Inventory of hepatics and mosses of the canton of Geneva

Michelle J. Price (curator of bryophytes, G)
Ariane Cailliau (hepatics)
Laurent Burgisser (mosses)
Bertrand von Arx (DNP, Geneva)

The heyday of bryology in Geneva (early 1880's-early 1900's) was based around the botanical activities at the CJBG. Two prominent Geneva based bryologists, Auguste Guinet and Henri Bernet, made significant contributions to the understanding of the bryophytes of the canton during this period through their publications and herbarium collections (deposited in G).

The canton of Geneva has undergone enormous change over the past 100 years as the city of Geneva and its surrounding villages were developed, and as agricultural practices were modified. Very few bryophytes had been collected from the canton and very little had been published on the local bryophyte flora since the mid-1900's.

In 2004 a new bryology project, Inventory of the hepatics and mosses of Geneva, was launched at the Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève (CJBG) in collaboration with Le Domaine nature et paysage (DNP), Geneva.

The aims of the project are:

  • prepare bibliographical lists of bryophytes from Geneva
  • database herbarium specimens collected from Geneva
  • collect and record bryophytes currently growing in the canton today
  • complete a full inventory of the canton (from herbarium records and our recent collections or records

The full inventory will include distribution maps as well as locality and ecological information for each species.

In addition to the inventory itself we will also:

  • in the canton
  • produce guidelines for bryophyte conservation in the canton
  • produce a red-list of Geneva bryophytes
  • provide indications of bryological 'hotspots' for use by the local conservationists.


We have completed the bibliographic lists of both the mosses and hepatics recorded from the canton (Burgisser & Price, 2005; Cailliau & Price, 2006). We have also discovered a number of new records for the canton, including Cryphaea heteromalla (Hedw.) D. Mohr which is of rare status in Switzerland, and Dicranoweisia cirrata (Hedw.) Lindb. and Ulota crispa (Hedw.) Brid. (Hedw.) which appear to be on the increase in Switzerland. A total of 3000 herbarium specimens, collected from Geneva and deposited in G prior to 2001, have been databased. We have 2298 recent collections and 915 field records of bryophytes from the canton for the completion of the full inventory.

Project publications

Price, M. J. 2003. The moss Cryphaea heteromalla (Hedw.) D.Mohr. (Cryphaeaceae) new for the canton of Geneva, Switzerland. Meylania 27: 7-11. (pdf)
Burgisser, L., Habashi, C., Clerc, P., & M. J. Price. 2004. Inventaire des lichens et des bryophytes du Bois de la Grille. Saussurea 34: 111-129.
Price, M. J., Cailliau, A. & L. Burgisser. 2005. Inventory of hepatics and mosses in Geneva, Switzerland. Field Bryology 85: 31-33.
Burgisser, L. & M. J. Price. 2005. Inventaire des mousses du canton de Genève (Suisse). Catalogue bibliographique (1791-2001). Candollea 60: 513-562. (pdf)
Cailliau, A. & M. J. Price. 2006. Inventaire des hépatiques et anthocérotes du canton de Genève. Catalogue bibliographique (1838- 2001). Candollea 61(2): 393-423 (pdf)
© Bryolich17.06.2017 - Member of the Swiss Academy of Sciences SCNAT