Plant Diversity


What phase is dominant in the life cycles of bryophytes?

Like all plants, bryophytes—mosses, liverworts, and hornworts—exhibit alternation of generations. In this case, the haploid, or gametophyte, generation is the most conspicuous, dominant phase and persists for most of the plant’s life. For example, a mat of moss consists of haploid gametophytes. The diploid, or sporophyte, generation lives only for a short time, growing out of the top of the gametophyte and depending on it for its food. (For more about the alternation of generations, see this chapter.)


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