 1995 shows large, multi-crowned plants dominated
by Athyrium distentifolium and Cryptogramma crispa,
two typical snowbed species. In 2003 there was no snow on the ground
from January onward and the ferns suffered severely. The second
photograph, taken in 2005, shows the same area with very few ferns
visible. Some clumps had died completely and others had only the
occasional crown remaining with a few, small fronds. The ferns are
gradually recovering but with repeated episodes like this the ferns
would not survive at all. This is good example of how keeping a
photographic record can help monitor the effects of climate change
on fern populations.
photos of ferns in the field to assess past, present and future change
seem particularly sensitive indicators of environmental change. Because
of this, the BPS is building a project through which to use fern field
photographs as an objective basis of assessment of the progress of change,
past, present and future. This project thus requires the use, for interpretative
purposes, of field photographs of ferns (and other pteridophytes) taken
in as many different places as possible, at multiple times. We are encouraging
pteridologists to gain and contribute paired photos of the same location,
separated in time.
for this project originated in Chris Page's article: Recording Ferns
part 3, in Pteridologist, 4, 6 (2007) pp 188-189. In that Chris wrote:
"What is needed are series of photographs which represent similar
(mostly medium-distance) shots of fern habitats over time, which are
repeated from as near the same position as possible. Such successive
photos will show exactly what degree of change has actually taken place
in the intervals adopted."
are some notes which we hope that
may assist in this pursuit.
that members of BPS may be prepared to participate, either when on official
or other meetings, or just when out-and-about in their own local areas,
which they themsleves probably know best. Photographs do not have to
be just local or indeed British. The wider their geographic spread,
that this will gradually build into a database of pictures and information.
We intend, when enough comparative data is received from enough parts
of Britain and Ireland (and perhaps even from overseas), that this will
form the basis for an interpretative publication from the BPS on Fern
Change, in much the same way as the earlier Fern Atlas production.
consider routinely adding this fresh dimension to your fern hunting
ilvensis at Corrie
wild site of Woodsia ilvensis in Scotland has been visited by
botanists over a long period. We have one series that spans ten
is scientific co-ordinator of the project, and can be contacted
to discuss the scope of the project and any specific scientific
Dr Yvonne Golding is overall
project leader for the BPS, providing further information and
encouragement throughout, and as a source of updates on the project.
Pigott is technical co-ordinator assembling the BPS
digital archive of this material, and it is to him that all images
should be initially offered.