Bryophytes vs. Pteridophytes: What's the Difference?

Key Difference

Bryophytes are nonvascular plants while Pteridophytes are vascular plants (with xylem and phloem).

Comparison Chart

Bryophytes Pteridophytes
Definition Bryophytes are embryophytes that do not have vascular tissues. Pteridophytes are vascular plants that reproduce and disperse via spores.
Plant Body They have leafy or thalloid type plant body Their plant body is differentiated into stem, leaves, and roots.
Habitat Moist and shady places Terrestrial environment
Size 1 mm to 1 m Up to 30 meters
Alternate names Non vascular plants cryptogams
Nick name Botanical amphibians Botanical snakes
Cell Type haploid diploid
Vascular tissues absent present
Leaves Microphyllous (without gap) Microphyllous and macrophyllous
Dominant Phase gametophyte sporophytes
Classes Bryophyta, Marchantiophyta, Anthocerotophyta Lycopodiopsida, Polypodiopsida
Examples Liverworts, mosses, hornworts, riccia, Marchantia, sphagnum, Polystichum. Ferns, horsetails, clubmosses, quillworts, spikemosses.

What are Bryophytes?

Bryophytes are classified under the kingdom of Plantae and are non-vascular plants. They show alteration of generations where the gametophyte is dominant over the sporophyte. Cells of gametophyte phase are haploid and produce spores. Most of the bryophytes are autotrophs. Bryophytes grow in the shady and moist environment. Therefor they are considered as amphibians in the kingdom of Plantae. This class of plants produces phenolic componentswhich deter herbivores. Other plants are also profited by the water collected by these plants. The size of the bryophytes plants varies from a millimeter tall to long strands about one meter long. Plant body of bryophyte group is not differentiated into roots, stem, and leaves. Bryophytes have root like structures called rhizoids which allow these plants to anchor on a surface. But rhizoid does not absorb water. Water is engrossed by the plant body itself and directed internally in the plant body. Bryophyta (mosses), Marchantiophyta (liverworts) and Anthocerotophyta (hornworts) are the three major divisions of bryophytes. Liverworts are flattened moss like leafy plants. The leaves of the liverworts lack costa. But marginal cilia are present in liverworts. Some liverworts do not have chlorophyll, so they depend on a fungal partner for food. Mosses consist of single cell thick simple leaves which are attached to a stem. They grow in dense green clumps. While hornworts consist of a horn like elongated sporophyte on the gametophyte. These plants reproduce asexually and sexually. Asexual reproduction occurs by fragmentation and small aggregations called gemmae. Water transmits sperms to the eggs during sexual reproduction. Fertilization of gametes makes the zygote that is developed into a sporophyte on the female gametophyte. Spores which are produced by sporophytes are dispersed by the wind.


What are Pteridophytes?

Pteridophytes are vascular plants (plants with xylem and phloem) that are differentiated into roots, stem, and leaves. Because they do not produce flowers and seeds, so they are called cryptogams. They are claimed to be first land plants and because of the presence of xylem and phloem, called “botanical snakes.” Their leaves are called fronds. Tree ferns have full trunks. They grow up to 30 meters long while their fronds grow about 4.5 meters long. Many ferns in the epical rain forest are epiphytes that grow on the trunks of other trees. Simple Pteridophytes consists of single, unbranched veins whereas true ferns consist of a highly specialized vascular system where distinctive gaps are present between xylem and phloem. Pteridophytes are a widely diverse group on the land after flowering plants. They resemble the relative plant group of seed plants, i.e., angiosperms and conifers. The sporophyte phase is most prominent of Pteridophytes. Both sporophyte and gametophyte stages are autotrophs. Gametophytes are multicellular and microscopically small. Gametophyte develops both archegonia that yield egg cells and antheridia that form sperms cells inside the same plant. This is the reason that Pteridophytes are unisexual plants. Fertilization of gametes produces the zygotes that form sporophyte later. Pteridophytes have no flowers  and seeds. They reproduce through spores production. Most Pteridophytes are homosporous while some of them produce microspores and megaspores. Microspores form microgametophytes whereas megaspores form megagametophytes. Lycopodiopsida and polypodiopsida are the two classes of Pteridophyta. Lycopodiopsida is known as lycophytes while polypodiopsida are called ferns. Lycophytes contain clubmosses and quillworts while ferns contain horsetail, whisk ferns, grape ferns, marattioid ferns and leptosporangiate ferns.


Bryophytes vs. Pteridophytes

  • Sporophytes phase of bryophytes depends on gametophyte while sporophyte phase of Pteridophytes is independent.
  • Sporophyte phase of bryophytes is highly reduced while in Pteridophytes, gametophyte phase is highly reduced.
  • In bryophytes, antheridium is stacked while in Pteridophytes, it is sessile.
  • In bryophytes, sporophyte and gametophyte are connected with each other physically.
  • In Pteridophytes, sporophyte and gametophyte are separated from each other.
  • In bryophytes, the neck of archegonium is with 5 to 6 neck canal cells.
  • In Pteridophytes, the neck of archegonium is with 4 neck canal cells.

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