Bryophytes are amphibians of the plant kingdom. They occur in damp, shady places.
- Have a haplodiplontic life cycle.
- Plant body is the gametophyte.
- Sporophyte is parasitic on the gametophyte.
- Plant body is a thallus i.e., not differentiated into root, stem & leaf.
- Vegetative reproduction is by fragmentation, gemmae & tubers.
- Highly specialized oogamous, sexual reproduction.
- Male sex organ is antheridium which produces biflagellate antherozoids.
- Archegonium (flask-shaped) is the female sex organ, which produces an egg.
- Fertilization occurs with the help of water and movement of antherozoids towards the archegonia is chemotactic.
- The zygote divides immediately to form the sporophyte that grows on the gametophyte.
- Sporophyte is differentiated into foot, seta & capsule.
- Capsule produces haploid spores.
- Spores on dispersal germinate to form the new gametophytic plant.