Microscopy Primer
Light and Color
Microscope Basics
Special Techniques
Digital Imaging
Confocal Microscopy
Live-Cell Imaging
Microscopy Museum
Virtual Microscopy
Web Resources
License Info
Image Use
Custom Photos
Site Info
Contact Us

The Galleries:

Photo Gallery
Silicon Zoo
Chip Shots
DNA Gallery
Amino Acids
Religion Collection
Cocktail Collection
Screen Savers
Win Wallpaper
Mac Wallpaper
Movie Gallery

Differential Interference Contrast Image Gallery

Moss Bulbils

Mosses are eukaryotic plants belonging to the division Bryophyta that most often inhabit moist, shady areas. Mosses do not bear seeds or flowers, but they are capable of reproducing in a variety of ways, their lifecycle involving alternate generations of gametophytes and sporophytic plants.

The lush, green mosses that most people associate with wooded areas belong to the dominant gametophyte moss generation. These plants germinate from haploid moss spores that come into contact with incident light. Developing filaments of haploid cells known as protonemata sprout from the walls of the spores in proper conditions and resemble the appearance of filamentous algae. From the tangle of branching protonemata filaments, small, brown bulbs called bulbils may develop. Bud-like, the aerial bulbils develop into typical moss gametophytes when they arrive at a suitable location.

Wide distribution of mosses has played an important part in making Earth inhabitable for more advanced life forms. Mosses have existed for more than 200 million years, appearing sometime after the algae and fungi. The mosses survived in the small amount of nutritive soil that was formed by the decaying material of the more primitive plants, breaking down exposed substrata and releasing nutrients. The remnants of dead mosses then created an even thicker layer of rich soil, making it possible for more complex plants to grow on the surface of the planet.


Questions or comments? Send us an email.
© 1998-2022 by Michael W. Davidson and The Florida State University. All Rights Reserved. No images, graphics, scripts, or applets may be reproduced or used in any manner without permission from the copyright holders. Use of this website means you agree to all of the Legal Terms and Conditions set forth by the owners.
This website is maintained by our
Graphics & Web Programming Team
in collaboration with Optical Microscopy at the
National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.
Last modification: Friday, Nov 13, 2015 at 02:19 PM
Access Count Since April 22, 2003: 23527
For more information on microscope manufacturers,
use the buttons below to navigate to their websites: