As plants evolved, moving from the sea to land, there were many adaptations that needed to occur to sustain the new mode of life. Adaptations addressed the major problems of how to prevent water loss, how to transport water, and how to reproduce in a newly dry environment (Lecture 4). Different organisms addressed these issues in a variety of ways, giving rise to anatomical differences in tissues and biochemical changes, which contributed to the rise in genetic variation of plant species.
First, plants had to use adaptations to prevent water loss in the new, dry environment. The first plants to evolve to deal with this were the bryophytes, or non-vascular, plants. These plants had a cuticle, a waxy covering of leaves which helps to trap water in the plant, as well as stomata to allow gas exchange. The bryophytes contain mosses, hornworts, and liverworts (Bidlack and Jansky 2014). While these plants have cuticles, they lack any true vascular structure. These plants produce by spores, and the alternation of generations is distinct in these organisms, with large gametophytes and small sporophytes. The bryophytes were the first plants to invade land because of this adaptation to prevent water loss, but still had to grow close to the ground because there was no efficient way of transporting water.
To solve this problem, vascular plants, found ways to adapt to transport water. The earliest of these plants is the whisk fern, which have neither true roots or leaves, but do possess stems like the rest of the early vascular plants. In fact, the whisk fern is so similar to the rest of the taxa that botanist often classify this organism as a true fern (Bidlack and Jansky 2014). The rest of the plants in this group have true roots, stems...
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...perms can be further divided into monocots and eudicots, which have a number of differences including number of cotyledons and leaf vein organization (University of California, Berkeley). The last trait that angiosperms developed to be better suited for life on land is double fertilization, where there is a time that the endosperm contains three sets of chromosomes, and is not in diploid state.
The adaptations, in conclusion, arose in a variety of ways to allow plant life to evolve from life in the sea to life on land. The main issues that needed to be addressed to support life on dry land were retention of water, transport of water, and reproductive means conducive to the new environment. Evolutionarily, much happened between the earliest vascular plants to the angiosperms. This helped biodiversity to arise and allowed for movement of plants from water to land.
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