Moss & Fern Puzzle Solution
|Plants that lack tubes to carry food and water are called nonvascular plants. These plants are also known as bryophytes. Most bryophytes are terrestrial and live in moist environments. Water is required so that the sperm can swim to the egg during fertilization. Bryophytes do not produce seeds, but instead produce spores to reproduce. These plants exhibit alternation of generations in their life cycle. Because these plants lack vascular tissue, they are small in height.
Moss is one example of a bryophyte that grows like a lush, green carpet. The dominant stage in the moss life cycle is the gametophyte. Root like rhizoids attach each gametophyte to the soil but do not absorb water. Both male and female gametophytes exist. The sporophyte generation is attached to the top of the gametophyte. Mosses are called pioneer plants because they often are the first plants to re-enter a barren area. Mosses also help prevent soil erosion. Sphagnum, or peat moss, is harvested and burned as fuel in some countries.
Liverworts and hornworts are nonvascular plants that also grow in moist, shady places. Liverworts have leaflike structures along a stem and lay close to the ground. Hornworts, like algae, have a single large chloroplast in each cell.
Ferns are simple, vascular plants that also lack seeds and reproduce by spores. Tree ferns are the largest ferns. Most ferns have an underground stem called a rhizomes. New leaves of ferns are tightly coiled and are called fiddleheads. Mature fern leaves are called fronds. Spores are produced on the underside of fern fronds.