Section 3

Vascular Plants

• Vascular plants have several adaptive advantages over nonvascular plants, including specialized conducting tissues, the ability to grow large and live in many environments, and strong stems that allow them to grow tall and receive more sunlight.

• Seedless vascular plants include the four phyla Psilophyta, Lycophyta, Sphenophyta, and Pteridophyta. Seedless vascular plants include ferns and fernlike plants. Ferns are the dominant phylum of seedless plants. Most ferns have a rhizome, an underground stem.

• There are two main groups of seed-bearing vascular plants, gymnosperms and angiosperms. Gymnosperms are characterized by naked seeds and no flowers. Angiosperms have flowers and seeds enclosed by a fruit.

• Angiosperms have been successful for many reasons, including the production of fruit that protects seeds, quick germination, and an efficient vascular system.

• Dicots are distinguished from monocots on the basis of several characteristics: cotyledon number, leaf venation, arrangement of stem vascular tissue, and number of

Vocabulary strobilus (p. 571) rhizome (p. 572) fiddlehead (p. 572) frond (p. 572)

germinate (p. 572) seedling (p. 572) cone (p. 572) deciduous (p. 573)

ovary (p. 575) cotyledon (p. 576) monocot (p. 576) dicot (p. 576)

parallel venation (p. 576) net venation (p. 576)

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