The homeostasis of meristems in flowering plants is maintained by cell-to-cell communication via CLE (CLAVATA3/EMBRYO SURROUNDING REGION-related) peptide hormones. In contrast, cell signals that regulate meristem activity remains elusive in bryophytes that maintain apical meristems in the gametophyte (haploid) body and undergo a gametophyte-dominant life cycle. We here show that MpCLE1 confines the proliferative activity of gametophytic meristem and affects the overall size of gametangiophores (reproductive organs) in Marchantia polymorpha, which is in sharp contrast with the meristem-promoting function of its ortholog TDIF/CLE41/CLE44 in Arabidopsis vascular meristems. Expression analysis suggests that MpCLE1 and its receptor gene MpTDR are expressed in distinct patterns across the apical meristem. These data suggest that local CLE peptide signaling may have had a role in regulating cell proliferation in the shoot meristem in the ancestral land plant and acts in both sporophytic and gametophytic meristems of extant plants.