a plant that reproduces and is dispersed mainly by spores, which are formed either asexually or sexually. Many sporebearing plants survive unfavorable environmental conditions in the spore stage. For example, the single spore that forms in each individual of certain bacteria serves only to survive unfavorable conditions. In some plants spores are formed only rarely, and reproduction occurs mainly by the separation of organs, for example, in many lichens.
Sporebearing plants are sometimes divided into lower forms (algae, bacteria, fungi, lichens) and higher forms (ferns, horsetails, club mosses, selaginellas, isoetes, and a number of fossil plants). They contrast with seed plants—gymnosperms and angiosperms—in which reproduction and distribution occur by seeds. However, the pollen grains in the stamens and the embryo sacs in the ovules of seed plants are homologous to the spores of higher sporebearing plants, although they perform other functions and do not serve directly for reproduction and distribution.
REFERENCESTakhtadzhian, A. L. Vysshie rasteniia, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1956.
Malyipraktikumpo nizshim rasteniiam. Moscow, 1967.