The key difference between bryophytes and tracheophytes is that bryophytes are non-vascular plants; hence, do not contain a vascular system while tracheophytes are vascular plants, hence contain a well developed vascular system.
Plants are multicellular non-motile eukaryotic organisms which appear in green colour. They are photoautotrophs that synthesize foods by photosynthesis. Plants belong to Kingdom Plantae. Kingdom Plantae has two main categories of plants based on the presence and absence of a vascular system. They are non-vascular plants or bryophytes and vascular plants or tracheophytes. Bryophytes and tracheophytes differ from each other by many characteristics as mentioned in this article.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Bryophytes
3. What are Tracheophytes
4. Similarities Between Bryophytes and Tracheophytes
5. Side by Side Comparison – Bryophytes vs Tracheophytes in Tabular Form
What are Bryophytes?
Bryophytes are primitive land plants. Structurally, they are non-vascular plants. Hence they do not contain a vascular system. Furthermore, they are small plants that live in moist and shady places. Another important characteristic of bryophytes is the alteration of generation. Their dominant generation is the haploid gametophytic generation. Hence, their sporophytic generation is less prominent.
Furthermore, bryophytes do not have a differentiated plant body. Therefore, they don’t contain true roots, stem and leaves. Their plant bodies are mostly leafy or thalloid. Instead of roots, they contain root-like structures called rhizoids for the attachment. Since they lack a vascular system, they absorb water through leaves. Bryophytes reproduce sexually by producing archegonia and antheridia. There are three types of plants coming under the bryophytes such as mosses, liverworts and hornworts.
What are Tracheophytes?
Tracheophytes are vascular land plants that have a well developed vascular system (xylem and phloem). In addition, tracheophytes have a differentiated plant body. Hence, they contain true roots, stem and leaves. Structurally, tracheophytes are larger plants adapted to different environmental conditions, unlike bryophytes. They possess stomata and a thick waxy cuticle to regulate and prevent water loss respectively.
Some tracheophytes reproduce by seeds while some tracheophytes reproduce through spores. Another important character of tracheophytes is the dominant sporophyte generation. Their gametophytic generation is less prominent. Ferns, horsetails, angiosperms and gymnosperms belong to this plant category.
What are the Similarities Between Bryophytes and Tracheophytes?
- Bryophytes and Tracheophytes are two plant groups that belong to Kingdom Plantae.
- They are multicellular eukaryotes.
- Also, both are green in colour hence they are capable of photosynthesizing.
- Moreover, both are photoautotrophs.
- Besides, they are non-motile organisms.
- And, both reproduce by sexually as well as by asexually.
What is the Difference Between Bryophytes and Tracheophytes?
Bryophytes are non-vascular land plants restricted to moist and shady environments while tracheophytes are vascular land plants adapted to different environmental conditions. Therefore, this is the key difference between bryophytes and tracheophytes. Furthermore, a significant difference between bryophytes and tracheophytes is that the bryophytes are mostly leafy or thalloid and small plants while tracheophytes are highly differentiated larger plants.
Another difference between bryophytes and tracheophytes is that the bryophytes have a dominant gametophytic generation while tracheophytes have a dominant sporophyte generation. Mosses, liverworts and hornworts are bryophytes while ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms are tracheophytes.
Summary – Bryophytes vs Tracheophytes
Non-vascular plants or bryophytes do not contain a vascular system. Hence, they are small plants limited to moist and shady environments. On the other hand, vascular plants or tracheophytes contain a well developed vascular system comprised of xylem and phloem. Hence, they live in diverse environments. Moreover, they are higher plants such as angiosperms and gymnosperms. In contrast, bryophytes are primitive plants such as mosses, liverworts and hornworts. This is the difference between bryophytes and tracheophytes.
1.“Tracheophytes.” Cervidae – Deer, Elk, Moose | Wildlife Journal Junior. Available here
2.Editors. “Bryophyte: Definition, Characteristics, Life Cycle, Examples.” Biology Dictionary, Biology Dictionary, 11 Feb. 2018. Available here