Marchantiophyta — how to recognize them.

To start, liveworts make up a subdivision of mosses, it is a group of small dorsoventral, talloid or leafy plants. They have a unique appearance out of all moss types: part of them only have a thallus, that is the name of organism body when it doesn't have tissues and organs (including a stem or leaves), second part of them has a stem with leaves on it, but leaves never have veins in them and are placed usually in two rows where each leaf has two blades, top bigger one and small one hidden underneath it.
If you find one with leaves and reproductive organs placed on a long stalk you can boldly id it as Leafy liverworts (Jungermanniopsida) it also contains liveworts with simple thalli, liveworts with complex thalli belong to Marchantiopsida and then there's a third, rare group called Haplomitriopsida that also have leaves, but their reproductive organs sit in the axils of the leaves.

Complex thalli can be recognized by having an outer leyer creates an epidermis, those cells lack the chlorophyll and usually have pores, they are visible with a naked eye. Simple thalli don't have such structures and often only contain of one layer of cells.

Lacking structures helping with loss of water, liveworts mainly inhabit places with higher humidity, you can find them on tree bark between other mosses, on the bare ground or even floating on top of water. Areas around temporary bodies of water can be very productive.
From estimated 6000-9000 species found worldwide currently on iNat there're identified observations of 825 of them.

Posted on October 17, 2022 10:20 AM by marina_gorbunova marina_gorbunova


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