Ferns and mosses are some of the oldest types of plants. The ferns are vascular, possessing true leaves, true roots and a vascular system to move the water throughout the plant. Mosses have roots and structures like leaves, but no vascular system, but must absorb water through their cells. Despite these differences, ferns and mosses have similar breeding methods.
Ferns were the first plants that managed to adapt to life outside the water, colonizing continents. During the Carboniferous era, about 300 million years ago, the ferns formed great forests, with specimens up to 30 meters high and whose remains have now originated the largest deposits of coal on the planet. In fact, all the plants have left fossil fuels, such as oil, from which today we obtain energy.Ferns are plants with green, vascular leaves. Most have only horizontal underground stems, called rhizomes, but the tree ferns also have vertical stems, on the ground. Fern leaves unwind from a tight coil, called a monkey tail, or form a staff structure called a staff. Fern leaves are critical for reproduction, since they hold the bodies that produce the spores of the plant in its lower part.
Fern life cycle
The structures that produce spores on the underside of the leaves of the fern have a brown appearance of bulges. These uneven structures release spores in wind or water. The spores germinate and grow in a heart-shaped structure called gametophyte. Gametophytes produce both sperm and eggs, which are distributed by wind or water. The gametophytes are both male and female and can self cross or fertilize. Once fertilized, the gametophyte will become an adult fern. Ferns can also reproduce asexually by spreading their underground rhizomes.
Because mosses do not have a vascular system they have to live in humid, shady places with water readily available for absorption. Not only does the lack of a vascular system limit the place where mosses can grow, it also limits how large they can become. Mosses usually do not grow more than a few inches in height.
Moss life cycle
Like ferns, mosses produce spores that grow on immature plants that, unlike ferns, are both male and female. If the conditions are sufficiently humid, the sperm of the male plants will swim towards the female plants and fertilize them. Mosses also reproduce asexually by spreading the buds of existing plants. Also, if a piece of moss is detached from a living plant and given the right amount of moisture, it can grow and thrive.