Bryophytes were a pivotal step in land plant evolution, and their significance in the regulation of ecosystems and the conservation of biodiversity is becoming increasingly acknowledged. This introductory textbook assumes no prior knowledge of bryophyte biology, making it ideal for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, as well as amateur botanists. The authors expertly summarise the diversity of bryophytes and outline recent advances in our understanding of their evolutionary history, their ecological roles and preferences, their distribution patterns and conservation needs. The text is highly illustrated throughout, with boxed summaries of topics of current relevance in bryophyte biology, and a glossary of technical terms.
Alain Vanderpoorten is a Research Associate of the Belgian Funds for Scientific Research at the University of Liege, Belgium, where he teaches molecular systematics, biogeography, and landscape ecology. His research presently focuses on the evolution of endemism. Bernard Goffinet is an Associate Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. His current research spans chloroplast genome evolution in liverworts, the phylogenetic history of mosses, and the systematics of lichen-forming fungi. He teaches bryophyte and lichen biology and green plant evolution.
Preface; 1. Evolutionary significance of bryophytes; 2. Ecological significance of bryophytes; 3. Liverworts; 4. Mosses; 5. Hornworts; 6. Biogeography of bryophytes; 7. Ecology of bryophytes; 8. Physiological ecology of bryophytes; 9. Bryophytes in a changing world; 10. Conservation biology of bryophytes; Glossary; References; Index.