Difference Between Vascular and Nonvascular Plants

Vascular vs Nonvascular Plants

Plant kingdom could be divided into two major groups. They are Vascular plant group and non vascular plant group. However, there are some similarities as well as differences in between these two groups. This article intends to discuss the characteristics and comparison of these two groups.

Vascular Plants

Vascular plants are also known as Tracheophytes or higher plants. They consist  of vascular tissues, which are highly specialized. Those vascular tissues are made of phloem and xylem, and responsible for translocation of nutrients and water throughout the body. Vascular tissues provide support and rigidity to the plant, other than the circulation of food and water. There are lignified tissues associate with xylem. Organs of the plant are developed well with different combination of tissues. There are four types of tissues found in vascular plants. They are vascular tissues, meristamatic tissues, ground tissues, and dermal tissues. The principal generation phase of vascular plant is sporophyte, which has two sets of chromosomes (diploid). Also, these plants comprise of true roots, stem, leaves. Vascular plants include ferns, conifers, and flowering plants. Vascular plants could be either seed baring plants or spore bearing plants. Plants belong to this group have diverse life cycles.

Non Vascular Plants

Plants, which do not have vascular systems are called non vascular plants or lower plants. These plants do not contain xylem or phloem tissues. But they have special tissues for translocation of water. Bryophytes, including liverworts, mosses, and hornworts belong to non vascular plant group. Since vascular tissues are absent in this group, they do not have true stem, root system or leaves. Also, non vascular plants do not contain a wide variety of specialized tissues. Therefore, some plants in this group look like leaves (liverworts). Also, some plants have root like structures, which is called as rhizoids. Gametophyte generation is prominent in non vascular plants. Those gametophytes are haploids (contain single set of chromosome). Because of the lack of availability of water conducting tissues, these plants cannot grow high. Also, these plants cannot tolerate drought. But, they can absorb water from the surrounding air or nearby sources through surface tissues. Habitats of these plant group are swamps, bogs and near water sources. All types of plants in this group have uniform life cycle.

What is the difference between Vascular and Non Vascular Plants?

• Both vascular and non vascular plants are photoautotrophic, which can photosynthesis.

• A wide variety of plant groups belongs to vascular plants. Therefore, diversity of vascular plants is higher than non vascular plants.

• Xylem and phloem tissues are present in vascular plants, while those are absent in non vascular plants.

• Vascular plants have true stem, leaves and roots. But non vascular plants have stem and leave like structures and rhizoids, instead of true structures.

• Xylem tissues of vascular plants contain lignified tissues, and those provide support and rigidity to plant. Due to unavailability of water conducting tissues non vascular plants are tender and comparatively shorter than vascular plants.

• Principal generation phase of vascular plant is Sporophytes, and in non vascular plants, it is gametophytes.

• All most all the vascular plants are drought resistant, and non vascular plants susceptible for drought. Therefore, non vascular plants are associated with water sources or swamps.