Difference between mosses and ferns

Main difference

The main difference between mosses and ferns is that mosses are smaller non-vascular plants that have no true leaves except for tiny shoots, while ferns are comparatively larger vascular plants that have compound leaves.

Mosses vs. ferns

Mosses are less developed plants than ferns, which are more developed. Mosses are smaller non-vascular plants, while ferns are larger vascular plants. The family that mosses belong to is the phylum Bryophyta, while the phylum Pteridophyta is the family that ferns belong to. The body of the moss plant is less differentiated without true leaves and has only tiny shoots, while the body of the fern plant is well differentiated with roots, stems, and true leaves that are large compound leaves, dividing into many leaflets. .

The height of the mosses is restricted to only one meter, no more than that; however, the height of some ferns can reach up to 15 feet. Mosses require moist, humid, and shady environments to grow where water must be available for absorption. Ferns can grow in dry habitats to live without water also on colonized continents; Ferns were the first plants that managed to adapt to life outside of water, colonizing continents. Moss spore formation occurs between shoots at the tips of stems under a capsule, while fern spore formation occurs under leaves in the form of clusters.

Apart from the roots, most mosses are made up of rhizoids, which are the consequence of the hair on the roots; anchor and lead the water to the plant. However, ferns are plants with true proper roots.

Generally, mosses can grow a few inches, while ferns can grow larger than mosses; they can grow more than 4.5 cm. Since mosses are non-vascular plants, the gametophyte is responsible for the sporophyte in moss reproduction; on the other hand, since ferns are vascular plants, the sporophyte is responsible for the gametophyte. Male and female gametophytes of both sexes are present individually in mosses, but female and male gametophytes are present in the same structure of ferns.

Some of the common examples of mosses include prickly sphagnum, common hair cap moss, moss, sphagnum, and limper. Some prime examples of ferns include the silver-capped fern, the cinnamon fern, the herringbone fern, the fern, and the leatherleaf fern.

Comparative chart
Mosses Ferns
Mosses are smaller non-vascular plants that have no true leaves, roots, or stem, except for small green shoots. Ferns are comparatively larger vascular plants with compound leaves and leafy fronds.
Family
Phylum Bryophyta Phylum Pteridophyta
Plant Type
Non-vascular plant Vascular plant
Estate
Multicellular rhizoids True roots
Height
Its growth is up to several centimeters. Its growth is up to 4.5v meters.
Sheets
Many brochures Real leaves
Sporophyte
The sporophyte depends on the gametophyte. The gametophyte depends on the sporophyte.
Gametophyte
Male and female gametophytes are present individually. Male and female gametophytes are present in the same structure.
Spore formation
Spore production occurs in capsules, connected to gametophytes by a stem. Spore production occurs under the leaves as clusters.

What are mosses?

Mosses are smaller plants that are not vascular and less developed because they do not have true leaves, roots, and stems. The process of reproduction in mosses occurs through the production of spores in capsules with peduncles. They belong to the classification of the plant phylum Bryophyta. Mosses find generation changes and adaptations with a gametophyte, which is imminent; therefore, the sporophyte of mosses depends on the gametophyte. Spore production occurs in capsules, connected to gametophytes by the stem. A filamentous structure, called protonema, arises from the germination of spores, which leads to the generation of one or more stems and then blooms into gametophytes. Leafy shoot structures are moss gametophytes.

Mosses are dense, lumpy, flowerless plants that grow in damp, wet, and shady locations. Separate plants consist mainly of stems that can be branched or unbranched that have a restricted function in conducting water and nutrients, and only thick single-celled leaves that are attached to the stems. Mosses do not produce seeds and develop sporophytes with unbranched shoots that have a capsule present at the tip with enclosed spores after the fertilization process. The height of the mosses usually reaches from 0.2 to 10 cm; However, some species such as Dawsonia are the largest moss in the world, whose height is 50 cm.

There are also some mosses that have highly branched stems, and the leaf-like structures are arranged in spiral symmetry around the stem. Mosses are less differentiated with the root type structure which is the consequence of root hair called rhizoids. They are multicellular structures that anchor the plant and absorb water from the soil to drive the water towards the plant. Male and female gametophytes are present individually in mosses; in the antheridia the production of male gametes occurs, while in the archegonia the production of female gametes occurs. Archegonia are produced at the tip of the main stem by accarpous mosses, but in the case of pleurocarpos mosses, archegonia production occurs on the lateral stems.

Mosses also have commercial and traditional importance since it is the main component of peat that is used as fuel, in the commercialization of gardens and florists with decorative purposes, as an insulator since they can absorb liquids up to 20 times their weight.

What are ferns?

Ferns are larger vascular plants that do not have flowers or seeds, and their reproduction process takes place through the production of spores. They belong to the phylum Pteridophyta class of plant. Ferns find generation changes and adaptations with the prominent sporophyte, which is dependent on the gametophyte. The sporophyte body of the fern plant is well differentiated with true roots, stems, and leaves. Fern leaves contain a branched vein system and are known as fronds, and their young leaves are rolled up. The fern leaves form a staff structure by unwinding from a tight spiral known as a monkey tail. Ferns can vary in size from a few millimeters to 10-25 m. Most ferns consist only of rhizomes,

Most ferns are present in tropical landscapes, while only a few species are present in Arctic and Antarctic landscapes. Costa Rica is a small tropical country that has double species compared to North America north of Mexico with more than 900 species. Some terrestrial ferns grow on land and the rest may be present floating in ponds.

The first plants that adapted to survive out of water in the colonization of continents. Long ago than 300 million years ago, in the Carboniferous era, ferns were largely the part of forests whose specimens reach 30 meters in height, and their residues have now become the largest accumulation of carbon in the world. world.

The commercial value of ferns is low but they are used as medicine, biofertilizer, food, to rectify contaminated soils and as decorative plants. Some fern research is done to investigate their potential to remove chemical pollutants from the atmosphere. The fern species in the world that are important weeds are the fern and the water fern.

Fern spore production occurs under fronds; there are brown bumps on the structures under the leaves where a spore forms, and these structures discharge their spores into the wind or water. Germination of a spore occurs in a gametophyte which is a heart-shaped structure. Male and female gametophytes are present in the same structure, which can produce both sperm and eggs; therefore, they can fertilize and interbreed themselves.

Key differences

  1. The class of plants to which mosses belong is the phylum Bryophyta, while the class of ferns is the phylum Pteridophyta.
  2. Mosses are small non-vascular plants; however, ferns are comparatively larger vascular plants.
  3. The height of mosses can reach more than several centimeters. On the other hand, the height of the ferns can only reach almost 4.5 meters.
  4. In mosses, male and female gametophytes are present individually; conversely, in the case of ferns, male and female gametophytes of both sexes are present in the same structure.
  5. The sporophyte of mosses depends on the gametophyte of the plant, while the gametophyte of ferns depends on the sporophyte.
  6. Moss spore formation occurs between buds at the tips of stems under a capsule. In contrast, fern spore formation occurs under the leaves in the form of clusters.
  7. Mosses consist mainly of rhizoids, which are the consequence of root hair. However, ferns are plants with true proper roots.
  8. Mosses require moist, shady environments to grow, while ferns can grow in dry habitats to live without water as well.
  9. The body of the moss plant is less differentiated without true leaves and has only tiny shoots, while the body of the fern plant is well differentiated with roots, stems, and true compound leaves, which divide into leaflets.

Final Thought

Mosses and ferns are primitive, flowerless, and seedless plants, but mosses are non-vascular plants that lack leaves, roots, stem, and true gametophyte-dependent sporophytes, while ferns are vascular plants with leaves, stems, and well differentiated true roots and gametophyte. depend on the sporophyte.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button