The lifecycle of moss
The amazing lifecycle of these plants is nothing short of a botanical marvel
1. Spore dispersed
The cap falls away to reveal a fine, tooth-like structure that holds the spores. As this peristome begins to dry they pull back, releasing the spores with the breeze.
2. Protonema development
The spore usually lands further away from the parent plants. When it rains the spore will burst into life and form a protonema that branches out like a network.
3. New gametophyte
After a period of growth, the protonema buds, forming a new gametophyte that is either male or female.
4. Egg growth
The egg stays in the venter and matures into an embryo before one end starts to grow into the parent plant’s stem to access nutrients and water.
5. Zygote formation
The embryo starts to form a long stalk that grows upwards, splitting the venter chamber and carrying half of it up into the air.
6. Sporophyte development
This results in a small diploid (containing two sets of chromosomes) plant called a sporophyte that is attached to the top of the female stem.
6 5 Fertilisation 4 Male gametophyte 1 2 3 3 Female gametophyte