Bryophytes - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 7 pages of information about Bryophytes.
This section contains 1,910 words
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Bryophytes

Of the three phyla of bryophytes, greatest species diversity is found in the mosses, with up to fifteen thousand species recognized. A moss begins its life cycle when haploid spores, which are produced in the sporophyte capsule, land on a moist substrate and begin to germinate. From the one-celled spore a highly branched system of filaments, called the protonema, develops. Cell specialization occurs within the protonema to form a horizontal system of reddish-brown anchoring filaments and upright green filaments. Each protonema, which superficially resembles a filamentous alga, can spread over several centimeters to form a fuzzy green film over its substrate. As the protonema grows, some cells of the specialized green filaments form leafy buds that will ultimately form the adult gametophyte shoots. Numerous shoots typically develop from each protonema so that, in fact, a single spore can give rise to a whole clump of moss plants...

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This section contains 1,910 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Bryophytes Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences
Bryophytes from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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