How Are Conifers & Ferns Different?

Ferns and conifers are members of different phyla.
••• Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Conifers and ferns share certain basic similarities: they photosynthesize, they reproduce sexually and so on. Despite their similarities, however, conifers and ferns also exhibit a number of differences.

Types

Conifers are gymnosperms or "naked seed plants" in the phylum Coniferophyta. Ferns are non-seed plants in the phylum Pterophyta. The groups have different life cycles. Ferns produce spores that develop into gametophytes. Male gametophytes produce sperm, which fertilize eggs from other gametophytes. The zygotes then develop into adult plants called sporophytes. Conifers reproduce through pollination of ovulate cones that eventually develop seeds.

Features

Conifers have woody stems and as a general rule are much larger than most ferns. Many conifers have needle- or scale-like leaves that are very different in shape and appearance from leaves found in ferns.

Geography

Many temperate forests are dominated by conifers like pine and Douglas fir. Ferns, by contrast, are most common in moist forests, tropical rain forests and acidic wetlands.

Related Articles

Plants & Trees You Find in the Woods
What Part of the Plant Makes Seeds?
Three Main Parts of a Seed
What Kind of Tree Has Cones?
What Does a Zygote in Plants Develop Into?
Do Gymnosperms Produce Flowers & Fruit?
Are Palm Trees Monocots?
Kinds of Seed Plants
Difference Between Ferns & Mosses
Characteristics of Aquatic Plants
Divisions of the Plant Kingdom
Examples of Non-Seed Plants
What Parts of a Flower Are Involved in Reproduction?
Differences Between Conifers & Flowering Plants
Compare Flowering Plants & Conifers
How Are Bacteria & Plant Cells Alike?
Examples of Wind Pollinated Flowers
What Is the Difference Between a Spore & a Pollen Grain?
What Are the 3 Types of Leaf Arrangements?

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!