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Club Mosses, Spike Mosses, and Quillworts


y Most primitive group of vascular plants
y Seedless
y There are not true mosses
y Many grow on tropical trees as epiphytes
y Some grow on temperate forest floors
y Selaginella kraussiana is not only an named by
an Indian tribe but known as the Golden Club
y In the Carboniferous some lycophytes were
forest-forming trees more than 35 meters tall.
y Lycophytes are the oldest extant group of
vascular plants, and dominated major habitats
for 40 million years.
y Club mosses have been used to make Christmas

Evolutionary History:

y Oldest extant group of vascular plants, and
dominated major habitats for 40 million years.
y Two evolutionary lines
o One composed of small herbaceous plants
o One composed of giant woody trees
y Giant lycophtyes strived for millions of years in
moist swamps
o Became extinct when climate became drier
at the end of the Carboniferous period
y Small lycophytes survived, represented by 1,200
species today

3 main types:

- Club Mossestrue roots, stems, and leaves. Spores are produced in
reproductive structures called strobili. Usually everygreen and have
flammable pores
- Spike Mosses Spike mosses mainly have a tropical distribution,
growing in moist shaded habitats. They are terrestrial, perennial or annual
plants, without true roots. The stems are usually branched, with small
simple leaves that are arranged in four rows, with two rows having long
leaves, and two with small leaves. A small outgrowth called ligule is
located on the upper surface of each leaf, close to where it joins the stem.
- Isoetes Quillworts: nearest living relatives of ancient tree Lycophtes
of the Carboniferous period. These plants tend to be aquatic but can grow
in vernal pools. The sporophyte of Isoetes consists of a short, fleshy
underground stem bearing quill-like microphylls on its upper surface and
roots on its lower surface. In Isoetes, the leaves are attached to a corm like
structure (fleshy stem) that is difficult to interpret morphologically.
Dichotomously branching roots arise form the lower portion of the stem.


Club Mosses

Lycopodium Selaginella kraussiana
Spike Mossses

Selaginellales Selaginella_lepidophylla

Isoetes echinospora Isoetes species


y Spider like plants
y Some live underground-nurtured by symbiotic
o Use other plants as substrates-epiphytes
y In other species, tiny gametophytes live above-
ground and are photosynthetic
y Sporophytes contain both upright and horizontal
y Most significant feature = microphylls (leaf
which has arisen and evolved independently
from the leaves of other vascular plants)
o only a single unbranched strand of vascular
tissue or vein
o some bear sporangia singly on their upper
y No secondary xylem development

y Upright stems with many small leaves
y Adventitious roots
y Narrow leaves with a single vein
y Have ground-huggging stems that produce
dichotomously branching roots
y Club mosses: Sporophylls are cluster into club-
shaped cones (strobili)


y Either homosporous with exosporic
y Or heterosporous with endosporic
y Reduction in size of gametophyte
o Smaller than the sporophyte
o Can be microscopic and dependent plant
y Moved towards production of two different kinds
of spores
y One germinates to form male gametophytes and
the other female



Adventitious: 1. coming from another source and not inherent or
innate. 2. arising or occurring sporadically or in other than the
usual location.
Carboniferous: The Carboniferous Period occurred from about
354 to 290 million years ago during the late Paleozoic Era. The
term "Carboniferous" comes from England, in reference to the
rich deposits of coal that occur there. These deposits of coal
occur throughout northern Europe, Asia, and midwestern and
eastern North America.

Dichotomous: 1. Divided or dividing into two parts or
classifications. 2. Characterized by dichotomy.

Endosperm: the triploid (N=3) product of double fertilization in
angiosperms; during seed maturation the endosperm will develop
into a storage tissue that will provide nutrients to the seedling
as it emerges (in monocots) or that will be digested and stored
by the cotyledons before germination (in dicots).

Endosporic: gametophyte develops within the spores wall.

Exosporic: gametophyte development outside the spore wall, i.e.
the development of a free-living, multicellular gametophyte.

Heterosporous: having two types of spores: megaspores and

Homosporous: having one type of spore.

Microphyll: 1. a leaf (as of a club moss) with single unbranched
veins and no demonstrable gap around the leaf trace. 2. a small

Sporophyll: Leaf in ferns and mosses that bears the sporangia.
Strobilus: 1. a reproductive structure characterized by
overlapping scalelike parts, as a pine cone or the fruit of the
hop. 2. a conelike structure composed of sporophylls, as of the
club mosses and horsetails.

Works Cited
Campbell, Neil A., and Jane B. Reece. Biology. San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings,
2002. Print.
"Lycophyta." Welcome to University of Hawaii at Manoa Botany. Web. 18 Dec. 2011.
"Lycopodiophyta." The Virtual Foliage Home Page! Web. 18 Dec. 2011.
"Phylum Lycophyta." The University of Virginia's College at Wise. Web. 18 Dec. 2011.