The evolution of plants has resulted in a wide range of complexity from the earliest algal mats through multicellular marine and freshwater green algae terrestrial bryophytes lycopods and ferns to the complex gymnosperms and angiosperms of today while many of the earliest groups continue to thrive as exemplified by red and green algae in marine environments more recently derived groups . In all plants the zygote develops into an embryo while attached to and nourished by the parent plant plants are embryophytes with multicellular dependent embryos from algae to moss to seedless vascular plants to seed bearing plants to finally flowering plants the first group of plants that made it on land are best known as bryophytes. The history and evolution of plants can be traced back by about one billion years algae were the first organisms to harness solar energy with the help of chloroplasts. The evolution of plants second edition kathy willis and jennifer mcelwain the most accessible and contemporary book on plant evolution available brings together information from the plant fossil record with genotypic data from biomolecular studies to explore biological evolution in a coherent unified way
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