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Explain how you could determine if the mat is made of algae or nonvascular plants such...

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Explain how you could determine if the mat is made of algae or nonvascular plants such as liverworts, hornworts and mosses

Imagine that you are on a hike and you notice a mat of green material growing on the rocks at the edge of a stream.

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Bryophytes are divided into three groups i.e Hornworts, liverworts, and mosses. They are considered to be an important group in our understanding of the origin of land plants because they are believed to be among the earliest diverging lineages of land plants. Hornworts differ from all other land plants in having only one large, algal-like chloroplast in each thallus cell. As with the liverworts the plant that we commonly see is the gametophyte. It shows the beginnings of differentiation of stem and leaves - but no roots. Mosses may have rhizoids and these may be multicellular but they do little more than hold the plant down.

Algae lack the various structures that characterize land plants, such as phyllids (leaves) and rhizoids in nonvascular plants, or leaves, roots, and other organs that are found in vascular plants. Many are photoautotrophic, although some groups contain members that are mixotrophic, deriving energy both from photosynthesis and uptake of organic carbon either by osmotrophy, myzotrophy, or phagotrophy. Some unicellular species rely entirely on external energy sources and have limited or no photosynthetic apparatus.

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