How Does Moss Adapt to its Environment – Pediaa.Com

Moss represents a primitive type of plants that are classified under phylum Bryophyta. Its finale relatives are liverworts and hornworts. Mosses grow in dense green clumps or mats in damp or fly-by-night locations. They possess elementary leaves attached to a stem that may be or may not be branched. Thin, hair-like rhizoids attach the plant to the substrate. Most mosses are non-vascular plants but, some may develop a primitive vascular system. They absorb water directly from their body surface. Mosses are photosynthetic plants and only grow in the presence of water system. They arrest their metamorphosis when water is not available. Mosses are crucial as their adaptation from aquatic habitats to the land emphasizes the origin of vascular land plants .

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Moss
– Definition, Facts
2. How Does Moss Adapt to its Environment
– Adaptations of Mosses to the Land
key Terms : differentiation of Plant Body, Moss, Photosynthesis, Sexual Reproduction, Spores, Thick Cell Wall

How Does Moss Adapt to its Environment- Infograph

What is Moss

A moss is a primitive type of land plants classified under phylum Bryophyta. It is a non-vascular and non-flowering plant. Mosses undergo alterations of generations with a big gametophyte. The sporophyte of mosses appears on the gametophyte. It is composed of a spore-producing space capsule held by a stalk. Spores shoot, producing a protonema, which is a filamentous structure. The stem of protonema develop into gametophytes. The lifecycle of a moss is shown in trope 1 .
How Does Moss Adapt to its Environment

How Does Moss Adapt to its Environment

Mosses represent one of the most primitive plants on the land. This means the first gear entities that evolved from aquatic environments to sublunar environments are ancestors of mosses. They are evolved from the alga that lived in the sea and fresh water. Mosses, liverworts, and hornworts descend from the first plants that spread onto the bare rock and land. In ordain to survive on the country, mosses develop several adaptations. Those adaptations are listed below.

  1. Mosses have developed leaf-, stem-, and root-like structures, apart from the thallus of algae. They develop specialized structures for a particular function. Generally, leaves are specialized for photosynthesis; stems are specialized for support as well as transport; roots are specialized for support and absorption of water. The leaf-like structures of mosses are simple and one-cell thick. The stems hold the plant against the ground. The root-like structures of mosses are called rhizoids and they attach the plant to the substrate.
  2. Each cell of the moss is surrounded by a thick cell wall, providing support to the plant as in higher plants.
  3. The absorption of water mainly occurs through the body surface of the plant. Water diffuses from cell to cell. However, they have developed special storage areas for both water and nutrients. Some mosses have developed primitive types of vascular systems, allowing the efficient transfer of water and nutrients throughout the plant.
  4. Mosses have chlorophyll for photosynthesis. Hence, they produce their own food.
  5. Mosses asexually reproduce through spores. A spore consists of a single reproductive cell covered by a protective, hard, and watertight covering. It is transmitted through the air. The production of this type of spores by mosses is an adaptation for the life on land.

How Does Moss Adapt to its Environment however, water plays a character in determining the size of the implant and the sexual reproduction. Since mosses lack a develop vascular system, the plants can not grow tall. The general stature of mosses is 0.4-4 inches. The limited size of the mosses is besides affected by the absence of supportive cells as in higher plants. Water besides reduces the sexual replica of mosses as fertilization of gametes depends on urine. Hence, mosses wait for favorable conditions to undergo sexual reproduction .


Mosses are a type of primitive plants on the land. several adaptations such as the differentiation of plant body into bow, leaves, and roots, slurred cell walls to support the plant on the land, photosynthesis, and production of spores occur in mosses when they descended from alga.


1. invigilate, M. C. F. “ Mosses and Alternative Adaptation to Life on Land. ” New Phytologist, vol. 148, no. 1, 2000, pp. 1–3., doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.2000.00751.x .

Image Courtesy:

1. “ Moss life Cycle ” ( Public Domain ) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “ Moss ( Dicranoweisiacirrata ) on a fence post ” bybrewbooks ( CC BY-SA 2.0 ) via Flickr
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