We assessed the sex expression and expressed sex ratio in populations of the moss Hamatocaulis vernicosus (Mitt.) Hedenäs at 21 localities in the Czech Republic. Despite its extremely rare sporophyte production, the species had a high sex expression (59% of shoots); however, the method of its calculation had a major impact on results. The micromaps of individual localities showed that male and female plants tend to grow in separate clusters, while only 7% of patches contain both sexes, which may affect the frequency of fertilization. The overall F:M sex ratio of stems was 1.03; however, the 62% of localities showed female-biased sex ratio. As the species is known to consist of two cryptic species that are presumably sexually incompatible, we also assessed the expressed sex ratio of barcoded shoots at the localities with populations of both cryptic species growing together. The cryptic species differed neither in their sex expression nor in the sex ratio. However, the overall seemingly well-balanced sex ratio at localities often obscured situations when severe mate limitation in one of the cryptic species occurred.
Bryophyte, cryptic species, reproduction, sex ratio