Floating Crystalwort

Figure 33: Nonvascular Liverwort Diagram

Taxonomic Classification:

Domain: Eukarya

Kingdom: Plantae

Division: Marchantiophyta

Class: Marchantiopsida

Order: Marchantiales       

Family: Ricciaceae

Genus: Riccia

Species: Riccia fluitans [70]

Figure 29: Riccia fluitans  floating

Figure 30: Riccia fluitans anchoring

Why does the organism belong in this kingdom?

            The Riccia fluitans is a multicellular and eukaryotic organism. The organism is complex, growing into many shapes on the one organism, maybe growing an anchor and needing light for energy. [71] These are all characteristics needed for a multicellular organism and if the organism is multicellular, the organism will be eukaryotic organism too. Therefore, this organism would only be able to categorized in Domain Eukarya. This Domain is the only Domain that contains organisms that are multicellular and eukaryotic. The Riccia fluitans is able to grow quickly with mitosis, constantly growing. However, when a mature Riccia fluitans reproduces to make a new organism because of the original’s outgrowth, it reproduces asexually via vegetative reproduction. This reproduction includes a vegetative piece of the original plant and is like budding. [72] This is one of the ways an organism that belongs to the Kingdom Plantae can reproduce. It can also reproduce sexually, or asexually through another way called Apomixis. [9] In addition, the organism is not motile. They do not grow a root system, however some grow an anchor onto solid substances found nearby. Other times, the organism becomes heavy and floats down to the bottom of water, and pieces break off, floating to the top. [71] So too, the Kingdom Plantae organisms do not have any motility. No other kingdom is not motile besides the kingdom Fungi. Riccia fluitans is a photoautotroph. Photoautotrophs use the process of photosynthesis to store their sunlight to make energy. The organism needs light to grow and stay healthy. [73] Organisms in the Kingdom Plantae are either photoautotrophs like the Riccia fluitans or heterotrophs. [8] Organisms in the kingdom Fungi are unable to use the process that includes photosynthesis and this is what classifies the Riccia fluitans in the Kingdom Plantae.

General Description:

            The Riccia fluitans is also known as the Floating Crystalwort. The Floating Crystalwort is a liverwort, and is nonvascular. Nonvascular plants do not have vascular tissue, so they are unable to retain water. Therefore, these organisms live in the water to be able to obtain it. [72] The organism usually floats right under the surface of the water, however, when it becomes too heavy from the continuous growth, it will sink lower in the water. Sometimes when it sinks to the bottom it will attach itself to solid substances like a rock or a branch, and can even cover the substance with itself. The Riccia fluitans is very adaptable, being found around the world in many locations.  It can be found in various habitats, various types of the wild. It is able to tolerate waters from medium soft to very hard water. The optimal growth temperature ranges from 15 – 30 C° of the surrounding water. The pH of the water can range from 6- 8. In the water this organism helps become a home to organisms that live underwater. One of these organisms is for the fry. In addition, there are small microorganisms that live on this plant, which the fry can eat.  In the sea, eggs and fry keep shelter in this organism. The Floating Crystalwort is a great way to keep the fry in a high survival rate. [71] If this plant is in a home of a person’s aquarium, because of the growth rate, it will need frequent trimmings or else it will grow everywhere and eventually take over the tank. [73]

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