Mosses and Liverworts

Moss and lichen

Moss and lichen along the interpretive trail at Ft. Harisson

(NPS Photo)

The park's many shaded and moisture rich environments create favorable habitat for mosses and liverworts. These plants belong to a phylum of plants known as Bryophyta. Bryophytes are the most abundant land plants and also some of the oldest. These simple plants require moist environments because they generally lack specialized tissue for water or nutrient transport. Many mosses and liverworts are only one cell-layer thick and rely on passive diffusion to obtain necessary nutrients. Mosses can be distinguished by their three-dimensional structure where as liverworts tend to be more planar. These plants can be found growing close to the ground and along trees or any surface where moisture is readily available.

Visitors to Richmond National Battlefield Park can expect to see lush carpets of moss and clusters of liverworts along the forest floor and portions of wooded trails.

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