• Spores are part of the life cycle of mosses, ferns, algae, fungi, and protozoa, and can be classified based on their origin, dispersal/mobility, function, and morphology.

    Two moss sporangia. The sporangia produce, contain and will later release the spores out of which a new moss plant will grow.

  • They preserve well in the fossil record because many of them are composed of sporopollenin [1] and represent some of the earliest evidence of plant life on land [2-4].
  • Both spore tetrads and trilete spores were present by the Ordovician [5]; thus, they are incredibly important markers of terrestrialization [6].
  • In addition to their importance regarding the evolution of plants, they are also used in more modern settings as (paleo)environmental indicators, including salinity [7], and paleoecological [8] and archaeological [9] studies of deposits in marine, peat, soil and lacustrine settings.