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A Digital Herbarium

Debunking myths about gametophyte ecology



  1. Great video! I teach about ferns in the southeastern U.S. and I’m now curious to see if I can find gametophytes as easily in our forests. It seems like it might be difficult to determine the difference between a gametophyte and a thaloid liverwort. Do you have any tips for identifications? I don’t typically see liverworts far above a constant water source, and if gametophytes are more tolerant of dryness maybe that’s one clue. Thanks for posting!

  2. wtesto

    Hi Teri –

    Gametophytes of some liverworts and mosses can be confused with fern gametophytes – one thing to be aware of is that most ferns in the temperate regions of the world are cordiform (heart-shaped), whereas liverworts tend to be elongate. Also, liverworts tend to be thicker than fern gametophytes.

    A few minutes googling images of fern gametophytes might be useful in getting you a search image.

    Good places to look are shaded, moist areas of exposed soil. Some of the easiest places to find them are in soil-filled cracks near rock outcrops in the woods. They are definitely easier to find in the tropics than in the temperate zone, but with some patience you can find them!

  3. Dear James,
    Congratulations! Your video is really nice :). I would like to suggest thinking about subtitles (I know it’s boring to do that) in spanish or portuguese (or even in english!). This is a video I would like to send to my pupils, but even for me is difficult understanding spoken english (“dái plai zium”, for example, is a word almost nobody speaking spanish or portuguese will understand…). I think your audience in Latin America will be too much larger.
    All the best.

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