Dr Watson's lucid introduction to British Mosses and Liverworts, first published in 1955, has since become a standard work. The author gives full descriptions and ecological details of over 200 of the commoner or more notable species, illustrating each to show its diagnostic microscopic and macroscopic features, and also provides brief notes on many other species. The introduction on the general characteristics of bryophytes, and the simple terminology (technical terms are kept to a minimum and defined in a glossary) enable a beginner to use the book without difficulty; the keys and habitat lists will be invaluable to beginners and specialists alike. This third edition incorporates a further 26 species and has brought the taxonomy and nomenclature into line with contemporary practice.
Review of the second edition: 'Since the first edition of British Mosses and Liverworts was published in 1955 it has proved an invaluable help to the beginner in the study of bryophytes. With this second edition he is still further in Dr Watson's debt. The nomenclature and systematic arrangement have been brought up to date and now correspond with the British Bryological Society's Census Catalogues. Some species in the first edition have been excluded but more have been added, making a net increase of about sixty. The selection has been well made ... The excellent figures and the full habitat data remain valuable features of the book. This second edition is a substantial improvement on the first. Almost all the bryophytes the student will find are included in this book, and he should have little difficulty in naming most of them. It is warmly to be recommended.' Journal of Ecology Review of the second edition: 'The illustrated introduction and glossary, followed by keys to all the species mentioned in the book - over 300 - will guide the novice along the right methods of approach. Well over 200 taxa are illustrated and described, with valuable helpful remarks on their habits and associates. Less common species receive adequate mention including aids to recognition.' Watsonia