the mating of spores

Paul Andrew Burns paulburns at
Sun Feb 15 02:34:09 EST 1998

Bob Weber <bobweber at> wrote:

>Can someone give me a "simple" answer to how male and female spores of
>ferns, etc. find each other and mate?  Can I get an e-mail answer?
Male and Female spores don't get together and "mate". The spore is
released into the wind and dispersed. It lands and grows into a
gametophyte, a small heart-shaped tissue with 'male' and 'female'
tissues. Here 'n' gametes are formed. The male gamete swims to the
female site and fuses to form a '2n' zygote. The zygote sprouts to
form the traditional fern. The gametophyte stage is hard to find. Try
looking under leaf litter in a stand of ferns. This swimming of the
male gamete is the main reason ferns are found in moist areas.

paulburns at

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