Field of Science

Moss Life Cycle 3

The spores land on a suitable substrate (either soil, tree bark or rocks, depending on the species) and grow to form a filamentous mat, called protonema (7 o'clock). These protonema filaments have been compared to both algae and rhizoid filaments that attach bryophytes to their substrate.

Each protonema mat can produce many leafy buds that will develop into grown mossy plants (9 o'clock). Thus you can have many individual gametophyte stems in the same patch that are genetically identical to each other. Think clones from your favorite sci-fi movie. All that is needed is a single spore to produce an entire mossy patch.

And there we have it. We have made it all the way through the moss life cycle, hopefully without to much brain strain and confusion. If you have any questions about the life cycle feel free to drop me a line in the comment section.

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