The knowledge of the vegetative and reproductive morphology of gametophytes and characteristics such as spore morphology, spore germination pattern, gametophyte form, presence or absence of hairs, photosynthetic gametophytes or not, position, shape and number of antheridia and archegonia
cells, number of cells of the antheridium wall and number of archegonia
neck cells and gametophytes gemmae production, are diagnostic characters that will be important in future to apply in the knowledge of the phylogeny of ferns based on morphology and rbcL sequences (Pryer et al., 1995).
Age of forest did not seem to have affected the timing and sequence of development for archegonia and antheridia so, as was done for sporophytes, data were pooled for each species to better demonstrate any pattern in phenological development.
The number of juvenile archegonia of W extenuata peaked in autumn, which was followed by a peak in number of immature archegonia in winter, then a peak in number of mature archegonia in winter and spring and, lastly, a peak in number of dehisced archegonia in summer.
The juvenile, immature and mature phenostages of both archegonia and antheridia of Rhynchostegium tenuifolium peaked in summer but dehisced stages peaked in autumn.
With respect to Rosulabryum billarderii, all phenostages of archegonia peaked in spring although juvenile and mature stages occurred in good numbers in winter, but only in forests of 15 years-since-harvest.
Archegonia often undergo rapid development while antheridial development often requires more time (Imura 1994; Miles et al.
muenchii is cordiforme, no archegonia
are produced, only antheridia were reported; nevertheless, the sporophyte talus has an apogamic origin (Perez-Garcia et al.
The progenesis and acceleration of gametogenesis in flowering plants resulted in the loss of gametangia (antheridia and archegonia
) on their gametophytes.
In addition, gametophytes growing on soil frequently produce archegonia
, whereas those growing on rock have high gemmae production (Farrar, 1978).