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The mission of the International Association of Bryologists (IAB), as a society, is to strengthen bryology by encouraging interactions among all persons interested in byophytes.

Friday, November 28, 2008

What about liverworts?

Subject: BRYONET: (no subject)
Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2008 13:38:32 -0500
From: Janice M. Glime <>


Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2008 00:39:04 -0800 (PST)
From: BC Ho <>
Subject: Re: BRYONET: World's most extreme bryophyte (in terms of size)

Thanks to everybody, we have now several suggestions as candidates for the
World's largest in terms of height (self-supporting) (Dawsonia, Spiridens,
Dendroligotrichum), area (Pterobryella), and length (not self-supporting)
(Fontinalis, Sphagum majus, Polytrichum). On the other hand, there is
only one suggestion of Discelium nudum as a contender for the smallest, apart
from the one that I originally suggested (Ephemeropsis), although I do not know
which of the two species of Ephemeropsis is smaller. With respect to the
smallest bryophyte, I would suggest to disregard the protonema phase
and only consider the leafy or (in the case of liverworts) thalloid
gametophores. This would also help to overcome the difficult problem of
'connectivity' especially in the case of mosses where protonema that derive from
a single spore can sprout several gametophores. I suppose this also applies to
the largest when we want to consider a single plant. Going back to the original
question, anymore suggestions to the tiniest bryophyte? In terms of sporophyte,
Splachnum luteum and S. rubrum are suggested to have the longest seta. Does
Dawsonia also has the largest capsule, as Neil Bell pointed out?
It is interesting that all comments so far are restricted to only mosses. I am
interested to find out what are the giants and dwarfs in the world of the
liverworts. Could there be a reason to why bryologists do not talk (much) about
liverworts when it comes to size, or it is just me who is unaware and not
Most sincerely,
Arbeitsgruppe Bryologie
Nees-Institut fur Biodiversitat der Pflanzen
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat Bonn
Meckenheimer Allee 170,
53115 Bonn, Germany
Fax: +49 228 73 6542


  1. This web needs to be more understendable and to me is not very useful.

  2. The anonymous person is ryght about that!