Bryophyta is the traditional term for this division of non-vascular plants. In some modern classifications the term is restricted to the mosses. However, as the group shares some key features (such as an alternation of generations with the haploid plant body dominating) the term is still useful. The non-vascular plants are, in any event, related.
A person who studies bryophytes is called a bryologist. The study of bryophytes is named bryology.
In a haploid gametophyte each cell has a fixed number of unpaired chromosomes. The green gametophyte gives rise to a diploid sporophyte, which is reddish. Each of the gametophyte cells has twice the number of paired chromosomes.
Bryophytes are "gametophyte dominant", meaning that the more prominent, green, longer-lived plant is the haploid gametophyte. The diploid sporophytes appear only occasionally and remain attached to and nutritionally dependent on the gametophyte. In bryophytes the sporophytes are always unbranched and produce a single sporangium (spore producing capsule).
- The British Bryological Society