Q:

How do ferns reproduce?

A:

Quick Answer

Ferns reproduce through their spores, which are produced in very small spots called sori. Each sorus consists of numerous tiny, spherical granules that contain sporangia. Once the sporangia mature, they burst and release spores into the wind, and this is how new ferns emerge.

Know More
How do ferns reproduce?
Credit: liz west Flickr CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

With the right environmental conditions, the spores will be carried to new areas where they germinate and form fern prothallus. A fern has a leafy branch called a frond, which consists of smaller leaflets known as pinnae. There are tiny spots under a frond where spores grow inside casings referred to as sporangia. These sporangia form a sorus, which sometimes exist on the veins of a fern leaf. They are also sometimes found under the pinnae. Not all fronds contain spores. Fronds with spores are known as fertile fronds. Through a circuitous process, a spore can grow into an adult fern. It needs the right conditions to grow into a plantlet called gametophyte or prothallus.

Spores behave like a seed, although a full adult plant is what grows from the seed. The prothallus grows from a spore. It is not the full fern, as it is the intermediate phase from a spore into an adult fern. New ferns only grow in a moist environment. They fertilize and transform into a complete adult plant when there is enough moisture. They then turn into a sporophyte that continues to grow into a complete adult fern that is capable of producing its own spores, thus repeating the life cycle.

Learn more about Botany

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are the characteristics of pteridophyta?

    A:

    Some characteristics of pteridophyta plants include reproduction through spores, leaves that provide energy through photosynthesis, specialized stems called rhizomes, and vascular systems that transport water and nutrients. The plant phylum pteridophyta consists entirely of ferns, including more than 12,000 individual species. Ferns grow in border areas where other plants may not survive, and these plants grow in deserts, on mountains and in moist forests.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the advantages of seeds over spores?

    A:

    Seeds, when compared to spores, have distinct advantages due to their hard outer shells and internal structures called endosperms, which provide essential nutrients for enclosed seedlings. Seeds are found only in flowering plants and gymnosperms. They contain embryos deep within their centers, which are surrounded by a sack of nutrients and minerals enclosed by a tough protective outer shell that protects the growing seed from predation and life-threatening exposure to the elements.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the dominant generation in ferns?

    A:

    The dominant generation in ferns is the sporophyte. The most visible part of the fern plant itself is the sporophyte generation. Although ferns do exhibit alternation of generations, their gametophyte generation is not as visible as the sporophyte.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How does a cactus reproduce?

    A:

    The cactus is a plant that flowers, and the blooms generate fruit that bears seeds; it is the seeds that end up leading to new cactus plants. Bats provide the pollination for some species of cactus, and the flowers bloom in the spring each year. It is also possible to grow a cactus from broken fragments of an existing cactus, but the new plant is genetically identical.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore