Updated at: 09-11-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

There are numerous unspecialized traits in Bryophytes, however they are found in a wide range of environments on Earth. There are about 24,700 different types of bryophytes. Because they lack the tracheid cells necessary for water and nutrient conduction, bryophytes are also known as non-tracheophytes. Tracheophytes refer to all the green plants that aren’t cacti.

Gametophytes of these plants are more noticeable than sporophytes because they are able to photosynthesize. Sporophytes are closely linked to gametophytes and rely on them for their energy supply. The sexual reproduction of bryophytes, like that of certain tracheophytes, is dependent on water. Consequently, most of these creatures can be found in wet terrestrial environments. In this article, the differences between liverworts and mosses will be briefly addressed.

What are Liverworts?

There are many types of liverwort, all of which possess a basic bryophyte body with a leathery exterior that grows in flat, damp terrestrial or water surface habitats. A thallus is a term used to describe the body of a liverwort, which lacks a genuine structure of the leaf network. Sometimes, the thallus is separated into lobes, which might vary in size amongst various species of the same family. This’ leaf’ is a single thick cell with no cuticular or circulatory system at all. Many species are joined to’ head’ (not a genuine stem) with this’ leaves’ (not true leaves). “Leaves” may be divided into two or more sections and placed in rows of two or more.

Difference Between Liverworts and Mosses | Definition, Characteristics, Examples

Some liverworts feature pores for gas exchange, whereas others have a midrib. This is in contrast to the stomata of higher plants, which are able to close as necessary. In contrast, certain liverworts are vulnerable to dry seasons, while others are not. Moss is a good analogy for sexual reproduction. The umbrella-shaped gametangia are the result of the gametophyte. The gametophyte releases lens-shaped fragments of tissue for asexual reproduction.

What are Mosses?

Bryophyte Moses is made up of several leaf-like structures that spiral around the stem like an axis. They can’t be called actual leaves or stems since they lack the vascular tissue that is often seen in vascular plants. Rhizoids, the roots of mosses, allow them to cling to their substrates. Many water-absorbing cells can be found in each rhizoid. There is only one layer of cells in the leaf-like structure, which has a smooth midrib and a flattened tip.

The gametophyte axis of Moses contains specialized cells that carry water. Additionally, some mosses include cells that transport food around the water-conducting cell layer. mosses gametangia are multicellular and are found on gametophytes at the tips of their branches. Male and female gametangia (archegonia and antherinidia) can be found on the same plant, or on distinct plants.

While an antheridium produces many sperm, a single egg is produced by an archegonium. The flagella of sperm help them swim into archegonia when they are released. After fertilization and zygote production, mitosis separates this and generates the sporophyte. It is the sporophyte of mosses that is brown in color and covered in an inflated capsule. In contrast to the sporophyte, the leafy gametophyte is able to obtain nutrition by photosynthesis, whereas the sporophyte is not.

Compare and contrast liverworts and mosses now.

Moss Vs Liverwort

Similarities Between Mosses and Liverworts

The gametophyte differs from the sporophyte in the two liverworts and mosses.

When referring to non-vascular plants, the term “liverworts and mosses” is used interchangeably. Liverworts and mosses are both examples of non-flowering plants.

The “haploid gametophyte morphology” of mosses and liverworts differs.

For the most part, liverworts and mosses have quite different “gametophytes.” The “liverwort gametophyte” is “those or leafy,” whereas the gametophyte of mosses tends to be “branched filament structure” and prostatic.

Mosses, Liverworts, and Lichens - Mammoth Cave National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

Benefits of Knowing the Difference Mosses and Liverworts

Additionally, you should be able to tell the difference between the many subtopics. Knowing the distinction makes it easier to break down information and select the appropriate amount of information for the task at hand, as needed.

In an online class, you can get in-depth explanations of topics from our in-house instructors. You may learn more about liverworts and mosses by enrolling in an online Biology class.

FAQs on Liverworts and Mosses:

Q.1: How many different species of liverworts are there?

It’s about 8000 species of liverworts that make up this complex category. Leafy species make up the bulk of these organisms.

Mosses come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

A moss’s ability to grow is constrained by its inability to effectively carry water. That’s because there’s no vascular tissue there. While some mosses can grow up to 20 inches in height, most are less than an inch in height.

Difference Between Liverworts and Mosses | Compare the Difference Between Similar Terms


The phylum Bryophyta includes both liverworts and mosses. In the kingdom Plantae, Bryophyta is a phylum that includes the most basic plants. As non-vascular plants with a noticeable gametophyte, they are interesting to study. All three parts of the gametophyte are fused together. There are two types of plants: thallose or foliose plants, and foliose or thallose plants, respectively. The shape of the gametophyte is the primary difference between liverworts and mosses.