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General Characteristics, Life Cycle, Spore Dispersal, EvolutionAsexual reproduction

The liverworts are one of three classes in the plant phylum Bryophyta. The other two classes are mosses and hornworts. Liverworts are small, green, terrestrial plants. They do not have true roots, stems, or leaves. Instead, they have an above ground leaf-like structure, known as a thallus, and an underground structure, known as a rhizoid. Most liverworts are found in moist environments and they tend to be less resistant to desiccation than their relatives, the mosses. Many liverwort species are found in temperate North America, but most species grow in the tropics.

Like mosses, many species of liverworts reproduce by making gemmae. Gemmae are small circular or spherical reproductive structures which are borne inside gemmae cups. The gemmae cups form on top of the thallus. Gemmae formation is an important form of asexual reproduction in many species of liverworts and mosses.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Linear expansivity to Macrocosm and microcosm