Open main menu

Ambuchanania leucobryoides is the only species in the monotypic genus Ambuchanania. It is a Sphagnum-like moss endemic to Tasmania. Originally described as a species of Sphagnum, it is now a separate genus named after the original collector Alex M. Buchanan (first collected in 1987). A. leucobryoides differs from the Sphagnaceae family in having elongate antheridia. It is entirely restricted to south-west Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage Area where it occurs on white Precambrian quartzitic sand deposited by alluvial flows, and on margins of buttongrass (Gymnoschoenus sphaerocephalus) sedge land. Species most commonly found in association with A. leucobryoides include: Leptocarpus tenax, Chordifex hookeri, and Actinotus suffocatus. Currently, A. leucobryoides is listed as rare under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995.

Ambuchanania leucobryoides .jpg
Scientific classification

A. leucobryoides
Binomial name
Ambuchanania leucobryoides
(Yamaguchi, Seppelt & Iwatsuki)[2] Seppelt & H.A.Crum[1]

Sphagnum leucobryoides T.Yamag., Seppelt & Z.Iwats.


Distinct globose sporophyte capsules of the rare monotypic moss species Ambuchanania leucobryoides

Mature plants are small, pale brown or whitish green when dry. The stems are approximately 2 cm long, and are irregularly and sparsely branched. Leaves on the stem have a broadly lanceolate shape 3.6-4.3 mm long. Spore capsules are whitish-yellow and globose, atop a seta (stalk) that is 1.2 cm long.[3]


  1. ^ a b Crum, H.; Seppelt, R.D. (1999). "Sphagnum leucobryoides reconsidered". Contributions from the University of Michigan Herbarium. 22: 29–31.
  2. ^ Yamaguchi, T.; Seppelt R.D.; Iwatsuki, Z.; Buchanan, A.M. (1990). "Sphagnum (sect. Buchanania) leucobryoides sect. et sp. nov. from Tasmania" (pdf). Journal of Bryology. 16: 45–54. doi:10.1179/jbr.1990.16.1.45.
  3. ^ Seppelt, Rodney (2000). "The Sphagnopsida (Sphagnaceae; Ambuchaniaceae) in Australia". Hikobia.
  • Bryophyte Specialist Group 2000. Sphagnum leucobryoides. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 23 August 2007.
  • Johnson, K.A., Whinam, J., Buchanan, A.M. & Balmer, J. (2008) Ecological observations and new locations of a rare moss, Ambuchanania leucobryoides (Ambuchananiaceae). Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania. 142 (2): 79-84.
  • Shaw, A. Jonathan, 2000. Phylogeny of the Sphagnopsida Based on Chloroplast and Nuclear DNA Sequences [1], The Bryologist 103 (2): 277-306.
  • Shaw, A. Jonathan, Cymon J. Cox & Sandra B. Boles (2003) Polarity of peatmoss (Sphagnum) evolution: who says bryophytes have no roots? [2], American Journal of Botany 90: 1777-1787.

External linksEdit