Economic importance of pteridophytes:
1. As food:
Similar to other plants, pteridophytes also constitute a good source of food for animals. The sporocarp of Marsilea, a water fern, is used as food by some people.
2. As medicines:
The rhizome and petioles of Dryopteris yield is used as a vermifuge drug.
3. In nitrogen fixation:
Azolla (a water fern) forms a symbiotic association with cyanobacterium and helps in the fixation of bacteria.
4. As ornamentals:
The ferns are used as ornamental plants (mainly their leaves).
5. In soil binding:
Through their growth, pteridophytes bind soil even along hill slopes, thereby preventing soil erosion.
Difference between bryophytes and pteridophytes:
|The plant body is a thalloid as it cannot be differentiated into root, stem and leaf.||The plant body can be differentiated into root, stem and leaf.|
|These plants live in both plant and water. hence, they are known as amphibians of the plant kingdom.||The pteridophytes are true land plants.|
|The vascular tissues such as xylem and phloem are absent in these plants.||The vascular tissues such as xylem and phloem are present in these plants.|
|The gametophytic phase is dominant in these plants.||The sporophytic phase is dominant in these plants.|
|The sporophytic phase of these plants is completely dependent on the gametophytic generations.||In these plants, the gametophytic generation is independent.|
|Example: Riccia, Funaria and anthoceros.||Example: Selaginella, Psilotum and Lycopodium|