Biology of Bryophytes and Lichens

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Biology of Bryophytes and Lichens EEB 3240-001 & 001L (4 credits)

Spring 2011 Lectures: T/TH 11.00 AM-12.15 PM Lab W 1-4PM

Lectures and laboratory in TLS181.

Contact Information

Bernard Goffinet
Associate Professor
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
office: 300 Pharmacy/Biology Building
voice: +1 860-486-5290
home page:

Teaching Assistant
Juan Carlos Villarreal
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
office: 316 Pharmacy/Biology Building
voice: +1 860-486-6306
home page:

Announcements (NEW ONES POSTED)

Some comments or recommendations:
Assignment 1 is now posted. 1. Take the assignments seriously; this includes working on your presentation of the life cycle. The cleanliness of the assignment reflects on how serious you took the assignment. I value clean documents.Assignments are worth 5% of your final grade.
2. Answer the question: in many cases an answer was provided, yet, often it fails to actually answer the question. For example: Justify why the sporangium is diploid. Common answer: because it produces haploid spores. Well, a gametophyte produces haploid sperm-cells and eggs, does that make it diploid? No. A sporangium is diploid because it arises through mitotic division from a diploid zygote. That is all.

Here is a short document summarizing phylogenetic terms Pdficon small.gif that you should know. Read this and let me know if you have any questions. This is not covered in class but considered to be covered by one of your earlier classes.

LABORATORY ATTENDANCE: you are required to attend the labs. If you miss 3 labs or more, without a written excuse you will automatically fail the class.

LECTURE FINAL: You can download the study guide for the final here.

Textbook and readings

There is no official text book. Instead, you will be assigned readings from the primary literature to go with the lectures. The reading is required, and the material covered in the paper is part of the lecture material, and hence subject to questions on the midterm and final.
Two books that are relevant and available in the library: Introduction to Bryophytes by A. Vanderpoorten & B. Goffinet (2009) (here the link to the book, This book is the most appropriate external reference for the class. Other books are Shaw & Goffinet (2000) Bryophyte Biology or its latest version Goffinet & Shaw (2008) and Nash (Lichen Biology, here the link to Amazon If you are interested, you can buy them. I can also order them at a discount (although it may come out close to what you get on line with major distributors).


The final grade is calculated based on your lecture grade (60%: midterm and - in part cumulative - final each worth 25%, and each of the two assignments worth 5%) and lab (40%: 30% final based on hands-on labs, and 5% of your paper presentation, 2.5% for summaries and 2.5% for participation in discussions).


"Whitish smoke in the movie are small droplets containing smreps (deliberate misspelling of word for male gametes). The smreps in the droplets are still un-motile. When touch the water, they begin to swim. In our experiments, misting with water is trigger of the explosion. If antheridia were mature, the explosion begin within few minutes. The event continued about for 10 min. Intense light for video recording also seems to accelerate the phenomenon. Each antheridium is deeply sunk in a cavity of antheridiophore and there is a very small pore on the top of each cavity. Swollen cells of surrounding tissue might cause the pressure force. Cavers (1903) and Muggoch & Walton (1942) also discussed about the mechanism, but, I think no one examined about the detail mechanism of the phenomenon. In Hiroshima, the season of mreps dispersal is Spring (April to May). In our field observation, we detected many airborne smreps in the sunny day after rain shower. I do not have detail data about how many species of liverworts have airborne mreps. At least, Asian species of Conocephalum (C. japonicum) do in the same manner." M. Shimamura

Shimamura, M., Yamaguchi, T. & Deguchi, H. 2008. Airborne sperm of Conocephalum conicum (Conocephalaceae). J. Plant Res. 121: 69-71.

  • Not surprisingly, internet sites devoted to the biology of bryophytes and lichens are "abundant", well let's say that sites dedicated to bryophytes exist! Some may hold information that is relevant to this class. One example is Bryophyte Ecology maintained by Dr. Janice Glime. I will look for more. You may want to consult the list maintained by Jessica Budke, another graduate student in my lab, and her moss blog entitled Moss Plants and more.

NOTES UPLOADEDHere is the Pdficon small.gif book chapter that I mentioned in class that you must read to complement your lecture notes. The figures must be downloaded separately: Pdficon small.gif Goffinet&Buckplate1.jpg and Pdficon small.gif Goffinet&Buckplate2.jpg


downloads require password; best viewed in Adobe Reader (some problems with the MAC "Preview" program).
The syllabus is subject to change. You will get papers assigned one lecture and maybe one week ahead. Check the site frequently.

Date Topic Reading Lab.
Tu 18 Jan Cancelled First encounter with bryophytes, and visiting the herbarium.
Th 20 Jan 1. Bryophytes in the context of land plant evolution
Pdficon small.gif Land plant evolution figures
Pdficon small.gif Assignment 1 due Tuesday Jan. 25
Pdficon small.gif article by Qiu et al.
Tu 25 Jan 2. Marchantiophyta or liverworts
Pdficon small.gif Liverwort Figures
Pdficon small.gif article by Shaw & Renzaglia but only the pages dealing with liverworts. Pdficon small.gif Lab1.2011.pdf
Th 27 Jan Cancelled
Tu 1 Feb 3. Marchantiophyta or liverworts Watch the video referred to under LINKS Cancelled
Th 3 Feb 4. Bryophyta or mosses
Pdficon small.gif Moss figures
Shaw & Renzaglia paper: pages on mosses;
Tu 8 Feb 5. Bryophyta or mosses
Pdficon small.gif Notes on moss sporophyte
Pdficon small.gif Lab2.Liverworts.2011.pdf A link for Gackstroemia's pictures:
Th 10 Feb 6. Anthocerophyta or hornworts
Pdficon small.gif Hornwort figures
Shaw & Renzaglia paper: pages on hornworts
Tu 15 Feb 7. Symbiotic associations with bryophytes
Pdficon small.gif Symbiosis hand-outs
Pdficon small.gif article by Selosse et al.; Discussion 1 on

a) Reverse evolution in liverworts by Pdficon small.gif Gradstein et al.
b) Diversification in mosses and climate change by Pdficon small.gifShaw et al.

We'll have the liverworts from previous lab if there is any time left after discussions
Th 17 Feb 8. Land plant evolution (replaced by hornwort lecture)
Tu 22 Feb 7. Symbiotic associations with bryophytes
Pdficon small.gif Symbiosis hand-outs
Pdficon small.gif article by Selosse et al.;
:Pdficon small.gif Adam&Duggan.full.pdf
Pdficon small.gif Reedetal2000.pdf
Moss Diversity
Pdficon small.gif Lab3mossdiversity.pdf

A recent paper on Polytrichum with pictures of the peristome [1]

Th 24 Feb (land plant evolution lecture shortened; see class!)
8. Bryophytes as evo-devo model systems
Pdficon small.gif NEW Bryophyte Evo-devo hand outs
Pdficon small.gif Menandetal.pdf
Tu 1 Mar 10. Peatland ecology and 11. Peatlands and Global carbon
Pdficon small.gif Peatland ecology
<Pdficon small.gif Global carbon economy
New lecture notes Pdficon small.gif 7Peatlands.pdf

Pdficon small.gif Chapman et al.pdf
Pdficon small.gif Lab: Mosses and Hornworts
Th 3 Mar 12. Bryophyte ecophysiology Pdficon small.gif Ecophysiology.pdf

Pdficon small.gifNew lecture notes

8PhysiologicalEcology2011.pdfPdficon small.gif Proctor
Tu 15 Mar MIDTERM Discussion 2 on

a) animal genes in a moss? (TAKEN) by Pdficon small.gif Hoang et al.

or b) a cheating liverwort (TAKEN) by Pdficon small.gif Bitartondo et al. (2003)
Th 17 Mar 13. Lichenized fungi
Pdficon small.gif Introduction hand outs
Download lecture slide here
Tu 22 Mar 14. Morphology and anatomy of lichens Pdficon small.gif lichen morphology.pdf Download lecture slides here Pdficon small.gif Lab6Lichens.pdf


here a picture of the ascus of Icmadophila [3]
Th 24 Mar 15. The photobiont and the mycobiont-photobiont interaction
Pdficon small.gif lichens morphogenesis.pdf
Download lecture slides here
Pdficon small.gif Read Honegger.pdf
Tu 29 Mar 16. Lichen morphogenesis continued Download lecture slides here 1st half: Discussion 3 on lichen symbionts (TAKEN) by Pdficon small.gif Casano et al. (2010)

2nd half: Introduction to lichens and their symbionts

Th 31 Mar 17. Lichen chemistry Download lecture notes here
Pdficon small.gif Lawrey1989.pdf
Pdficon small.gif lichenchemistryhandout.pdf
Tu 5 Apr 18. Evolution of lichenization and lichens Download notes here
Pdficon small.gif Lichenevolution hand out
Pdficon small.gif Lutzonietal.pdf
Th 7 Apr 18. Evolution of lichenization and lichens (cont.)
Tu 12 Apr 20. Ecological significance of bryophytes and lichens Download notes here field trip
Th 14 Apr 21. Bryophyte and lichen in a changing world Download lecture notes here
Tu 19 Apr 22. Bryophyte and lichen biogeography Download lecture notes here Discussion 4 on

a) bryophyte biogeography by Pdficon small.gif Karlin et al. (2010)

b) or lichen biogeography by Pdficon small.gif Hestmark et al.(2011)
Th 21 Apr Bryophyte and lichen biogeography cont. Download lecture notes here
Tu 26 Apr 24. Bryophytes (and lichen) ecology Download lecture notes here Lab final
Th 28 Apr 25. Bryophyte ecology cont. Download lecture notes here