By the end of this section, you will be able to:
- Describe the distinguishing traits of the three types of bryophytes
- Identify the new traits that first appear in seedless vascular plants
- Describe the major classes of seedless vascular plants
An incredible variety of seedless plants populates the terrestrial landscape. Mosses grow on tree trunks, and horsetails (Figure 14.9) display their jointed stems and spindly leaves on the forest floor. Yet, seedless plants represent only a small fraction of the plants in our environment. Three hundred million years ago, seedless plants dominated the landscape and grew in the enormous swampy forests of the Carboniferous period. Their decomposing bodies created large deposits of coal that we mine today.