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The kingdom Plantae encompasses water-dwelling red and green algae as well as terrestrial plants which have evolved to support themselves outside of the aquatic environment of their ancestors This SparkNote focuses on the terrestrial plants which include bryophytes mosses as well as the more highly evolved vascular plants called tracheophytes As a consequence of their move onto land terrestrial plants require structures that support their weight prevent desiccation drying out aid in reproduction and transport water nutrients and the products of photosynthesis throughout the parts of the plant Bryophytes have not yet made the complete transition to land and are thus still dependent upon a moist environment to assist in reproduction and nutrient transport The more highly evolved tracheophytes on the other hand have developed internal systems of transport and support called vascular systems which have allowed them to become fully terrestrial A1 Plant Characteristics As explored in Common Plant Characteristics most terrestrial plants both bryophytes and tracheophytes share some general structural and functional features Plant bodies are divided into two regions the underground root portion and the aerial shoot portion including stem leaves flowers and fruits These different regions of the plant are dependent on each other as each performs different essential functions Land plants also share certain more specific adaptations that are essential to survival out of water These include an impermeable waxy cuticle on the outer aerial surfaces jacket cells around the reproductive organs and stomata that allow gas exchange without risking excessive water loss All Plants are also autotrophic meaning that they produce their own food and do not use other organisms to supply organic nutrients the way animals do Finally the life cycle of plants follows a pattern called the alternation of generations in which they fluctuate between haploid and diploid generations and sexual and asexual modes of reproduction A2 Plant Classification Terrestrial plants as noted above are classified as bryophytes and tracheophytes Bryophytes such
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