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 Part A is a table showing a timeline of geological eras. Part B is a geological time scale shaped like a spiral; it includes images indicating when certain species evolved.
Various plant species evolved in different eras. (credit: United States Geological Survey)

Pollen and seed were innovative structures that allowed seed plants to break their dependence on water for reproduction and development of the embryo, and to conquer dry land. The pollen grains are the male gametophytes, which contain the sperm (gametes) of the plant. The small haploid (1 n ) cells are encased in a protective coat that prevents desiccation (drying out) and mechanical damage. Pollen grains can travel far from their original sporophyte, spreading the plant’s genes. The seed    offers the embryo protection, nourishment, and a mechanism to maintain dormancy for tens or even thousands of years, ensuring germination can occur when growth conditions are optimal. Seeds therefore allow plants to disperse the next generation through both space and time. With such evolutionary advantages, seed plants have become the most successful and familiar group of plants, in part because of their size and striking appearance.

Evolution of gymnosperms

The fossil plant Elkinsia polymorpha , a "seed fern" from the Devonian period—about 400 million years ago—is considered the earliest seed plant known to date. Seed ferns ( [link] ) produced their seeds along their branches without specialized structures. What makes them the first true seed plants is that they developed structures called cupules to enclose and protect the ovule    —the female gametophyte and associated tissues—which develops into a seed upon fertilization. Seed plants resembling modern tree ferns became more numerous and diverse in the coal swamps of the Carboniferous period.

 Photo shows a fossilized leaf that is more than ten inches long, brown and feather-shaped.
This fossilized leaf is from Glossopteris , a seed fern that thrived during the Permian age (290–240 million years ago). (credit: D.L. Schmidt, USGS)

Fossil records indicate the first gymnosperms (progymnosperms) most likely originated in the Paleozoic era, during the middle Devonian period: about 390 million years ago. Following the wet Mississippian and Pennsylvanian periods, which were dominated by giant fern trees, the Permian period was dry. This gave a reproductive edge to seed plants, which are better adapted to survive dry spells. The Ginkgoales, a group of gymnosperms with only one surviving species—the Gingko biloba— were the first gymnosperms to appear during the lower Jurassic. Gymnosperms expanded in the Mesozoic era (about 240 million years ago), supplanting ferns in the landscape, and reaching their greatest diversity during this time. The Jurassic period was as much the age of the cycads (palm-tree-like gymnosperms) as the age of the dinosaurs. Gingkoales and the more familiar conifers also dotted the landscape. Although angiosperms (flowering plants) are the major form of plant life in most biomes, gymnosperms still dominate some ecosystems, such as the taiga (boreal forests) and the alpine forests at higher mountain elevations ( [link] ) because of their adaptation to cold and dry growth conditions.

 Photo shows a boreal forest with a uniform low layer of plants and tall conifers scattered throughout the landscape. The snowcapped mountains of the Alaska Range are in the background.
This boreal forest (taiga) has low-lying plants and conifer trees. (credit: L.B. Brubaker, NOAA)

Questions & Answers

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diffusion is a process of mix of particles from higher concentration to the lower one,to make the body functional normal
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Is the finely divided material covering the earth crust.
Kisaky
is the upper moist of layer of the earth surface
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prokaryote ,eukaryote, akaryotes
bonney
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Chriscia
multicellular and unicellular
Edwin
akaryotes are organisms that function as eukaryotes and prokaryotes
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akaryotes are cell with no nucleus
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biology is the study of living organisms
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Source:  OpenStax, Biology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 29, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11448/1.10
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