“Bryophyte” is a collective term for three distinct lineages of non-vascular land plants: mosses (Bryophyta), liverworts (Marchantiophyta) and hornworts (Anthocerotophyta). The three lineages are grouped together because of shared traits, primarily small stature, lack of vascular tissue and a life cycle including a sporophyte (diploid spore producing phase) and a dominant gametophyte (haploid sexual phase which is the most easily seen form). From an evolutionary viewpoint, the bryophytes mark the transition from aquatic to terrestrial environments and are considered the closest modern relatives of terrestrial plants. There are an estimated 20,000 species worldwide with approximately 1,800 occurring in Australia. With just over 1,000 known species occurring in Queensland, the Bryophytes are the second-most diverse group of land plants after the flowering plants.
In Queensland, bryophytes occupy a diverse range of habitats from arid environments through to tropical rainforests. They are often among the first species to colonise exposed surfaces such as road cuttings. Along with cyanobacteria, lichens and algae, bryophytes are a critical component of the biological crusts which bind the soil surface in semi-arid to arid areas. The bryophyte flora of Queensland is far from complete with many areas yet to be properly surveyed.
Native plants | Environment, land and water | Queensland Government : taken from - https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/plants-animals/plants/native-plants http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/au/
© The State of Queensland 2017