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Key People:Sir william Jackson HookerFrederick Orpen BowerDouglas houghton Campbell...(Show more)Related Topics:EquisetopsidaPolypodiidaeMarattiidaePsilotopsidasun fern...(Show more)
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Discover how a fern employs that vascular system to circulate water and also nutrients between its leaves and roots

fern, (class Polypodiopsida), class of nonflowering vascular plants the possess true roots, stems, and complicated leaves and also that reproduce by spores. The variety of known extant fern varieties is about 10,500, however estimates have actually ranged as high as 15,000, the number differing because certain groups space as yet poorly studied and because brand-new species are still being found in unexplored tropical areas. The ferns constitute an ancient department of vascular plants, few of them as old together the Carboniferous duration (beginning around 358.9 million year ago) and also perhaps older. Their type of life cycle, dependent ~ above spores because that dispersal, long preceded the seed-plant life cycle. One more informal name for the group, monilophytes, has gained currency in modern-day botanical literature.

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General features

Size range and habitat

The ferns room extremely varied in habitat, form, and reproductive methods. In dimension alone they variety from minute filmy plants just 1–1.2 cm (0.39–0.47 inch) high to large tree ferns 10 to 25 metres (30 to 80 feet) in height. Some room twining and vinelike; rather float on the surface of ponds. The majority of ferns inhabit warm, damp areas of the Earth. Growing profusely in tropical areas, ferns diminish in number v increasingly higher latitudes and decreasing offers of moisture. Couple of are discovered in dry, cold places.