Adaptation To Land Habitat – In general bryophytes developed the following adaptive characters for terrestrial environment:
- Formation of a compact multicellular plant body which helped in the conservation of water by reducing cell surface area exposed to dry land condition. Presence of cuticle further reduces loss of water by evaporation.
- Development of photosynthetic tissues into special chambers for the absorption of carbon dioxide without losing much water and exposure to light.
- Formation of special structures like rhizoids of absorption of water and anchorage.
- Heterogamy (production of two types of gametes) is evolved, forming non motile egg containing stored food and motile sperms.
- Gametes are produced and protected by the special multicellular organs (antheridia and archegonia).
- Multicellular embryo is formed which is retained and protected inside the female reproductive body during its development.
- Alternation of spore-producing generation (sporophyte) with gamete producing generation (gametophyte) enabled the plant to produce and test the best genetic combinations for adapting to the versatile terrestrial conditions.