History of Flora and Lifecycle of Ferns and Conifers Essay

History of Flora and Lifecycle of Ferns and Conifers Essay

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History of Flora
The first flora, the Rhyniophyte Flora, dates back to the Devonian age (416 to 359.2 million years ago), being the first vascular plant (Gradstein, Ogg and Smith, p. 33-56). Simple shoots that rose from creeping axis characterized these plants. The shoots exhibited a dichotomous branching nature as they kept branching into two, sometimes ending into sporangia. These were capsules containing spores which the plants were using for reproduction. In addition, these plants did not have leaves, seeds, flowers or roots. The plants used root hairs emanating from horizontal stems to connect the plants to the soil and for getting minerals from the soil for growth purposes. The plants were not tall, measuring two feet tall. These plants were drought resistant plants although some were occupying marshy regions.
Lack of leaves in the plants at this time most probably resulted to their extinction. In addition, the plants reproduced by spores and required moist conditions for reproduction. Lack of moisture during times of draught resulted to their extinction since they could not reproduce during such times. Towards the end of the Devonian age, larger and taller plants emerged that shadowed the Rhyniophyte Flora leading to its extinction as the short plants could not get sufficient sunlight and air for survival. Rhynia was one of the plants found in the Rhyniophyte Flora. This plant belonged to the Rhynia Gwynne-vaughanii family. The plant had a dichotomous branching and grew to a height of about one foot tall. The plant also had horizontally creeping rhizomes and reproduced by use of spores (Gradstein, Ogg and Smith, p. 33-56).
The second flora, the Coal Age Flora, dates back to about 400 million to 250 million years ago ...

... middle of paper ...

... ferns but in the case of conifers, young plants germinate from seed independently from the mother conifers.

Works Cited

Claire, W. Conifer Reproductive Biology. United States of America: Springer Science+Business Media. 2009. Page 22-25
Gradstein, F, Ogg, J, & Smith, A. A Geologic Time Scale 2004. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2004. Page 33-56
Greb, S and DiMichele, W. Wetlands through Time. Colorado, USA: The Geological Society of America, Inc. (GSA). Page 66-69
Kenrick, P & Peter, R, The Origin and Early Diversification of Land Plants: A Cladistic Study. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. 1997. Page 13-22
Mehltreter, K, Walker, L & Sharpe, J. Fern Ecology. United States of America: Cambridge University Press. Page 63-65

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