Frullania fragilifolia

Frullania fragilifolia (Taylor) Gottsche, Lindenb. & Nees


Conservation status. Vulnerable [VU D2].

Morphology and biology. Perennial leafy liverwort forming small reddish brown patches. Stems up to 2.5 cm long, irregularly branched, 1–2 pinnate. Leaves readily falling off, bilobed almost to base with lobes of different size. Dorsal (upper) lobe in the middle with enlarged dark cells in a row, tip rounded, margin entire. Ventral (lower) lobe helmet-shaped, narrower than under-leaves. Under-leaves shallowly bilobed, as wide as stem or somewhat wider. Sporophytes uncommon. Does not form gemmae. Unisexual.

Habitats and populations. Plants grow on tree bark and on shady rocks in the beech forest belt.

Distribution in Bulgaria. Balkan Range (Central – above Levski chalet), Valley of Struma River (Southern – Kresna gorge).

General distribution. Balkan Peninsula (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia), N, W and C Europe (Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, SW Russia, Scandinavia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, UK), Macaronesia. Sub-oceanic/montane species.

Threats. Changes in habitats use, clear felling, forest thinning, air pollution. The species is characterized by low potential for sexual reproduction.

Conservation measures taken. The locality in Central Balkan Mountains is in the area of Central Balkan National Park and that in Struma River valley is located in Tisata Strict Nature Reserve. Both localities are within the sites of the European ecological network Natura 2000 in Bulgaria.

Conservation measures needed. Monitoring of changes in population size and changes in habitats ecological conditions, and recommendations for species conservation.

References. Petrov 1964; Ganeva 1992

Author: Anna Ganeva

Frullania fragilifolia (distribution map)

Frullania fragilifolia (drawing)