Bryology is the branch of botany concerned with the scientific study of bryophytes (mosses, liverworts, and hornworts). (Greek bryon, a moss, a liverwort) Bryophytes were first studied in detail in the 18th century. The German botanist Johann Jacob Dillenius (1687-1747) was a professor at Oxford and in 1717 produced the work "Reproduction of the ferns and mosses." The beginning of bryology really belongs to the work of Johannes Hedwig, who clarified the reproductive system of mosses (1792, Fundamentum historiae naturalist muscorum) and arranged a taxonomy.
Areas of research include bryophyte taxonomy, bryophytes as bioindicators, DNA sequencing, and the interdependency of bryophytes and other plant and animal species. Among other things, scientists have learned that certain species of mosses are carnivorous.
Centers of research in bryology include University of Bonn, Germany and University of Helsinki , Finland.