What is Difference Between Bryophytes And Pteridophytes?

Bryophytes vs Pteridophytes

The main theme of the article is below….

The main difference between bryophytes and pteridophytes is that the bryophytes do not have vascular bundles but pteridophytes have vascular bundles i.e. xylem and phloem. More ever the dominating and independent phase in bryophytes is gametophyte while in pteridophytes, sporophytic generation is dominating.

Key differences between bryophytes and pteridophytes

  1. The body structure of bryophytes has a plant body in the form of the thallus, while in pteridophytes the plant body is differentiated into roots, stems, and leaves.
  2. There is no vascular system in bryophytes, which means that xylem and phloem tissues are missing, whereas in pteridophytes the proper vascular is present, which means that there are xylem and phloem tissues.
  3. There are no roots present in bryophytes, instead, rhizoids are present; In pteridophytes the roots are present.
  4. Cells are haploid in bryophyte type, and diploid cells are present in pteridophytes.
  5. There are no true stems or leaves present in bryophytes, while pteridophytes have true stems and leaves.
  6. The archegonium and its formation are adequately exposed and the neck is made up of six rows of bryophyte cells; The partially embedded archegonium and its neck have only four rows of cells in pteridophytes.
  7. Antheridium is stalked in bryophytes but in pteridophytes antheridium is sessile.
  8. Bryophytes are homosporous, while pteridophytes can be homosporous or heterosporous.
  9. In bryophytes, the gametophyte is dominant while saprophyte is dominant in pteridophytes.
  10. Examples of bryophytes include mosses,  liverworts, and hornworts while spike mosses, clubmosses, ferns, quillworts are examples of pteridophytes.
  11. The gametophytes of bryophytes are always autotrophic and macroscopic; whereas in pteridophytes, gametophytes are saprophytic or extremely reduced microscopic structures.

Mosses or bryophytes are the simplest plants that do not have true roots, rhizoids for anchoring, and grow in moist terrestrial soil. Ferns are pteridophytes that have a leaf (finely divided into small parts), appropriate roots, and underground stems. They grow in humid and shady places.

Below we will discuss the general difference between bryophytes and pteridophytes.

The Comparative chart between Bryophytes and Pteridophytes

Basis for comparison Bryophytes Pteridophytes
Definition of the body Bryophytes have a thallus or leaf-like plant body. In pteridophytes, the body of the plant differs into roots, stems, and leaves.
Vascular system There is no vascular system, which means there is no xylem or phloem. The proper vascular is present, which means that the xylem and phloem are present.
Presence of roots Without roots, instead, the rhizoids are present helps to anchor The roots are present.
Presence of stems or leaves There are no true stems or leaves present. True stem and leaves are present.
Archegonium and its formation Common exposition of archegonia, the neck of which is made up of six rows of cells. Archegoninum partially embedded and its neck has only four rows of cells.
Antheridium Antheridium is Stalked in Bryophytes Antheridium is Sessile in Pteridophytes
Dominant part Gametophyte is dominant in Bryophytes The sporophyte is dominant in Pteridophytes
Cell type Bryophytes have haploid cells. Pteridophytes have diploid cells.
Examples Mosses, liverworts, hornworts. Spike mosses, clubmosses, ferns, quillworts.
Sporophytic Phase It is completely dependent on the gametophyte. The sporophytic phase is independent and autotrophic.

Definition of bryophytes

The name ‘Bryophytes’ is a traditional name, used for all those plants or embryophytes that do not have true vascular tissue and are therefore called “non-vascular plants”, which means that they do not have xylem or phloem.

As their gametophytic generation is dominant, they produce gametes. But they do not produce flowers or seeds. The body of bryophytes is not defined by true roots, stems, and leaves, but instead, have rhizoids to anchor. They have unbranched sporophytes and reproduce by spores.

Examples are mosses, liverworts, hornworts. They are characteristically limited in size and prefer a humid place to grow, but are also adjustable in the driest environment. So far around 20,000 species of bryophytes have been found. Bryophytes play an important role in an ecosystem by providing water and nutrients to other plants that live alongside Bryophytes.

Definition of pteridophytes

Since these plants do not produce flowers or seeds, they are called ‘Cryptogams. They are also called vascular plants (containing xylem and phloem tissues). They have leaves that are known as fronds, true stems, and roots.

Pteridophytes include very diverse true ferns. Fronds are the largest species of fern and can reach up to six meters in length. These plants disperse through spores and reproduce instead of seeds. Bryophytes are used for medicinal purposes. These plants are found in damp, dark, shady, cool, and humid areas.

As these plants produce gametes, they are called gametophytes. The structure of the plant is well-differentiated in roots, stems, and leaves. A few examples are
spike mosses, clubmosses, ferns, quillworts. There are about 13,000 species of pteridophytes, making them representative of the closest relatives of angiosperms, conifers, and other seed plants.

Similarities between Bryophytes and Pteridophytes

  • Both have a heteromorphic alternation of generations.
  • Both have Multicellular sporangia.
  • There is the presence of cuticles in both bryophytes and pteridophytes.
  • Both are adapted to the Terrestrial habitat.
  • Sexual reproduction in both is oogamous.
  • There are flagellated male gametes while non-motile female gametes in them.
  • No siphonogamy in both bryophytes and pteridophytes
  • There is no asexual reproduction separated by spores as seen in algae and fungi.


In the given article we discuss the differences and similarities between bryophytes and pteridophytes. Few species of bryophytes are considered among the first to colonize in the open field, mainly in the amphibian environment. It is a collective name used to represent plants such as mosses, hornworts.

While pteridophytes are especially regarded as the earliest land plants, containing xylem and phloem tissues, they are also called ‘botanical snakes’ as they evolved after bryophytes, which are said to be ‘botanical amphibians’. Both are important from the point of view of nature, as they play a vital role in maintaining ecological balance.

Bryophyte plants are small plants that live in humid or aquatic places. They reproduce by spores. They were the first vegetables that, in the Paleozoic, assured the passage to terrestrial life. They do not have specialized tissues or even true roots.

They can live on logs, rocks, walls, roofs. Their leaves can carry a central conductive nerve through which they absorb water and mineral salts. They are mosses, liverworts, and Anthoceros.

The Pteridophyte Plants are medium in size that are characterized because they have conductive vessels but have neither flowers nor fruits. They live in cool, humid, and shady places. They are perennials without secondary development that reach twenty meters high in tropical areas and have aspects of palm trees.

They have true roots, stems, and leaves. They originated in the Devonian period where they formed forests where the current coal deposits come from. They reproduce by spores. They are ferns and horsetails.

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