University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

EEB3240: Bryology & Lichenology

Biology of Bryophytes and Lichens EEB 3240-001 & 001L (4 credits)

Spring 2017 Lectures: T/TH 11.00 AM-12.15 PM Lab W 1.25-4.25PM

Lectures and laboratory in TLS181.

Contact Information

Bernard Goffinet
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
office: 300 Pharmacy/Biology Building
voice: +1 860-486-5290
home page:

Teaching Assistant
Charles Delavoi
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
office: 316 Pharmacy/Biology Building
voice: +1 860-486-6306
Office hours by appointment


You are required to attend the labs. If you miss 3 labs or more, without a valid written excuse you will automatically fail the class.

If you miss a lab you have to let the TA know no later than the morning of the lab, if you would like to make up the lab at a later point. If you fail to notify the TA and request to make up the lab, you will not have an opportunity to do so.


You can download the study guide for the final (This is the one from 2011; it may be updated this spring, so check it again later).

Textbook and readings

There is no official text book. Instead, you will be assigned readings from the primary literature to go with the lectures. The reading is required, and the material covered in the paper is part of the lecture material, and hence subject to questions on the midterm and final.

Articles to read will be uploaded onto the UCONN dropbox; each article listed is linked to the dropbox. You will only have 2 weeks following posting for the article to be downloaded.

You can also scroll to the bottom of the page to the list of references where I provide a link to the website that provides access to the pdf (if you are logged into the UCONN system).
Two books that are relevant and available in the library: Introduction to Bryophytes by A. Vanderpoorten & B. Goffinet (2009). This book is the most appropriate external reference for the class. Other books are Shaw & Goffinet (2000) Bryophyte Biology or its latest version Goffinet & Shaw (2008) and Nash (Lichen Biology). If you are interested, you can buy them. I can also order them at a discount (although it may come out close to what you get on line with major distributors).

A great on-line resource is a book composed by Dr. Janice Glime (Michigan Technological University) entitled Bryophyte Ecology. This is a well illustrated and comprehensive text with many interesting facts to any plant biologist.


The final grade is calculated based on your lecture grade (60%: midterm and – in part cumulative – final each worth 25%, and each of the two assignments worth 5%) and lab (40%: 30% final based on hands-on labs, and 5% of your paper presentation, 2.5% for summaries and 2.5% for participation in discussions).

Bryophytes & Lichens outside the classroom – Twitter

Throughout the semester you will be responsible for “tweeting” at least once a week about Bryophytes and/or Lichens. Your tweets should feature bryophytes or lichens in popular culture, the media, or photos you have taken of bryophytes or lichens. Photos should include info on what the photo depicts. Media links should include a relevant comment or description of the link. In order to receive credit you must include #LichenBryosUConn in your tweet.

Example tweet: Wow! Chimps caught using mosses as drinking sponges! #LichenBryosUConn …

To make a twitter account:

If you are not able to participate via twitter, see Lily before the end of Lab on 1/28 for an alternative way to participate.

News or other information

Feb. 10. In todays lecture I mentioned the role of micro arthropods in dispersing sperms cells; you can find that short but great to read paper here. Also, following the class a couple of you asked if mosses would produce compounds to attract the arthropods. The answer can be found here (you can just read the abstract).


Date Topic Reading Laboratory
 Jan. 20 General Introduction to course Lab safety and Microscopy
 Jan. 22 Bryophytes in the context of land plant evolution
Assignment 1
Shaw & Renzaglia 2004Wickett et al. 2014
Jan. 27 Liverworts: complex thalloids and simple thalloids
Jan. 29 Marchantiophyta or liverworts  Goffinet& Buck 2013
Read Shaw & Renzaglia and Goffinet & Buck.
Feb. 3 Marchantiophyta or liverworts
Lecture notes
Assignment 1 answer sheet
Read Shaw & Renzaglia and Goffinet & Buck. Liverworts: simple thalloids and leafy liverworts
Question on paper for discussion due. See instructions below:

Lab discussion

Feb. 5 Lecture cancelled
Feb. 10 Bryophyta or mossesLecture notes1 slide/page2 slides/page Read Shaw & Renzaglia and Goffinet & Buck. Discussion 1 on Liverworts
Lab on Mosses
Feb. 12 Bryophyta or mosses
Moss peristome structure
 Read Shaw & Renzaglia and Goffinet & Buck.
Feb. 17 Anthocerotophyta or hornworts
Lecture notes
 Read Shaw & Renzaglia and Goffinet & Buck. Mosses
Feb. 19 Symbiotic associations with bryophytes  Read Bidartondo et al.
Feb. 24 Symbiotic associations with bryophytes
Lecture notes
Discussion 2 on Mosses
Lab on hornworts
Feb. 26 Land plant evolution
Lecture notes
Mar. 3 Land plant evolution (cont.) and Bryophyte diversification Identifying bryophytes
Mar. 5 Bryophyte diversification  Read Laenen et al.
Mar. 10 Bryophytes evo-devo
Lecture notes
 Read Menand et al. Discussion 3 on hornworts
Identifying bryophytes
Mar. 12 Midterm (lecture Jan. 20–Mar. 5)

 Spring break

Mar. 24 Lichenized fungi
Lecture notes
Introduction to lichen diversity
Mar. 26 Morphology and anatomy of lichens
Lecture notes
Mar. 31 The photobiont diversity (guest lecture y Dr. Fucikova)
Lecture notes
Identifying lichens
Apr. 2 Morphogenesis: patterns of specificity, selectivity and co-evolution in lichen symbionts
Lecture notes
Reading: Hawksworth (2015) Lichen Life-style
Apr. 7 Morphogenesis: development of a lichen thallus  Reading: Rikkinen et al. 2002 Discussion 4 on lichen symbiosis: photobiont and lichen growth form.Identifying lichens
Apr. 9 Lichen chemistry
Lecture notes
Apr. 14 Origin and Evolution of Lichenization
Lecture notes
Discussion 5 on lichen symbiosis: photobiont physiology.Identifying lichens
Apr. 16 Biogeography of lichens and bryophytes: testing biogeographic hypotheses; a case study. Guest lecture by Lily Lewis.
Lecture notes
Apr. 21 Biogeography and bryophyte diversity: resolving species diversity in disjunct taxa. Guest lecture by Dr. Rafael Medina.
Lecture notes.
Review of bryophyte and lichen identification
Apr. 23 Biogeography
Lecture notes.
Apr. 28 Discussion 6 on invasiveness of bryophytes Lab Final
Apr. 30 TBA
 Final lecture exam Study guide


List of articles to read:

Bidartondo, M., D. J. Read , J. M. Trappe , V. Merckx , R. Ligrone &  J. G. Duckett. 2011. The dawn of symbiosis between plants and fungi. Biological Letters 7: 574–577. (pdf)

Laenen B., B. Shaw, H. Schneider, B. Goffinet, E. Paradis, A. Désamoré, J. Heinrichs, J.C. Villarreal, R. Gradstein, S. McDaniel, D. Long, L. Forrest, M. Hollingsworth, B. Crandall-Stotler, C. Davis, J. Engel, M. von Konrat, D. Cooper, J. Patiño, C.J. Cox, A. Vanderpoorten & A. J. Shaw. 2014. Extant diversity of bryophytes emerged from successive post-Mesozoic diversification bursts. Nature Communications 5: 6134 (doi:10.1038/ncomms6134)

Shaw, J. & K. Renzaglia. 2004. Phylogeny and diversification of bryophytes. American Journal of Botany 91(10): 1557–1581. (pdf)

Wickett, N.J. and many co-authors. 2014. Phylotranscriptomic analysis of the origin and early diversification of land plants. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111: E4859–E4868 (pdf)


Lab Discussions

There will be six discussions on primary literature during the course of the semester. You will each be required to lead one of the discussions, as a pair. Discussion leaders should be able to lead a discussion that covers the theme, objectives, rational, and implications of the assigned paper. Discussion leaders may use PowerPoint or other creative ways of introducing the paper and opening discussion. Papers will be assigned 2 weeks prior to the discussion. Discussion leaders should volunteer (or will be selected) 2 weeks prior to discussion. All students will help in the creation of questions for discussion. These questions should be designed to provide starting points for discussion, and relate to understanding the background, objectives, and implications of the paper. Questions should not be short answer style.


Discussion timeline:

2 weeks prior to discussion (see syllabus for discussion dates)

  • Paper assigned
  • Discussion leaders volunteer


1 week prior to discussion

  • All students send at least one question to Charlie via email no later than noon.
  • Charlie will send out the compiled questions to all students via email


Day of discussion (in lab)

  • Discussion leaders give brief introduction on theme, objectives, rational, and implications of assigned paper
  • Discussion leaders guide discussion around compiled questions
  • All students are required to contribute during discussion


You will be assessed in three ways:

  • Discussion leadership (on the day you volunteer for)
  • Contribution of questions 1 week before each discussion
  • Participation in each discussion


Please contact Lily if you have any questions.