Lower Devonian Gametophytes: Relation to the Phylogeny of Land Plants

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  26 Mar 1982:
Vol. 215, Issue 4540, pp. 1625-1627
DOI: 10.1126/science.215.4540.1625


Three gametophytic plants now known from the Lower Devonian of Scotland and Germany show common features in their fertile parts. The morphological and anatomical structures indicate affinities to bryophytic gametophytes, although there is no evidence for a parasitic sporogonium-like sporophyte as in the Bryophyta. Several of the vascular plant sporophytes from the Rhynie Chert also have a few characteristics reminiscent of bryophytes. But these ancient gametophytes, if related to the sporophytes, indicate a closer relation of Bryophyta to Tracheophyta than would the study of sporophytes alone.