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A visit to the miniature forest Insights into the biology and evolution of Bryophytes in Northeastern Connecticut

Thumbnail image of Brochure front
The naturalist walking through the forests and wetlands of Northeastern Connecticut searches for the hidden flowers and listens to the songs of the birds. The mosses and liverworts that cover the trail bank, color the tree trunks in shades of green and form soft cushions or carpets on the boulders, typically pass unnoticed. Yet several hundred species of Bryophytes occur in our region, and provide important services to the ecosystem, including partially controlling water movement, decreasing erosion, and providing microhabitats for numerous invertebrates. They can even dominate the vegetation in an area or, as in rainforests, compose a majority of the biomass in a local area.

Bryophytes are common, diverse and locally abundant. A closer look at their architecture, habitat, and life history provides insights into the ecological roles of bryophytes, the challenges encountered by plants on land and the solutions to some of these obstacles. This guide is not a field guide to the bryophytes of the forest. Accurate identification of bryophyte species often requires observation of microscopic characters. The guide aims to highlight some of the species common to the area and to raise awareness of bryophytes as a component of our forests, presenting aspects of plant biology through the “eyes” of a bryophyte.

Please contact Dr. Bernard Goffinet ( to order printed color versions of this brochure.
Associated files
Temporal and geographic description Photos of mosses from eastern Connecticut. The mosses presented in this brochure are common in many forests of eastern North America.
Primary or BEN resource type
General Biology Core Concepts
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords mosses, liverworts, biodiversity, life cycles, morphology, reproduction, water relations
Key taxa mosses, liverworts, bryophytes
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Category
Pedagogical Use Description This brochure is intended to be used by students and instructors to learn and teach about the biology of bryophyte plants (mosses and liverworts) outdoors. The objective is to open the eyes of students to the small plants that grown in forests of eastern North America and to educate them about their biology. This brochure is intended to be used by pairs/groups of students to hunt for the common genera listed in the brochure, examine them in the field, and then use the guide to learn about aspects of their biology. Topics students will learn about include water relations and reproductive biology.
Aggregation Level
Full Name of Primary Author Jon Swanson
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation Edwin O. Smith High School
Primary Author email
Secondary Author Name(s) Jessica M. Budke, Bernard Goffinet
Secondary Author Affiliation(s) University of Connecticut
Secondary Author Email(s),
Added By Id
  • jessicabudke
Submitter Name Jessica M. Budke
Submitter Email
Rights Dr. Bernard Goffinet
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
University of Connecticut
Review type
Drought and Water Ecosystem Services Collection Off
Conservation Targets Under Global Change Collection Off
Big Data Collection Off
Editors Choice No
Resource Status
Date Of Record Submission 2014-07-27
I Agree to EcoEdDL's Copyright Policy & Terms of Use No
Date Of Record Release 2014-10-01 16:38:43
Last Modified By Id
  • tmourad
Date Last Modified 2014-10-14 10:07:19
Release Flag Published

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