Moss Fern Understanding True Biological

1997). The basis of all plants alternating generations and complex life cycles could be found in a common ancestor shared with fern species, even though ferns are no better reproducing sexually than moss are fully dependent on a saturated enough environment to perform a task that flowers have developed innumerable methods of getting done (Munster et al. 1997; Mehltreter et al. 2010).


The life cycles of moss and ferns are highly similar, with both developing from haploid cells and gametophytes that sexually reproduce to create sporophytes, which in turn asexually reproduce by producing haploid spores that start the cycle all over again. Mosses, however, are more typically found in their haploid gametophyte stage, which the sporophytes are dependent on, whereas ferns are most often seen in the sporophyte stage, in which they can survive for hundreds of years.

Both types of organisms are still being studied today to provide clues to our own evolution and other genetic mysteries.


Capon, B, (2005). Botany for gardeners. Portland, or: Timbers.

Cavendish, M. (2000). Exploring life science Vol. 7. Tarrytown, NY: Cavendish Corp.

During, H. (1979). “Life strategies of Bryophytes.” Lindbergia 5, pp. 2-18.

Evans, a. (1964). “Ameiotic Alternation of Generations: A New Life Cycle in the Ferns.” Science 17(143), pp. 261-3.

Mader, S. (1987). Biology. New York: William C. Brown.

Mehltreter, K.; Walker, L. & Sharpe, J. (2010). Fern ecology. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Munster, T.; Pahnke, J.; Di Rosa, a.; Kim, J.; Martin, W.; Saedler, H. & Theissen, G. (1997). “Floral homeotic genes were recruited from homologous MADS-box genes preexisting in the common ancestor of ferns and seed-plants.” PNAS 94(6), pp. 2415-20..

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