Lab 8 - Primitive Plants -Bryophytes,Ferns and also Fern Allies


Overview to Bryophytes - Mosses, Liverworts,and Hornworts

As we pass from mosses to ferns, we check out a steady transition fromprimitiveto modern-day traits. Tbelow are two significant trends you have to emphasis on intoday"slab. The initially is a change in life cycles, the second is a changeinstandard interior structure.

You are watching: Why do ferns live in moist environments

First, all plants undergo an alternation of generations,in between a haploid gametophyte stage and also a diploid sporophytestage. In the most primitive plants, prefer mosses, the gametophyte isdominant(i.e. it"s significant and also green). In greater plants like ferns and also fern allies,the sporophyte stage is dominant. Gametophytes develop gametes (spermandeggs) in a special framework called a gametangium (-ia), whilesporophytesdevelop spores in a unique framework called a sporangium(-ia).

Second, all plants should get water to their cells.Primitivebryophyteslike mosses and also liverworts are so small that they can count on diffusionto relocate water in and out of the plant. Mosses have a couple of strands ofwaterconducting tconcern in their central stem, however nothing favor the large andwell organized network-related of tubes in tracheophytes, or "tubeplants".The vascular tworries in the even more advanced ferns and "fernallies"are consisted of of xylem and also phloem, which conduct water,nutrients,and also food throughout the plant body. We"ll look at these tconcerns in alaterlab.

Bryophytes additionally require a moist environment to redevelop. Theirflagellatedsperm must swim through water to reach the egg. So mosses andliverwortsare limited to moist habitats. Tright here are no mosses in the desert.Butmosses are surprisingly resistant to drying up, and also have the right to endure underveryharsh conditions. Mosses are the most plentiful plants in both theArcticand the Antarctic. Asex-related reproduction in bryophytes is accomplishedbyfragmentation or by tiny vegetative "sprouts" referred to as gemmae,whichcreate in distinct little frameworks called gemmae cups.

Mosses and liverworts are lumped together as bryophytes,plantsdoing not have true vascular tworries, and also sharing a number of other primitivetraits. They likewise lack true stems, roots, or leaves, though they havecellsthat perdevelop these general attributes. The leafy green plant that we seeonce we look at a moss or a liverwort is really the gametophyte,which is the leading stage in all bryophytes. The sporophytesofbryophytes execute not have actually a free-living existence. They prosper directly outof the fertilized egg in the archegonia, and reprimary dependent on theparentgametophyte for their nutrition.

Characteristics of Divisions

Division Bryophyta - (9,500 sp.) - mosses, Mnium, Sphagnum

Mosses come in two basic forms, a cushiony form, with erect stalks,and also a feathery kind, which develops flattened mats of low-lying and also highlybranched moss plants. In both situations, the leafy green gametophytes aredioeciousThey have the right to be male plants, through antheridia at the peak of the plant, orfemaleplants, with archegonia at the top. Remember that these gametophytesareconstantly haploid (1N) plants.

Sperm are developed within each antheridium, and also an egg ineacharchegonium.Since the plant is already haploid, these gametes deserve to be developed bymitosis,easy cell department. The sperm swims to the archegonia with a thinfilm of water, drawn by a chemical attractant developed by the femaleplant,then swims down the neck of the archegonia to the egg. A excellent morningdewis more than sufficient water for the sperm to swim. Once the spermentersthe archegonia, it fprovides via the egg. The 2N zygote creates right into adiploidsporophyte plant, a tiny stalk that grows straight out of the height ofthearchegonium. This stalk is initially green, and photoman-made, butlaterturns brvery own and also becomes essentially a parasite on the femalegametophyte.

The sporophyte plant consists of a stalk, and also a little capsuleon the top. Within the capsule, cells undergo meiosis to producetetradsof haploid spores. When the capsule is ripe, its hinged lid oroperculumopens up up, and the spores are easily dispersed by wind and water. Thesporesgerminate right into a tiny green thcheck out, which looks prefer a simple strand also ofgreen algae. This similarity is another clue that bryophytes aredescendedfrom green algae. This beforehand threadchoose phase is called the protonema(= first thread, plural = protonemata, choose stigma/stigmata). The newadultgametophytes thrive from a tiny bud that establishes on the protonema.Eventuallythese gametophytes will certainly prosper to produce gametes, and the whole cyclewillstart over aget. Mosses deserve to likewise reproduce asexually by fragmentationor by flourishing little bit vegetative buds dubbed gemma, which have the right to break offand thrive right into a brand-new plant .

While bryophytes in general are even more exciting tha crucial, inthe usual feeling, a conspicuous exception are mosses of the genus Sphagnum.Sphagnummoss develops thick mats which become compressed into peat, which have the right to beusedas fuel, although it’s incredibly smoky. Peat likewise has other plants suchas actually reeds, that grow amid the sphagnum. In dried develop, peat moss isremarkablyabsorbent and, and also has been used for diapers, for enriching poor gardensoils, and as a area dressing for wounds. Whereas cotton absorbs 4-6timesits dry weight, dried sphagnum have the right to absorb 20 times its very own weight influids!Peat bogs are incredibly vital and also amazing ecosystems. Sphagnummosses greatly increase local acidity by releasing H+ ions, and also the pHof peat bogs can drop to 4 or lower, perhaps the a lot of acidic naturalatmosphere.Peat bogs cover around 1% of the Earth’s land surface, a space abouthalfthe size of the USA.

Division Hepaticophyta - (9,000 sp.), liverworts, Marchantia,Conocephalum, Porella

Liverworts have actually the easiest bodies of all the green plants. Thegametophyte,the leading phase, looks choose a level scaly leaf, through significant lobes.It looks for all the human being like a tiny flattened liver, for this reason thescientificname hepatico-phyta = liver plant. Throughout the Middle Ages, thissimilarityresulted in medical professionals to prescribe liverwort for diseases of the liver.Accordingto the Doctrine of Signatures the Creator had designed all of nature,includingplants, via our welfare in mind. People believed that plants had beenintentionally designed to resemble the organs of the body they weresupposedto heal! Hence liver-wort, wyrt being the Anglo-Saxon word for herb.Theform of the liverwort was the signature of the Creator in nature. Canyou guess what walnuts were expected to cure ? (illness of thebrain)

Liverworts share the basic properties of bryophytes, yet are notveryvery closely pertained to mosses or hornworts. Many kind of botanists think they mayhavedeveloped independently, from a different group of green algae. For onepoint,liverworts don’t store food as starch yet as oils. If you get theaquaticliverwort Porella in lab, take a sniff of the jar, however not toodeep!It smells of rancid oils, oils that went a tiny funky while the plantwas being shipped. Anvarious other characteristic unique to liverworts is theirlack of stomata, which are discovered in all various other plants, consisting of mossesand hornworts.

In many kind of species of liverworts, such as Marchantia, the oneyouwill many most likely watch in lab, the antheridia and also archegonia are not ontopof the plant, but hanging dvery own from the underside of odd littlestructuresthat look like tiny umbrellas. (These umbrella-shaped frameworks arecalledthe antheridiophore and archegoniophore). The bi-flagellated spermswimsto the egg, and also fertilization takes place to develop a diploid (2N)zygote.The tiny diploid sporophytes, which remajor attrached to the parentplant,have a really easy framework. Meiosis within the sporophyte produces avariety of haploid spores. These spores are surrounded by curious longandtwisted moist cells called elaters. When the capsule dries and also bursts,the elaters twist and jerk about in a way that scatters the spores inall directions. Liverworts can additionally reproduce asexually by indicates ofspecialstructures referred to as gemmae cups. These little cups can be easilyseenon the surchallenge of the plant. Each gemma cup includes a number of tinyplantletsdubbed gemmae, and also a single drop of water will certainly disperse them. Theselittlevegetative “clones” will certainly then flourish right into a new gametophyte.

Division Anthocerophyta - (100 sp.), hornworts, Anthoceros

The green gametophytes of the hornwort look exceptionally a lot favor aliverwort.But their little sporophytes more closely resemble those of mosses. Thesporophytes prosper out of the gametophyte, and also look like a tiny uprighthorn. Like mosses, hornworts have actually stomata, and also so are probably morecloselyrelated to mosses and other plants than to the liverworts they matresemble.These plants are symbiotic via the cyanobacteria Nostoc. Thecyanobacteriafixes nitrogen for the hornwort.


Kingdom Plantae


Division Bryophyta - mosses (Mnium, Sphagnum; fr.Gr.bryon= moss)

Division Hepaticophyta - liverworts (Marchantia,Conocephalum,Porella; fr.Gr. hepato = liver)

Division Anthocerophyta - hornworts (= Anthocerotophyta; Anthoceros;fr.Granthos = freduced, kperiods = horn)

Terms alternation of generations gametophyte gametangium (-ia) archegonium (-ia) antheridium (-ia) sporophyte sporangium (-ia) spore capsule protonema vascular device gemmae gemmae cupTo Do and also View

Examine the living mosses on display. Notice the tiny capsuleson top of the tiny sporophytes. Mosses generally flourish in among twogrowthtypes: cushiony moss and also feathery moss.

Examine slides of the antheridia and also archegonia. The sausageshaped antheridia develop sperm, and also the flask shaped archegoniaproduces eggs.

Examine slides of the moss capsule, and also recognize the spores.

Examine slides of the protonema. What kind of algaedoesit remind you of? This resemblance is additional proof that greenalgaeoffered increase to all better plants.

Examine the terrestrial liverworts Marchantia and Conencephalum(oneor both have to be on display). How does their growth habit differ fromthat of the mosses? Can you watch any type of gemmae cups on the uppersurfaceof these plants?

Examine slides of the liverwort Marchantia.

Examine the aquatic liverworts favor PorellaandRiccia(one or both have to be on display). Notice exactly how they differ from themoreterrestrial forms of liverwort.

Look at the kept liverworts, and observe their distinctreproductive structures (they look like bit green umbrellas). Howdoestheir life cycle differ from mosses?

Examine slides of the hornwort Anthocerophyta.

Things to Remember

Know the life cycle of the moss in detail, and also be able torecognizethe assorted stperiods.

Hint: Be sure you understand also the basic life cycle ofplants,and also can tell which stperiods are haploid gametophytes (1N) or diploidsporophytes(2N). We"ll learn numerous life cycles in lecture and in lab (moss,fern,pine, flowering plant), yet all of them are variations on the samebasictheme.

Ecological, Evolutionary, and Economic Importance

Mosses are essential in landscaping and gardening, especially peatmoss(Sphagnum).

Peat moss (Sphagnum) has been provided historically as dressingsfor wounds.

Peat moss have the right to be provided as fuel.

Mosses are the a lot of primitive living land plants.

Hornworts contain symbiotic swarms of the cyanobacteria Nostoc.


shining club moss

Overview to Tracheophytes - Ferns and Fern Allies

Tracheophytes (vascular plants) completed the conquest of theearth’s surchallenge started by the more primitive bryophytes. Just as theevolutionof spores was the essential to the intrusion of the land also surface bybryophytes,the invention of complicated vascular tworries let tracheophytes completetheoccupation of dry land. Tbelow are around 250,000 species of vascularplants,grouped in nine divisions. Tracheophytes all have actually a well developedroot-shootdevice, with highly specialized roots, stems, and also leaves, andspecializedvasculartissue (xylem and also phloem) that attribute like miniature tubes toconductfood, water, and nutrients throughout the plant. Due to the fact that ferns and also fernallies posses true vascular tissues, they deserve to thrive to be a lot largerandthicker than the bryophytes.

The ferns and fern allies (non-seed tracheophytes) mark two majorevolutionarystrides. In these and in all more progressed plants, the leafy green diploidsporophyte now becomes the leading stage. The tiny gametophytemight be either autotropophic (like the fern prothallus) orheterotrophic(prefer the gametophytes of some lycopsids), and also is mainly free livingand also independent of the parental sporophyte. Unlike the vascularsporophytes,the gametophytes have actually no vascular tworry at all. These gametophytes aretherefore incredibly small, and also develop finest in moist locations, where they canabsorbwater directly from their surroundings.

Like the bryophytes, ferns and also fern allies are still limited tomoisthabitats. Their flagellated sperm need a thin film of water to swimbetweenthe antheridium and also the archegonium. And when the baby sporophyte growsup from the gametophyte, it is exposed to desiccation (drying up). Thisfundamental strategy of a free-swimming sperm and a non-motile egg is sharedby plants, animals, and also algae. It renders feeling, because it indicates onlyonecollection of gametes has to make the perilous journey outside of theorganism.


ground pine (Lycopodium) reflecting strobili

The ferns and also fern allies germinate from spores. These plants aremostlyhomosporous- their spores are similar and also you can"t differentiate which willprosper right into male or female plants. They are also monoecious -boththe archegonia and also antheridia (male and female reproductive structures)are borne on the very same plant. Contrast these primitive vascular plantswiththe more progressed seed plants, the gymnosperms and angiosperms, whichgerminatefrom seeds fairly than from spores. Seed plants are all heterosporous.It is easy to differentiate the bigger female megaspore fromthesmaller sized male microspore. The sperm of seed plants have noflagella.They lack antheridia, and only a couple of still have actually an archegonia. Unlikethemore primitive ferns and also fern allies, seed plants are mostly dioecious,having actually separate male and also female plants.

In many of these primitive plants, certain leaves are specializedforreproduction. These modified leaves, or sporophylls, bear thesporangiaat their bases. These sporophylls commonly branch out from a shortenedstem,creating a club shaped structure dubbed a strobilus. The pineconeand also the flower are elaborate variations on these primitive strobili.

Tright here are four departments of non-seed tracheophytes, vascular plantsthat redevelop by means of spores, the Psilophyta, Lycophyta,Sphenophyta,and Pterophyta. Before these non-seed tracheophytes advanced, thebryophyteswere the dominant form of plant life. The evolutionary edge of having aeven more efficient conducting device, and a well-arisen root-shootsystempermitted them to outcomplete bryophytes. If you’re lucky sufficient to seegroundpine or various other club mosses prospering in the shade of a large pine tree,thinkfor a minute about exactly how these tiny plants were once the masters of theplanet,forming large woodlands with trunks from 20 to 100 feet tall!


Kingdom Plantae

Tracheophytes (vascular tconcern, no seeds)

Division Lycophyta - club moss, quillworts (Lycopodium,Selaginella)

Division Sphenophyta - horsetails (Equisetum; fr.L.equus= horse)

Division Psilophyta - whisk fern (Psilotum)

Division Pterophyta - true ferns (Pteris; fr.Gr.pteridion= little bit wing)

Terms homosporous heterosporous megaspores microspores rhizomes sporophylls strobilus (-i) sori indusium (-ia) prothallus fiddleheadsCharacteristics of Divisions

Division Psilophyta - (fr Gr. psilo = smooth), whiskferns,Psilotum

Tbelow are only 2 living genera of whisk ferns, single survivors of alarge and widespread team of early land plants. In addition to thelivingDivision Psilophyta, the psilopsids, tright here are two extinct divisions ofprimeval vascular plants. The primitive whisk ferns resemble theseextinctpioneers in many kind of methods. They are the just living vascular plants thatlacka root-shoot device, a characteristic they share with both extinctDivisionsof ancestral vascular plants. Some recent molecular proof suggeststhatone, or also both, of the living genera of psilopsids might actually bemorecarefully related to ferns, favor a fern that has actually went back to moreprimitivetraits. If this is true, then Psilophyta will certainly sign up with the ranks of thenumerousextinct Divisions of plants.

Psilopsids are found in tropical and also subtropical locations, and also occursthroughoutthe southern US. I as soon as found one flourishing on my ago porch under theleavesof a spider plant. Whisk ferns are a prevalent weed in greenhomes alloverthe civilization. They are simple green upappropriate stems, through dichotomousbranching.They have no leaves, and no true roots. The external tproblems of the stemdoall the photosynthesizing. A percentage of the stem called a rhizome runsalong the ground, or just below it. A rhizome is a horizontalstemthat spreads the plant approximately. Roots grow out the bottom of therhizome,and also a brand-new plant can aincrease at the very same allude from the optimal.

The green stem-prefer plant is the diploid sporophyte, the dominantstagein the life cycle. In the tiny sporangia (bappropriate yellow) that formalongthe upper stems, the spore mother cell develops haploid spores by meiosis.Their gametophytes are tiny little bit thread-favor underground plants thatabsence chlorophyll, and also live as heterotrophs in the soil, looking andactinga lot like a tiny fungi. It actually includes a symbiotic fungi, thesamemycorrhizae that live in the rhizomes of the adult sporophyte.


Division Lycophyta - (1,000 sp., fr. Gr. lycos=wolf), clubmosses,quillworts, Lycopodium (podus=foot)

Their are only five living genera of lycopsids, but at one time fromthe distant Devonian, around 400 mya, well right into the Carboniferous, theywere the dominant develop of vegetation on the challenge of the Planet. Now theyare diminished to a shadow of their glorious past, inconspicuous littleplantsin the forest understory. The tropical species are small epiphytes(plantsthat flourish on various other plants).

Their roots grow from one-of-a-kind underground stems dubbed rhizomes, asexecute the majority of of these primitive tracheophytes. In some species thesporophyllsare blended in via the scale-choose leaves. In many species, thesporophyllsare organized right into strobili, for this reason the widespread name of “club moss”. Thesperm swim down the strobilus to the archegonia, and also the zygote thatformsis kept in the cone, which ripens and also falls to the ground. Thegametophytesare independent and also free-living, They are curious creatures that lookandact nothing favor their sporophyte parents. They can be eitherheterotrophicor autotrophic, and commonly have actually a symbiotic fungi associated withthem.Many of the lycopsids are heterosporous. Selaginella is a goodexampleof a heterosporous plant.

Division Sphenophyta - (15 sp., one genus, fr. Gr.sphen=wedge),horsetails, Equisitum

In waste areas, disturbed locations prefer trails and also railroad beds, andin odd corners of fields and also forests you could uncover an additional small plantquietly dreaming of its previous splendor, the horsetail. Horsetailsappearedin the late Devonian, and were among the leading woodland trees forhundredsof millions of years. Only one genus of Sphenophyta still exists, thegenusEquisetum,and also it might be the oldest living genus of plants on earth. Horsetailstoweredamong the Carboniferous forests, getting to heights of 30-60 feet. Muchofthe coal deposits we manipulate for fuel today were created from horsetailsand also other trees during the Carboniferous, towards the finish of thePaleozoic.

Horsetails have actually true roots, stems, and also leaves, though the leaves arebit more than flattened stems. Their hollow, ribbed stems arejointed,kind of prefer a stalk of bamboo, and also a whorl of leaves arises at eachjoint.The plants are spread vegetatively by rhizomes. The stems feel veryunstable,because the epidermal tworries are impregnated via tiny grains ofsilica(sand). This most likely helps protect the plant against herbivores. Thesestormy stems made this plant ideal for pioneer womales to usage forscrubbingpots and also pans, thus its various other prevalent name, “scouring rush”.

The green plant we watch is the diploid sporophyte generation. Thestalkscan be highly branched vegetative stalks, which actually look likehorsetails, or directly unbranched reproductive stalks, which are tippedwitha large strobilus containing the sporangia. The homosporous sporesdevelopright into a teeny-tiny green gametophyte, simply a couple of mm long, that lookslikethe gametophyte of a fern. The gametophyte is haploid, free-living, andautotrophic.

Division Pterophyta - (12,000 sp., fr. Gr. pteridion=littlewing),ferns

Ferns more than likely advanced from the psilopsids, at some point in theDevonian,reasonably early on in land plant evolution. They are incredibly abundant andvaried, ranging in dimension from a single centimeter to trees 24 meterstallwith 5 meter fronds. Ferns have actually been better competitors through seedplantsthan various other seedless vascular plants, and are a conspicuous part of thelandscape throughout the civilization, but specifically in the tropics, where75%of their 12,000 species take place.

Ferns are fairly advanced plants, with true roots, stems andleaves.The blade of the fern is called a frond, and the bit individualleafletsare dubbed pinnae. Ferns have actually true leaves, what botanists callmacrophylls.While the leaves of even more primitive plants, which are calledmicrophylls,are sindicate extensions of the epidermis of the stem, the leaves of fernsand also higher plants were developed as a internet of tconcern extended betweensmallterminal branches. The leaves of greater plants, as well as the modifiedleaves that consist of the pine cone and the flower.

The life cycle of the fern is typical of various other non-seed vascularplants.The leafy green plant is the sporophyte. Fertile fronds developsclustersof little sporangia on the underside of the frond. These clusters ofsporangiaare dubbed sori (sing. sorus). Sori are often safeguarded by atinyumbrella-like cap dubbed an indusium (-ia). Ferns are mostlyhomosporous,though some are heterosporous. The heterosporous state is a moreadvancedproblem, that appears to have evolved separately in several groupsofplants.

The haploid spores are formed by meiosis inside the sporangium. Theyare ejected in a miniature explosion brought about by the unequal drying ofthealternative thick and thin-walled cells that line the outer surchallenge. Theheight pulls gradually back until it reaches a crucial suggest and then snapsforward at an significant speed. At that size scale, the expulsion offernspores is among the a lot of explosive occasions in nature. The sporesgerminateinto tiny gametophytes. The bit heart shaped gametophyte is called aprothallus,literally “first-body” (pl prothalli). the prothallus has no vasculartconcern.Its little size allows it count completely on diffusion. Its tiny rhizoidsareassociated through mycorrhizal fungi. The bit prothallus is green, andphotoman-made, and bears either antheridia and also archegonia, orsometimesboth together, on its top surconfront (lab slides have actually both on sameprothallus).The archegonia are always found at the arch of the heart, and theantheridiaare tucked ameans among the tiny rhizoids at the other end. The spermswimsto the egg to fuse into a diploid zygote. The new sporophyte growsdirectlyout of the peak of the gametophyte. When it initially begins to uncurl, thefrond looks prefer the scrolled neck of a violin or fiddle, and thisstageof advance is dubbed a fiddlehead.


To Do and View

Examine the living lycopsids on display screen. Why are they calledclub mosses? Notice that quillworts and also Selaginella are verydifferentin appearance from the club mosses.

Examine slides of Selaginella"s strobilus. Identify megasporesand microspores.

Examine the living horsetails on display. Notice theprominentstrobiliofthe reabundant stalks, and the bushy development develop of the vegetativestalks(if available).

Examine the living whisk ferns on display screen. Psilopsidshave actually a basic dichotomous branching pattern. You may view tiny yellowsporangiaon the branches. Whisk ferns absence strobili. These primitive plants areclosely related to ferns.

Examine the living ferns on display screen. Can you watch any type of fiddleheads?Look for the rhizomes. Rhizomes are modified horizontal stemsbearingroots, that run along or just underneath the ground, and spcheck out fernsandfern allies approximately.

Examine the living fern prothallus on display under adissectingmicroscope. Keep in mind its characteristic heart form. Some prothalli mayhavea tiny new fern arising from the notch of the "arch" heart, where thearchegoniaaresituated.

Examine slides of the prothallus: Find the archegonia(can you check out an egg?).

Examine the fern leaflet on display screen under the dissectingmicroscopic lense.Notice the influential indusia, and the small sporangiapeekingout from beneath. You"ll watch a couple of teams of sporangia that have losttheirindusium. If you"re lucky, as the warmth of the microscopic lense dries out theleaflet, you might watch the sporangia eject its spores. But don"tblink- it"s among the fastest and also many explosive acts in nature. Use highpowerto observe the spores.

Examine slides of the sori and also indusia; usage high powerto observe the spores.

Things to Remember

Know the life cycle of the fern. Recognize specimens andslidesof the miscellaneous stperiods.

Economic, Ecological, and also Evolutionary Importance

Ferns and also fern allies are mainly responsible for our moderndepositsof coal.

The fiddleheads of some species of ferns are edible.

See more: Cuanto Gana Un Psicologo En Estados Unidos, Puestos Vacantes

Ferns are necessary for the florist, gardening and also landscapeindustries.

Consider This

Why are all these plants restricted to wet habitats?

Which team of protists provided rise to these plants? (How perform we know?)

Why is the epidermis of the horsetail so rough? What does it needprotectionfrom?

All of the fern allies in this lab once towered 50-100 feet or more.What happened?

Links to Explore

Bryophyte taxonomy, images, and even more at:

Get information around bryophytes from the Missouri Botanical Garden at:

Lie down among the ferns at the American Fern Society, try theirlengthylist of links:

Basic details on ferns and fern allies, complete via images, courtesyof Texas A&M:

Look for ferns on the "tree of life" at