Fern Structure and Functions
Ferns are plants that possess vascular tissues, strong roots, creeping underground stems called rhizomes and large leaves called fronds.
Ferns are very developed members of the phyla Tracheophyta.Tounderstand the structure of ferns specifically you have to understand the structural developments of the phyla Tracheophyta that enables ferns to succeed on land and not depend on extremely wet environments to survive
A veryimportantadaptations of tracheophytes arevascular tissuesvasculartissues are complex tissues that transport water and the nutrients that are a product of photosynthesis throughout the plantThereare two types of vascular tissues•Xylem-transporteswater from the roots to all parts of the plant•Phloem- transports nutrients and products of photosynthesis from the fronds throughout theplant
An important type of cell present in vascular tissues are tracheid cells. These cells allow xylem tissues to carry water from the roots to the leaves and are essential in the function of xylem tissues.Tracheidcells have very thick strong cell walls that strengthen the stems of the fern and help it stand up against gravity. Tracheid cells are essential in the survival and function of ferns
True roots and true leaves
Vascular tissues have aloud ferns to develop true leaves and true roots.True roots like the ones in ferns have a bundle of vascular tissues gathered in the central area of the root. This is called a vascular cylinder. These true roots allow ferns to efficiently obtain and disperse water to all areas of the plant enabling its survival in landThe true leaves are photosynthetic organs that have bundles of vascular tissues gathered in theveinof the leaf/frondThe leaves of tracheophytes including ferns usually have a waxy coating called a cuticle. This coating protects the frond/leaf from excessive evaporation from the sun and keeps water inside the plant. Helping it thrive in dryer environments
Now that we fully understand the structures of tracheophytesand how these developed structures have benefited and shaped ferns and there survival on land wecan look into the structures specific to Ferns
Fronds, Rhizoids, and Sporangium
Fronds- fronds are the essentially the leaf of the fern. They are long compound leaves with many divisions. The fronds function are responsible for photosynthesis, they produce the nutrients from the sun that are transported throughout the fern. Fronds are also have a reproductive function.Rhizomes–are essentially the stem of the fern plant. The rhizomes may creep along or be completely underground. New fronds grow from the Rhizomes and on the other end the Roots are also connected to them. These structures contain xylem and phloem tissues assisting in transporting water, minerals and nutrients throughout the plantSporangium- the sporangium are reproductive structures on a fern plant that are visible on the underside of the fronds. Each sporangium is a structure containing many haploid spores. This structures are essential in the reproductive proses of ferns which we will look into in detail later.
Ferns posses three main structures;