Moss and All Bryophytes
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Moss and All Bryophytes - Q&A Review
1. What are the main characteristics of the bryophytes?
Bryophytes are nonvascular plants, i.e., they do not have conductive tissues and they perform transport of water and nutrients by diffusion; they are cryptogamic, i.e., they do not present flowers or seeds; they are small in size; they present water-dependant fecundation; in their life cycle the lasting form is haploid (the gametophyte) and the sporophyte depends on the gametophyte to survive.
2. What are the main bryophyte groups?
The main bryophyte groups are the mosses, the liverworts and the hornworts.
3. How is the transport of substances done across the bryophyte tissues? How is this feature related to the general size of these plants?
In bryophytes there are no water-conducting or nutrient-conducting structures and the transport of these substances is done by cell to cell diffusion. The small size of bryophytes relates to this feature since if there are no conductive vessels it is not viable to have cells too far from each other (the emergence of the conductive tissues in tracheophytes allowed their increase in size).
4. What is the life cycle type of bryophytes?
As in all plants the life cycle of bryophytes is diplobiontic (alternation of generations). In bryophytes the lasting form is the haploid one.
bryophyte life cycle
5. In general where is the sporophyte positioned in relation to the gametophyte in bryophytes? How does the sporophyte obtain nutrients?
The bryophyte sporophyte in general is a tiny long stem that grows on the top of the gametophyte. The sporophyte depends totally upon the gametophyte to obtain nutrients.
6. Why can the bryophytes be considered the “amphibians of the plant world”?
Like adult amphibians, the bryophytes live in the terrestrial environment but they depend on water to reproduce. For this reason the nickname is justified.
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