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ALGAE AND MOSS

NON-FLOWERING PLANTS

     Green algae had colonized both marine and fresh waters (as depicted with the sea lettuce and freshwater algae below) long before land plants evolved.

ALGAE ALGAE

LAND PLANTS

      The move to land presented a new challenge for algae in that water no longer bathed their cells and had to be transported throughout the individual.  As can be seen by the green algae on the statue in the photo below, algae do survive on land.

ALGAE

The following photo shows not only algae growing on a rock, but also a land plant which descended from green algal ancestors.

ALGAE AND MOSS

All land plants have a waxy cuticle to prevent water loss and support structures to compensate for the loss of buoyancy.  Many primitive plants still reproduce with flagellated sperm that must swim to ova.  The sperm of most higher plants are not flagellated and do not require water to reach the ova.  Unlike most algae, land plants have a multicellular jacket for protecting the reproductive cells.

 

MOSSES

There are a bout 23,000 modern species of moss.

      Mosses (and their relatives known as liverworts and hornworts) are plants that lack vascular tissue. Since they cannot transport water well, they cannot grow to be very tall.  They depend on moisture in the environment more than many higher plants.
MOSS MOSS
MOSS MOSS
MOSS Mosses, clubmosses, and ferns reproduce through spores rather than seed.  The elevated structures on the moss in the adjacent picture produce these spores.