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Discrimination of families of ferns & lower vascular plants

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What characteristics are used to discriminate among the families of ferns and lower vascular plants?
For example, what characteristics might be used in construction of a key to these families?

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This solutions deals with the characteristics that are used to discriminate among the families of ferns and lower vascular plants.

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The vascular plants which disperse spores, and do not produce seeds are called the seedless vascular plants or lower vascular plants.

Lower vascular plants are represented by 4 divisions: Psilophyta (whisk ferns), Lycophyta (Club mosses), Sphenophyta (scouring rushes), and the Pteridophya (ferns). Since reproduction of ferns is executed by spores instead of seeds, they are considered lower ...

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