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Unveiling the Secrets of Jungermannia Amplexifolia Moss

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Exploring the Fascinating World of Jungermannia Amplexifolia Moss


Mosses are some of the most ancient and resilient plants on Earth. One particularly interesting species is Jungermannia amplexifolia (Hampe ex Lehm.) Grolle, a moss in the Solenostomataceae family. Also known simply as Jungermannia, this small but mighty plant is worth taking a closer look at. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the details of J. amplexifolia, from its morphology to its ecological roles.


P1030558.JPG from: https://southwalesbryos.blogspot.com/2015/03/jungermannia.html


jungermannia_leiantha.jpg from: https://wnmu.edu/academic/nspages/gilaflora/jungermannia_leiantha.html

Background on Mosses

Before we get into the specifics of J. amplexifolia, let’s review some background on mosses in general. Mosses are non-vascular plants in the division Marchantiophyta. They lack true roots, stems, and leaves, instead having structures that serve similar functions. Mosses reproduce via spores rather than seeds and are found in a wide range of habitats worldwide.


common-liverwort-jungermannia-polymorpha-and-dotted-thyme-moss-rhizomnium-F0N6A2.jpg from: http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-common-liverwort-jungermannia-polymorpha-and-dotted-thyme-moss-rhizomnium-86517818.html

Morphology and Identification


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J. amplexifolia is a leafy liverwort, meaning it has leaf-like structures arranged on a stem. The leaves are


Jungermannia_atrovirens_BS1882_1524505470.jpg from: https://bryophyteportal.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=156935&taxauthid=1&proj=1


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succubous (lying flat and overlapping like shingles) and bilobed (divided into two lobes). They clasp or wrap around the stem, hence the species name “amplexifolia” which means “stem-clasping leaves”.
The underleaves are small to absent. Rhizoids are scarce. The plants are small, usually 1-3 cm long. When dry, the leaves become crispate (wavy or twisted). Sporophytes are uncommon.

Global Distribution and Habitat

J. amplexifolia has a widespread but scattered distribution. It is found in:

The species usually grows on damp, acidic rocks near streams, waterfalls, and in ravines in mountainous areas. It is often mixed in with other bryophytes.

Ecological Roles and Adaptations


jungermannia_atrovirens.jpg from: https://www.earth.com/plant-encyclopedia/Bryophytes/Jungermanniaceae/jungermannia-atrovirens/en/

Like other mosses, J. amplexifolia plays important roles in its ecosystem:

The wavy, twisting leaves help the moss conserve moisture during dry periods. The clasping leaf arrangement may also assist with water retention and protect the stem.


Jungermannia amplexifolia is a small but fascinating moss with a unique morphology and a wide distribution. Next time you’re hiking near a mountain stream, see if you can spot this resilient little plant, and take a moment to appreciate the complex world of mosses! What other amazing bryophyte adaptations have you encountered?

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