Summer Foray to Raven Rocks (Belmont County)
June 19, 2021

Summer foray group seated L to R: Megan Osika, Diane Lucas, Cynthia Dassler, Becky Smucker, Elizabeth Ewing; standing L to R: Dean Porter, Carole Schumacher, Jim Toppin, Barb Andreas, Trey Scott, Janet Traub, Ray Showman, Autumn Coffey, SusanNash, Bill Schumacher, Barb Gelderloos, Bob Long, Stephen Bucklin, John Holliger, Bob Klips — photo by Bob Klips

The 2021 OMLA Summer Foray was held in Belmont County. On June 19th, members met at Raven Rocks,a private nature preserve with woods, fields, deep ravines with exposed sandstone and small creeks. To add additional habitats, some members also collected at Mount Horab Cemetery, Barkcamp State Park, Hunter Prairie Nature Preserve and Dysert Woods.

A total of 39 macrolichens were recorded, with 20 of these being new records for Belmont County. Prior to the 2021 foray to Belmont County, 114 species of mosses had been recorded for the county. Many of these records were collected by previous surveys performed by bryologists at Kent State University and Ohio University. Seventy-six mosses were collected on the 2021 foray. Twelve species are new to the county: Brachytheciastrum velutinum, Bryhnia graminicolor, Dicranum fulvum, Fissidens minutulus, Orthotrichum ohioense, O. stellatum, Pelekium minutulum, (=Cyrto-hypnum minutulum), Pelekium pygmaeum (=Cyrto-hypnum pygmaeum), Polytrichum juniperinum, Schistidium apocarpum, Thuidium recognitum and Tortula acaulon.

Liverworts, in Ohio, are not well-documented. OMLA is always grateful for its member Becky Smucker, who lives in North Carolina and focuses on liverworts, to join us on our forays. She is adding a wealth of knowledge. A total of 20 liverworts were collected, and it appears that three new taxa were added to the county list: Calypogeia muelleriana, Frullania inflata, and Solenostoma hyalinum.

A special collection of Loeskeobryum brevirostre was made by Bob Klips. This species had been collected in the same area (Long Run) in 1938 by Mr. Yingling (OS s.n.). It had not been seen in Belmont County in more than 80 years. Loeskeobryum brevirostre is listed as endangered on the Ohio Rare Plant List.

Macrolichen and bryophytes species recorded during the 2021 Summer Foray in Belmont County, and subsequent visits by individual OMLA members, are shown in the following tables. BC=Barkcamp St. Park, DW=Dysart Woods, HP=Hunter Prairie, MH=Mount Horab Cemetery, RR=Raven Rocks, N=new for Belmont County.