Nature, like mosses, is a fascinating place. It is full of all types of little curiosities. Some plants move, some plants eat insects, and some plants don’t need flowers to reproduce. “Curiouser and curiouser” this planet certainly is. One such intriguing plant in this curious thing then is the plane, Moss. It looks like a “normal” plant but uses spores to reproduce.
1. Mosses are non-vascular bryophytes. They don’t have a sophisticated vascular system like other plants. In simpler words, mosses don’t have xylem and phloem.
2. These plants have spread over the world. It can be usually found in wet, damp regions such as in rainforests or alpine ecosystems.
3. Mosses are ancient plants. However, their life cycle is similar to other land plants. They have alternating generations. While one shows the characteristics of gametophytes, the other shows characteristics of the sporophyte. (Both terms relate to the process/phase of sex and reproduction in the life cycle of plants and algae).
4. These plants are so common that they can easily be found growing in driveways, sidewalks, and brick walls. They require water to reproduce. Therefore, they don’t do well in drier regions.
5. When spores from sporophytes begin dividing, they start producing gametophytes (covered in a thin water film).
6. There are more than 14,500 species in the world. They are so common that the name Bryophyta is used to refer to mosses. They constitute around 75% of all Bryophyte species.
8. A small patch of Moss is not a single organism. It is made up of thousands of mini-mosses that group together to increase their water-retention capacity. An average moss can hold water 20 times its weight.
9. Mosses are vital for keeping our ecosystem healthy. They stabilize the ground and also help in maintaining Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.
These plants have been used by humans since ancient times. They have been used to pack food and to help protect houses. In modern times, they are used for decoration purposes. Mosses are an integral part of our ecosystem, and they also act as a habitat for countless organisms.
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I am Rakshit Aswal, a recent graduate of English Hons. from University of Delhi. I like to play videogames and read books while on my pursuit to experience amazing stories.