Chapter Outline

Phylum Psilotophyta—The Whisk Ferns Structure and Form Reproduction

Fossil Whisk Fern Look-Alikes Phylum Lycophyta—The Ground Pines, Spike Mosses, and Quillworts Lycopodium—Ground Pines Selaginella—Spike Mosses Isoetes—Quillworts Ancient Relatives of Club Mosses and Quillworts Human and Ecological Relevance of Club Mosses and Quillworts Phylum Equisetophyta—

The Horsetails and Scouring Rushes Structure and Form


Ancient Relatives of Horsetails Human and Ecological Relevance of Horsetails and Scouring


Phylum Polypodiophyta—The Ferns Structure and Form Reproduction Fossil Relatives of Ferns Human and Ecological Relevance of Ferns



Molds, Casts, Compressions, and

Imprints Petrifactions Coprolites Unaltered Fossils Summary

This chapter opens with a brief review of the features that distinguish the major groups of vascular plants without seeds from one another and from the bryophytes and then discusses representatives of each phylum. Included in the discussion are whisk ferns (Psilotum), club mosses (Lycopodium, Selaginella), quillworts (Isoetes), horsetails (Equisetum), and ferns. A digest of the human and ecological relevance of each group is given, and life cycles of representatives are illustrated. The chapter concludes with an examination of fossils, and each type is briefly described. A table showing the geologic time scale is provided.

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