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Published In: Corollarium Bryologiae Europaeae 19. 1856. (Coroll. Bryol. Eur.) Name publication detail

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 4/12/2011)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project data     (Last Modified On 4/12/2011)

The Leucobryaceae have thick, whitish leaves that consist mostly of an expanded costa. The costa is differentiated into outer layers of enlarged, hyaline leucocysts and a central layer of smaller green chlorocysts. A somewhat similar costal modification is found in the Dicranaceae (Campylopus, Brothera, Paraleucobryum). Furthermore, the peristome of Leucobryum is identical to that of Dicranum. For these reasons the two families are sometimes merged. Robinson (1985, 1990) attributed basic structural and functional features to the leucobryaceous leaf and on this basis redelimited the family. The important functional aspect of the leucobryaceous leaf involves its ability to generate and hold air within the leucocysts. This is thought to increase the photosynthetic efficiency of the completely enclosed chlorocysts.


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Plants small to large, whitish to pale green, grayish or pale brown plants in dense cushions; stems with central strand absent or weakly developed. Leaves thick and fleshy, consisting mostly of an expanded costa; in cross section with 2–several layers of large empty, hyaline, porose cells (leucocysts) enclosing a central layer of small, green cells (chlorocysts); laminae narrow, consisting of delicate, hyaline, quadrate, oblong or linear cells. Asexual reproductive structures sometimes present. Dioicous, pseudautoicous or autoicous. Setae terminal, straight; capsules erect or inclined, at times strumose; peristome absent or single and consisting of 8 or 16 lanceolate teeth. Calyptrae cucullate or mitrate, entire or fringed at base with long, single-celled cilia.


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