Missouri Bootheel Bryophytes
Includes taxa from following child checklists:
Authors: John J. Atwood & Nels J. Holmberg
Locality: The Missouri bootheel contains all of Dunklin, Pemiscot, New Madrid, and Mississippi County; the southern portions of Scott, Stoddard, and Butler County; and the southeastern most portion of Ripley County.
Abstract: The Missouri bootheel represents the northernmost extent of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, a physiographic region that broadly defines the Mississippi River floodplain, between southeastern Missouri and the Gulf of Mexico. In Missouri, the land within this region is mostly comprised of agricultural fields, forested swamps, sand prairies and savannas, and numerous wet ditches. The most prominent topographic feature is Crowley’s Ridge, a narrow series of hills that extend from Cape Girardeau to the Arkansas state line. Floristic affinities for vascular plants lie with the subtropical flora of the Atlantic Coastal Plain of the southeastern United States, in which there is an approximately 90 species overlap. Similar affinities have also been documented for bryophytes (Brachelyma subulatum, Campylopodiella stenocarpa, Leskea australis, Ptychomitrium drummondii, and Sphagnum affine), but are based mostly on a few specimens, from the same repeated collection localities. No previous systematic attempt has been made to adequately survey and catalog the bryoflora of the Missouri bootheel. Here we summarize the preliminary results of our collections