News from IAB

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.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The invasion of the land by plants: when and where?

Charles H. Wellman
New Phytologist (2010) 188: 306–309

The land plants (Embryophytes) are a monophyletic group that evolved as an adaptive response to the migration from a freshwater aquatic to terrestrial subaerial habitat. Phylogenetic analysis of extant plants suggests that charo-phycean green algae share a sister group relationship with the Embryophytes, that is, the land plants probably evolved from a freshwater aquatic multicellular green alga similar to extant Chara and Coleochaete (Graham, 1993). Within the Embryophytes liverworts are the most basal group, followed by mosses, and then hornworts and vascular plants sharing a sister group relationship (Qiu et al., 2006). However, it is to the fossil record we must turn if we are to understand what the first land plants were like and when and where they evolved.

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