Bryophytes (hornworts, liverworts, and mosses) are a rich and diverse element of the neotropical flora. In their roles as water reservoirs they prevent soil erosion, and as sensitive reactors to water and air quality they are early indicators of degrading biodiversity and ecosystem quality. Guide to the Bryophytes of Tropical America is an indispensable tool for teachers of botany, ecology, and plant geography, as well as for those studying bryophytes and their role in the natural environment. The authors provide descriptions, illustrations, and keys to the 597 genera and 120 families of bryophytes recorded from tropical America. The generic descriptions include data on the diversity, distribution, and ecology of the group within the Neotropics, important morphological characters, salient features for identification, and relevant literature for species identification. The highly informative introduction includes discussions of morphology; life cycle; characters useful for identification, with explanations of their technical terms and detailed drawings illustrating them; distribution and conservation; the bryophytes most characteristic of various habitats; and bryophyte collection and processing. A glossary and listings of important bryological literature and important bryological herbaria in tropical America also appear in the introduction.
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