ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Bryophytes: It's Definition, Classes, Characteristics and Importance

Updated on August 7, 2017

Phylum Bryophyte contains a group of broad nonvascular chlorophyll-bearing plants which are hard to determine because of its dwindle size. There are almost 22,000 species of bryophytes that usually grow on tree trunks, rocks and in moist-areas of soil. The name was actually derived from the Greek word Bryon which means moss and Phyton for the plant.

Historically, these phyla were accounted to be a monophyletic group and were placed in an inclusive Bryophyta. Some species are aquatic though some can adapt and live in arid regions. Bryophytes size ranges from microscopic to 12 inches in length, the average size is between 0.5 – 2 inches long and colors vary from green to black and sometimes colorless.

There are three classes of bryophytes and these following plants are representative of each class.

  • Class Musci – Moss (Erect and most familiar to people)
  • Class Hepaticae – Liverworth ( Flat and creeping)
  • Class Anthocerotae – Hornwort (Flat and creeping)

moss via morgueFile
moss via morgueFile | Source

General Characteristic of Bryophytes

Bryophytes differ from higher plant which we are more familiar with because of its manner in which substance are transported from one part to another. In higher plants like angiosperm or flowering plants they contain specialized structures for conducting water and absorb food. Xylem Tracheids is a very fine tube where water and dissolved minerals travel from the roots to the leaves. In Phloem cells, the dissolved food travels from the leaves to the rest of the plant body. This plant parts; the xylem and phloem are called vascular tissue.

While bryophytes, does not have xylem and phloem, which are known to be special structures. Substances such as water and dissolved minerals are simply move and diffuse from cell to cell. They are commonly small plants and those with longer stems are infrequently longer than eight centimeters. But not like algae and fungi, bryophytes have a structure that looks like leaves, stems and roots.

Like for example, common moss plant has a stem-like structure which is rigid and firm; it has radically arrange leaf like structures which consist of one layer of cells and a thick midrib; and it has a tuft of root-like rhizoids which anchor it to the soil, tree trunks, stone walls or rocks. These structures differ from the true stems, leaves and roots of higher plants in that they do not have xylem and phloem tissues.

It is believed that the absence of vascular tissue accounts or the fact that bryophytes are small plants and the stem-like structures rarely rise higher than 10 cm above the ground.

Bryophytes via morgueFile
Bryophytes via morgueFile | Source

Life Cycle of Moss

One distinctive characteristic of bryophytes is that it has a different life cycle than other plant groups. By means of “life cycle” it undergoes events from the time a moss spore germinates to the time the plant produces new spores, and which involves an alternation of sexual and asexual reproduction.

Sexual reproduction is the process in which sex cells unite. It involves the union of cells, which are specialized for reproduction; these cells are called gametes or sex cells. On the other hand asexual reproduction does not involve sex cells, the prefix a-means none or without. Asexual reproduction in moss involves another type of cells, which are specialized for reproduction, but which do not have sex’ these cells are called spores.

The life cycle is divided into two phases; the sexual phase or gametophyte generation and the asexual phase or sporophytes generation. The sexual phase includes the following;

  1. A moss spore germinates into a green filament called a protonema.
  2. The protonema produces buds that grow into leafy moss plants
  3. The male reproductive organ known as antheridium; plural antheridia and the female reproductive organ known as archegonium; plural is archegonia are formed at the tip of one ot two separate leafy moss plants.
  4. The antheridium produces numerous gametes called sperms. The archegonium produces a single female gamete or egg. Since the leafy moss plants give rise to gametes they are called gametophytes that are “gamete-producing plant.”

The asexual phase includes the following;

  1. The egg inside the archegonium fuses with the sperm from the antheridium; the process is known as fertilization.
  2. The fertilized egg or zygote develops into a slender stalk with a capsule.
  3. The spores are produced from the capsule and released when mature. Since the slender stalk with a capsule gives rise to spores it is called sporophyte or “spore-producing plants

Importance of Bryophytes

Bryophytes plays a vital role in the biosphere even they are small in size. As a biotic factor in the environment, they provide food for numerous herbivorous birds and animals. They prevent soil erosion by carpeting the soil.

Bryophytes cause the outer portion of rock to slowly crumble as they grow with lichens on rock surfaces. And because of it they contribute and help to soil formation. When mixed with the soil, bryophytes increase the water-holding capacity of the soil and the amount of organic matter in the soil.

Some bryophytes like sphagnum or peat moss has some economic importance. It is used as packing material for breakable or fragile objects such as figurines and dinnerware’s. It is also used as packing materials for transporting plants and plant parts, since Sphagnum holds water and hence prevent plants from drying during transport. As a whole, bryophytes are of little economic importance to man.

Related Articles that you can also read:

References; Science and Technology by Lilia M. Rabago Ph. D , Crescensia C. Joaquin Ph.D, Catherine B. Lagunzad , PH. D, Encarta

Are you familiar of Bryophytes?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      virender verma 

      4 years ago

      Very very exilent

    • KenDeanAgudo profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth C Agudo 

      5 years ago from Tiwi, Philippines

      wow your a guest =) hehehe thank you so much for the read D. Krishnaiah

    • profile image

      D. Krishnaiah 

      5 years ago

      It is nice to see one's native on google

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)