Crum, Howard Herbarium, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Last reviewed:April 2021
- Diversity and phylogeny
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A division that consists of small and relatively simple plants commonly known as mosses, peat mosses, granite mosses, liverworts, and hornworts. Members of the division Bryophyta are referred to as bryophytes (see illustration). These nonvascular land plants number about 20,000 species and include the commonly recognized mosses, liverworts, and hornworts. In general, bryophytes display a distinct alternation of sexual and asexual generations. The sexual gametophyte, with a haploid chromosome number, is the more diversified. The spore-bearing, diploid sporophyte is reduced in size and structure, attached to the gametophyte, and is partially or almost completely dependent on it. Some taxonomists include only mosses in the division Bryophyta, whereas the liverworts and hornworts are assigned respectively to separate divisions—Marchantiophyta (Hepaticophyta) and Anthocerotophyta. See also: Anthocerotopsida; Hepaticopsida; Plant; Plant taxonomy
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