The Aulacomniaceae include the single genus Aulacomnium, which, in turn, includes five or six species widely distributed in the northern hemisphere. One species, A. palustre, also occurs in New Zealand, and other scattered localities in the southern hemisphere. In the South I. it is often conspicuous in montane wetlands, but it has not been recorded from the North I. Aulacomnium palustre is characterised, in part, by its frequent production of brown gemmae at the shoot apices and its dioicous sexuality. Considering that it is a large, conspicuous species, the collection history of A. palustre in N.Z. is unusual, with the earliest confirmed specimens collected from near Lake Wakatipu in about 1896 and from near Mt Cook in 1907. After a gap of at least 35 years, these early collections were followed by a few gatherings from Marlborough and Otago L.D. Subsequently, A. palustre has been collected numerous times throughout much of the South I. In part because of its peculiar collection history, and because neither male plants nor sporophytes have been seen in N. Z., A. palustre is interpreted as an adventive species here. The southern hemisphere genus Leptotheca has historically been placed in the Aulacomniaceae. Both morphological and molecular studies have indicated it does not belong in the family and it is excluded from this family treatment.
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