IB Biology SL

Revision Notes

5.2.3 Plant Phyla Features

Plant Phyla Features

  • All plants belong to the plant kingdom
  • Within the plant kingdom are several phyla (singular phylum)
  • Some plant phyla are small
    • E.g. the Glaucophytes contain only 70 species and the Gingkophytes contains only 1 living species
  • There are four major plant phyla
    • Bryophytes (20 000 species)
    • Filicinophytes (10 000 species)
    • Coniferophytes (600 species)
    • Angiospermophytes (352 000 species)
  • Each of the four main phyla can be identified by their characteristics

Bryophytes

  • The bryophytes include mosses, liverworts, and hornworts
  • They are small, terrestrial plants
  • They have no vascular tissue
  • Cambium tissue is also absent
    • Cambium is a tissue containing stem cells that differentiate into xylem and phloem cells
  • Reproduction takes place via spores
    • Spores are produced in and dispersed from spore capsules
  • Bryophytes do not produce flowers, pollen, ovules, seeds, or fruits
  • No true roots are present, but hair-like structures called rhizoids anchor plants in the soil

5.2.3 Plant Phyla Features, downloadable IB Biology revision notes

The bryophytes include mosses and liverworts

Filicinophytes

  • Filiconophytes are the ferns
  • Ferns are mainly terrestrial and have vascular tissue 
  • Roots, stems, and leaves are present
    • Fern leaves are divided structures known as fronds
  • Cambium tissue is absent
  • Reproduction takes place via spores
    • Spores are produced in and dispersed from structures on the underside of fronds called sporangia
  • Filicinophytes do not produce flowers, pollen, ovules, seeds, or fruits

The filicinophytes, downloadable IB Biology revision notes

The filicinophytes are the ferns

Coniferophytes

  • More commonly referred to as the conifers, the coniferophytes are usually tall, straight, trees
  • Roots, stems, and leaves are present
  • Vascular tissue is present, as well as cambium tissue
  • Reproduction is carried out via pollen and ovules
    • Pollen is produced in male cones and ovules are produced in female cones
      • Pollen is the male gamete and ovules are the female gamete
    • No flowers are present
    • Both male and female cones are present on each tree
    • Pollen is carried from one cone to another by the wind in order for fertilisation to take place
  • Seeds develop after fertilisation inside cones and are dispersed by falling to the ground or by animals
  • Most coniferophytes are evergreen (i.e. they retain their leaves all year round)

Coniferophytes reproduce via pollen and ovules, downloadable IB Biology revision notes

Coniferophytes reproduce via pollen and ovules that are produced inside cones

Angiospermophytes

  • Often referred to as angiosperms, these are flowering plants
  • This is an incredibly diverse phylum, with examples including grasses, shrubs, and non-coniferous trees
  • Roots, stems, and leaves are present
  • Vascular and cambium tissues are present
  • Reproduction is carried out via pollen and ovules
    • Flowers produce pollen and also contain ovules within an ovary
    • Fertilisation occurs when pollen is transferred from one flower to another by e.g.
      • Insects
      • Animals
      • Wind
    • Seeds form and are dispersed via fruits which develop from the ovaries of flowers

Angiospermophytes, downloadable IB Biology revision notes

Angiospermophytes reproduce via pollen and ovules produced in flowers

Plant Phyla Features Table

Plant Phyla Features Table, downloadable IB Biology revision notes

Author: Lára

Lára graduated from Oxford University in Biological Sciences and has now been a science tutor working in the UK for several years. Lára has a particular interest in the area of infectious disease and epidemiology, and enjoys creating original educational materials that develop confidence and facilitate learning.
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