Field Bryology

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A brief history

The Field Bryology magazine is the latest in a series of bulletins published by the BBS on a regular basis, reporting on the activities of the Society and other membership matters. Previous bulletins can be found on the Historical Bulletins page.

In 2003 Marcus Yeo – the editor at that time – proposed an expansion of the size and scope of the Bulletin (and possibly renaming it). His argument for this was that the Journal of Bryology, although a prestigious, high quality publications, was becoming increasingly academic with little to interest amateur bryologists. He proposed that the bulletin should include popular and accessible articles on bryology with an emphasis on subjects of interest to the field bryologist. This was approved by Council and the new publication was called Field Bryology. Three issues of Field Bryology were produced per year, starting in 2003. Marcus remained its editor until the end of 2006.

Des Callaghan became the next editor and produced nos. 91 to 93 (2007). He was followed by Ian Atherton, under whose editorship the magazine was completely redesigned and continued to be issued three times per year (nos. 93 – 108, November 2012).

In 2013 the editorship was taken over jointly by Jo Wilbraham and Sylvia Pressel and the number of issues reduced to 2 per year. They continued in post until no. 119 in May 2018, when the current editors Chris Preston and Mari Whitelaw took over.


All issues are available to read online using the link below. However, the most recent issues are only accessible to BBS members.

Field Bryology online

Submitting articles

The editors are always keen to hear from people interested in submitting articles, or with suggestions for articles. Contact the editors directly by emailing

Guidelines for authors

Items for publication and enquiries for advertising space should be addressed to the Editors (C. Preston & M. Whitelaw, email:

Items for inclusion in forthcoming issues of Field Bryology should be sent to the Editors at least 2 months in advance i.e. by the following dates:

November issue: 1st September
May issue: 1st March

Articles on all subjects related to field bryology will be considered, including ecology, conservation, recording, distribution, taxonomy and identification, and reports of field meetings. They should be of general interest to all of our members both in the UK and worldwide. Remember that the reader may not necessarily be a professional scientist and may not be familiar with the subject of your article.

However, Field Bryology is not a peer-reviewed scientific journal and is not a suitable place for primary scientific publication. Full scientific studies and descriptions of new species that require full peer review should be submitted to a research journal such as Journal of Bryology . Papers reporting taxa new to British and Ireland should also be submitted to a peer-reviewed research journal, but authors of such papers are encouraged to also publish a ‘lighter’, less rigorous article in Field Bryology following publication of the main paper.

Images are always welcome and add immensely to the readability and interest of all types of article. Field Bryology is printed in colour and attractive colour photographs are always welcome. Permission must be obtained to reproduce photographs and legends must be supplied.

Authors should supply brief biographical information and details of their title, name, job title, full address, telephone, fax and e-mail address.

Please note that published articles become the copyright of BBS and may be reproduced on our website.

Submission of copy

Material submitted for publication should be provided as word-processing files, preferably by email or a file-sharing service such as Dropbox or WeTransfer. Authors are encouraged to circulate drafts of their articles to fellow bryologists for comment prior to submission. In addition, the Editors may invite other bryologists to comment on submitted articles before they are published.

There is no strict upper or lower limit on the length of articles. However, ideally they should be somewhere in the range of 500-5,000 words (approx. 1-8 printed pages, excluding images). Ultimately, the article will have to fit into the available space and it may have to be edited to make this possible. However, you will receive a proof for approval before publication.

Submission of images

Photographs should be supplied as TIFF, JPEG or EPS files. The resolution should be at least 300 dpi at final size (approx. 2,000 pixels wide for a double-column figure) – the standard output from most digital cameras will usually be sufficient . For photomicrographs, magnification should be shown by a scale bar.

Line drawings should be of a quality suitable for direct reproduction. The maximum printed size is 135 x 205 mm. Artwork can be sent to the Editor at the address above for scanning; alternatively, line drawings can be sent in PowerPoint, Illustrator or EPS format (fonts embedded), or TIFF/JPG files of scans [please note that scans of line drawings should be at least 600 dpi, preferably 1,200 dpi, at final size (approx. 4,000 or 8,000 pixels wide for a double-column figure)].


References in the text should be cited as follows: two authors, Laurel & Hardy (2007) or (Laurel & Hardy, 1996); three or more authors, Laurel et al. (2007) or (Laurel et al., 2007). References to papers by the same author(s) in the same year should be distinguished in the text and the reference list by the letters a, b, etc. (e.g. 2007a or 2007a, b). The style of references in the reference list should follow the examples shown below.

Sample references to papers in a journal

Pescott, O. (2016). Revised lists of nationally rare and scarce bryophytes for Britain. Field Bryology 115: 22–30.

Pressel, S. Matcham, H. W. & Duckett, J.G. (2007). Studies of protonemal morphogenesis in mosses. XI. Bryum and related genera: a plethora of propagules. Journal of Bryology 29: 241–258.

Royles, J. & Griffiths, H. (2015). Climate change impacts in polar-regions: lessons from Antarctic moss bank archives. Global Change Biology 21: 1041–1057.

Sample references to chapters in a book

Adams, K.J. & Preston, C.D. (1992). Evidence for the effects of atmospheric pollution on bryophytes from national and local recording, in P.T. Harding (ed.), Biological recording of changes in British wildlife, pp. 31–43. HMSO, London.

Delmail, D., Grube, M., Parrot, D., Cook-Moreau, J., Labrouse, P. & Tomasi, S. (2013). Halotolerance in lichens: symbiotic coalition against salt stress, in P. Ahmad, M.M. Azooz & M.N.V. Prasad (eds), Ecophysiology and Responses of Plants under Salt Stress, pp. 115–148. Springer, New York.

Sample references to entire books

Blockeel, T.L., Bosanquet, S.D.S., Hill, M.O. & Preston, C.D., eds (2014). Atlas of British and Irish Bryophytes. 2 vols. Pisces Publications, Newbury.

Hill, M.O., Preston, C.D. & Smith, A.J.E., eds (1991–94). Atlas of the Bryophytes of Britain and Ireland. 3 vols. Harley Books, Colchester.

Smith, A.J.E. (2004). The moss flora of Britain and Ireland, ed. 2. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Only papers accepted for publication but not yet published may be cited as ‘in press’ in the reference list, and the reference must include the name of the journal. References to papers not yet accepted should be cited in the text as unpublished results, giving the surname(s) and initials of all the author(s). Such papers should not appear in the list of references. Permission must be obtained for any personal communications or citations of other workers’ unpublished results.


Taxonomy should aim to follow the current census catalogue.