11 Key Difference between Vascular and Non-Vascular Plants

What is the difference between vascular and non-vascular plants?

Classification of living things gives rise to five main kingdoms and Plantae kingdom is one of them. The kingdom Plantae is further subdivided into vascular and non-vascular plants. These two classifications tend to toss the mind of many students when revising for exams.

The lesson discussion provides a detailed insight into the difference between avascular and non-vascular plants with examples. Besides that, we have highlighted some similarities between vascular and non-vascular plants.

Difference between Vascular and Non-Vascular Plants

What Are Vascular Plants?

Vascular plants are green plants with specialized tissues for transporting nutrients, water, and mineral ions. These plants are also known as tracheophytes for easy classification and organization.

Xylem and phloem are the specialized tissues found in vascular plants. Xylem tissue is responsible for the transportation of water and mineral ions from the roots to other parts of the plant. Phloem tissue is used for translocation of food from the leaves to other parts of the plant.

What Are Non-Vascular Plants?

Non-vascular plants are lower plants that tend to be short in height and they do not have specialized tissues for transportation of water and nutrients. This implies that these plants do not have a true stem, root system, and leaves.

These plants are also known as bryophytes. The common examples of these plants are liverworts, mosses, green algae, and hornwort. These plants grow in shady, moist and wet environments.

Comparison Chart: Vascular Plants Vs Non-Vascular Plants

Basic TermsVascular PlantsNon-Vascular Plants
MeaningThese are green plants with specialized transport systems such as xylem and phloem.These are plants with under developing the transport system
NatureHigher plantsLower Plants
Xylem and PhloemPresentAbsent
Grown onLand, deserts and other placesSwampy, shady, moist and humid areas
RootsHave proper roots for ground supportHave false root system in the form of rhizoids
LeavesWell-developed leavesDo not have true leaves
ReproductionThrough seedsThrough spores
SizeLargerSmaller
AbsorptionUse of roots to absorb water and minerals in the soilAbsorb water through osmosis and diffusion
ExamplesFern, conifers, pines, wheatLiverwort, Mosses, Hornwort

Core Difference between Vascular and Non-Vascular Plants

  1. Vascular plants are termed as higher plants while non-vascular as lower plants
  2. Vascular plants have a well-developed root system while non-vascular have rhizoids
  3. Vascular plants have true leaves while non-vascular have false leaves
  4. Vascular plants grow on land, desert and other places whereas non-vascular plants grow on humid, moist and shady areas
  5. Vascular plants are larger in size while non-vascular plants are smaller in size
  6. Vascular plants use the developed root system to absorb water and minerals in the soil while non-vascular plants depend on osmosis and diffusion
  7. Vascular plants reproduce through seeds while non-vascular plants through spores
  8. Vascular plant have xylem and phloem tissues while non-vascular plants do not have specialized tissues
  9. Vascular plants have true stems and shoot system unlike non-vascular plants
  10. The alternation of generation in vascular plants is sporophyte while in non-vascular plants is the gametophyte
  11. The scientific name of vascular plants is Tracheophytes while that of non-vascular plants is Bryophytes.

Read More: Difference between Evergreen and Deciduous Forests

Similarities between Vascular and Non-vascular Plants

  1. Both belong to kingdom Plantae
  2. Both contain chlorophyll and chloroplast
  3. Both require water to grow
  4. Both undergo photosynthesis and provide oxygen
  5. Both have waxy cuticles
  6. Both show alternation of generation

Comparison Video

Summary

The core difference between vascular and non-vascular plants is that vascular plants have xylem and phloem tissues for the transport of water and nutrients whereas non-vascular plants do not have a specialized transport system.

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