The Ephemeraceae are represented in N.Z. by only three species in two genera. It is the only moss family considered to be represented in N.Z. only by adventive species; all three species are known from few collections from disturbed soil in the North I. The protonemata are characteristically persistent and, as the family name implies, the plants are short-lived. All are minute species with sessile and globose capsules considerably less than 1 mm in diameter. There is no dehiscence mechanism in Ephemerum, and only a rudimentary one in Micromitrium. The family is traditionally placed close to the Funariaceae but differentiated from that family by having stomata with two guard cells. Recently published molecular studies, however, place some members of the Ephemeraceae near to, or even in, the Pottiaceae. The family is retained here because of its distinctive and unique morphology. All the species can be found only with the use of a hand lens and it seems likely that dedicated searching during cooler parts of the year would extend the known distributions of the three species.
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