dry moss capsule
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Dry Moss Capsule III – Retro-Style Dispersal

Bryopsida sp.

Magnification: 75:1

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Land plants have life cycles in which a haploid gemetophyte generation alternates with a diploid sporophyte. In spiral mosses (Bryopsida sp.), the gametophyte is the dominant generation which is rarely the case in other species, and the sporophyte grows from the tip of a gametophyte. Sporocytes consist of a sporangium and a stalk. The Sporangium (or capsule) contains thousands of tiny spores. After the lid dries, shrinks and springs open the spores are released and dispersed by the wind.