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Like other living things, plants need to reproduce to perpetuate themselves in the environment. However, just as the vast majority of animals are limited to sexual reproduction to engender new members of their species, plants have more ways to reproduce.

If you are interested in learning about this topic, keep reading this article by Ecologist Verde because in the following lines we are going to see what are the different ways of plant reproduction and how they work, both in the case of plants with flowers as in the one of the plants without flowers.

Types of plant reproduction

When we try to classify plants according to their type of reproduction, there are two major types of plant reproduction: asexual and sexual reproduction. There is an enormous variety in their methods and forms of reproduction, but these are the two main types that classify them.

Sexual reproduction in plants

Sexual reproduction occurs from the genetic material of two parent subjects, in which they unite gametes: one female and one male. It is the most common reproduction among plants and, in fact, the reproduction of plants by seeds it is almost always sexual.

This type of plant reproduction can occur by allogamy, which is when that fertilization occurs between two different plants by means of the wind or pollinating insects and other animals that pollinate, or by autogamy, which is when the plant itself fertilizes itself. .

Asexual reproduction in plants

Asexual reproduction, on the other hand, has its origin in a process of cell mitosis and gives rise to a new individual exactly like its parent. It occurs especially in non-vascular plants and it can occur by spores, propagules or by human hands, in the form of vegetative multiplication.

In this other Green Ecologist article we will show you more about Plants with asexual reproduction: characteristics and examples.

Image: Pinterest

Reproduction of flowering plants

The reproduction of flowering plants depends on three processes: pollination, fertilization and germination.

Flower pollination

Flower pollination is the necessary passage of pollen between different plants. This step can occur by the action of agents such as wind or water, or by pollinating living beings, which are generally insects, although sometimes it occurs by birds, such as hummingbirds, or small mammals. Flowers attract pollinating insects with their colors and scents and when they come to feed on nectar, these insects become impregnated with pollen. When they travel later to feed on other flowers, they transport the pollen there and the next phase can occur: fertilization.

Fertilization in plants

When a grain of pollen falls off the stigma of a pistil, a zygote is formed, which is nothing other than the embryo of the new plant. It is a first cell that will begin to divide and grow, protected and fed by the plant itself, which will give it a hard cover: it is created a seed.

A fruit will also grow around the seed, which will protect the seed and provide it with necessary substances and nutrients. This fruit, usually designed to attract animals and be consumed, will either end up falling to the ground, or being transported away by one of its predators, thus giving its seeds greater possibilities of propagation.

Germination of plants

Once the seed falls on fertile soil and in the right conditions, the germination phase begins, which is when the seed opens and forms roots and a sprout, that is, the new plant. The seeds are very hardy and can wait long amounts of time for conditions to germinate.

Flowering plants, depending on their reproduction, can be divided into gymnosperms and angiosperms. Here you can find more information about this classification of plant reproduction:

  • Gymnosperm plants: what are they, characteristics and examples.
  • Angiosperm plants: what are they, characteristics and examples.
Image: Educere Project in WordPress

Reproduction of non-flowering plants

Plants without flowers reproduce differently, since they do not have flowers or seeds. Ferns or mosses, for example, are plants that reproduce by spores as follows:

  1. The spores are stored on the underside of the leaves in sachets called sori, as seen in the image below. These only open when the weather is dry, letting the wind carry the tiny and very light spores.
  2. When the spore falls to the ground it receives the necessary conditions of humidity and temperature, it will germinate giving rise to a gametophyte: a small plant with both female and male sexual organs.
  3. The rainwater will transport the male cells of this gametophyte to another female and, when this fertilization occurs, a new individual of the species will emerge.

It is important to note that gametophytes are very small plants and that they are not adult specimens of their species and, furthermore, their only function is to be part of the plant's reproduction. Thus, a fern gametophyte is not a fern, but a part of the process of reproduction by spores.

Apart from this, we want to clarify that plants without flowers can be divided into bryophytes and pteridophytes. In these other articles you can learn in detail about Bryophyte Plants: examples and characteristics and Pteridophyte Plants: what they are, types and examples.

In addition, to expand this information and learn more about the life of plants, we recommend these other posts about The cycle of plants and Classes of plants. Also down here you will see a plant reproduction video.

If you want to read more articles similar to Plant reproduction, we recommend that you enter our Biology category.

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