Epiphyllous bryophytes in the Appalachian Plateau of Kentucky and Tennessee, U.S.A

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Epiphyllous bryophytes are poorly documented for temperate eastern North America. Ten liverwort taxa and one moss species are reported as epiphylls on Rhododendron maximum from the Appalachian Plateau (Fentress County, Tennessee, and Menifee County, Kentucky). The Kentucky localities represent the northernmost documented sites for bryophyte epiphylls in eastern North America. Three North American liverwort endemics, Lejeunea ruthii, Leucolejeunea clypeata, and Radula obconica, and the moss, Platygyrium repens, are newly reported as epiphylls. Colony size ranged from <0.1 mm to 20 mm in diameter. Host plant leaf coverage of epiphylls was as high as 15%. A quantitative study at one locality showed 0% of one-year-old host leaves supported bryoepiphylls with 8.9% of two and 13.3% of three-year-old leaves supporting epiphylls. The frequency and northern limits of bryoepiphylly in eastern North America are likely well underestimated. © 2011 The American Bryological and Lichenological Society, Inc.

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