What Are the Advantages of Vascular Tissues in Land Plants?

Vascular land plants have stem tissues that enable circulation of liquids and nutrients.
••• hairy stem image by Josef F Stuefer from Fotolia.com

Land plants can be divided into two main groups: bryophytes and tracheophytes. Bryophytes, which evolutionarily precede tracheophytes, are plants that lack true vascular tissues by which to circulate liquids. These plants include mosses, hornworts and liverworts. Tracheophytes, which comprise about 93 percent of all land plants, all possess vascular systems that permit the internal circulation of liquids and nutrients. This group includes everything from flowering plants to trees.

Nutrient, Liquid and Energy Distribution

Most of the advantages of vascular tissues stem from this functional one: A tracheophyte's xylem and phloem--which comprise the vascular system and are housed in the stem--enable liquids, nutrients and energy to be transported and distributed throughout the whole of the plant. Bryophytes depend on diffusion to distribute any acquired liquids, nutrients or energy.

Size

Lack of a vascular system severely limits the size to which bryophytes can grow. Vascularity offers structural support that enables tracheophytes to grow to considerably larger sizes than bryophytes can with their dependence on diffusion. Think, for example, of the diminutive size of mosses as opposed to the height of sunflowers or even trees. The enormous amount of variation in size in tracheophytes allows for a level of resource-competitiveness that bryophytes cannot match.

Variety

The diffusion-based size limitations of bryophytes confine their variation in other respects. The diversity that tracheophytes exhibit in the realms of size, configuration, seed dispersal and habitation gives them an evolutionary leg up. The ability of vascular land plants to produce endless physical variety increases chances of survival and viable propagation in the face of natural selection.

Related Articles

A Horsetail 's Life Cycle
Characteristics of Seedless Vascular Plants
How to Convert PSI to Horsepower
What Is the Difference Between Permeable & Impermeable?
Difference Between Water Plants and Land Plants
The Structure That Surrounds the Cytoplasm in a Bacterial...
Aquatic Plants With Special Adaptive Features
What Are the Characteristics of the Protista Kingdom?
How Do Nonvascular Plants Get Water & Nutrients?
Levels of Cell Organization
Kinds of Seed Plants
Sequence of Steps in Monocot & Dicot Germination
What Is the Respiratory System's Role in Homeostasis?
What Are the Five Subdivisions of Kingdoms?
The Most Common Ocean Plants
Method of Gas Exchange in a Fungus
How Are Conifers & Ferns Different?
What Does a Zygote in Plants Develop Into?

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!