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Difference Between Liverworts And Mosses

Difference Between Liverworts And Mosses

There are numerous varieties of plants in our ecosystem. Liverworts and Mosses are non-flowering and nonvascular plants found in terrestrial and wet habitats. However, there are many differences that set them apart. 

Table of Contents:

  • What are Liverworts?
  • What are Mosses?
  • Difference Between Liverworts And Mosses
  • Practice Problems
  • Frequently Asked Questions

What are Liverworts?

Liverworts are simple bryophytes that are small, flattened structures found in moist terrestrial areas or water bodies such as soil, rocks, mountains or still water areas. Liverwort has a single layer of cells with the absence of a cuticular or vascular system. 

A significant feature of liverworts is that it doesn't have stomata. They have a structure of leaf network, which is called a thallus. The leaves are divided into two or more lobes. The midrib of liverwort has pores for gas exchange.

Some liverworts are not immune to dry areas, whereas some are sensitive. Gametangia is an umbrella-shaped structure from the gametophyte. Gametophytes are a dominant phase that releases tissues for sexual reproduction.

What are Mosses?

Mosses are complex bryophytes that are small leaf-like structures spirally arranged in an axis. It is found in wet environments like rainforests, alpine and wetlands. They do not have vascular tissues and have rhizoids which give rise to spores. Rhizoids also act as roots and attach to their substrates. Each of them contains the majority of water-absorbing cells. 

Mooses have leaf-like structures made up of a single thick layer of cells and have a midrib and flattened tip. The gamentia are multicellular and located at the gametophyte tips. The gametophyte phase is dominant and longer than sporophytic generation. They are the source producer of water and nutrition.

Archegonia is separated by mitosis. After fertilisation, the zygote forms the sporophyte. They are brown stalks with swollen capsules. The leafy gametophyte is photosynthetic, but the sporophyte is not, and the gametophyte obtains nutrients.

Difference Between Liverworts And Mosses



They have branched thallus that is flat.

They are similar to stem or thallus, which have leafy structures.

Division: Marchantiophyta' 

Division: Bryophyta

Shows flattened patterns that form two to three rows.

Its leaf-like structure shows a spiral or whorl pattern.

They can be foliage or thallose.

The mosses can be foliage.

The body of a plant is dorsiventral.

The body plant is radial.

Leaves do not have midribs.

Leaves have midrib

Unicellular rhizoids are present

Multicellular rhizoids are present

Presence of scales or amphigastria 

Absence of scales or amphigastria.

Sporogonium has few green tissues, and its food can not be synthesised.

Sporogonium has abundant green tissue, and its food can be synthesised.

Peristome teeth are absent.

Peristome teeth occur inside the capsule in the apical region.

The columella is absent.

The columella is present.

Protonemata is absent in liverworts.

Mosses have filamentous protonemata.

Chlorophyll and stomata are absent.

Chlorophyll and stomata are present in sporophytes for gaseous exchange.

Eg: Porella, Riccia, and Marchantia 

Eg: Sphagnum, Funaria, and Polytrichum

Practice Problems

Q1. Which of the following is absent in Liverworts?

A. Chlorophyll
B. Stomata
C. Both a and b
D. None of the above

Answer: C. Both a and b

Explanation: Liverwort has a single layer of cells with an absence of a cuticular or vascular system. A significant feature of liverworts is that it doesn't have stomata. Thus Chlorophyll and stomata are absent.

Q2. Which of the following act as roots and attach to their substrates?

A. Columella 
B. Rhizoids 
C. Protonemata
D. None of the above

Answer: B. Rhizoids 

Explanation: Rhizoids also act as roots and attach to their substrates. Each of them contains the majority of water-absorbing cells. 

Q3. Which of the following does not come under Mosses?

A. Sphagnum
B. Polytrichum
C. Funaria
D. Riccia

Answer: D. Riccia

Explanation: Riccia is classified under Liverworts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Are Mosses vascular plants?
Answer :
No, Mosses are not vascular plants as they don't have vacuoles or vessels.

Q2. What is the similarity between Mosses and Liverworts?
Answer : Both mosses and liverworts are grouped under the bryophyte classification. They share a similar life cycle and reproductive organs. Also, they both lack vascular tissues.

Q3. What are vascular tissues?
Answer : Vascular tissues are complex conducting tissues composed of xylem and phloem, which are the significant transport system for plants.

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