Ferns and gymnosperms are taxonomic units belonging to higher plants. In different geological periods, they became the titular plants on Earth, so today their remains are a storehouse of paleontological information. Without one of these plants, reserves of oil and coal in the earth's interior would never have formed, and without some of them, higher angiosperms, which are the basis of nutrition for Homo sapiens, would not have formed.
Gymnosperms - this is a huge group of plants, which differs in that their seeds are devoid of a closed container.
Ferns are plants belonging to the Fern division of the plant kingdom.
Gymnosperms appeared in the late Devonian. Today, there are about 1000 species of these organisms on Earth. All of them are combined into 4 sections - ginky, oppressive, cycad and coniferous.
Ferns appeared on Earth at the beginning of the Devonian period. In the late Paleozoic - early Mesozoic, they dominated the plant world of the planet. But gymnosperms today prevail in the green mass of the planet.
The main characteristic of gymnosperms is the seed. The ovules of these organisms are not covered with a closed container, but, having transformed into seeds, openly lie or are attached to the scales of the cones, which all members of the group have.
Ferns reproduce by spores or vegetatively. They are characterized by the alternation of the sexual and asexual generations with the predominance of the sporotophyte generation.
Most gymnosperms are evergreens that grow exclusively as trees. Their leaves look like needles, long or short, three-, four-sided, round or flat.
In ferns, first-leaves are formed - fronds, representing a system of stems united in a horizontal plane.
Gymnosperms are monoecious. This means that both male and female cones can be located on the same tree. Most ferns are dioecious organisms, and can also change "sex" depending on living conditions.
Ferns are considered the progenitors of gymnosperms, and gymnosperms are the forerunners of angiosperms.
- Ferns reproduce by spores, and gymnosperms - by seeds.
- Ferns grow fronds, and gymnosperms grow needles.
- Ferns appeared on Earth earlier than gymnosperms.
- Gymnosperms are today the main forest-forming species on the planet and the main producers of oxygen, and ferns were the most abundant plants on the planet in the Paleozoic-Mesozoic era.
- Gymnosperms are trees, and ferns can be both herbaceous and arboreal.
- Most gymnosperms are evergreens, and ferns of temperate latitudes lose their green mass during the cold period.
- Gymnosperms are monoecious plants, and ferns are dioecious.