In Characeae no fewer than four methods of vegetative reproduction have been described, and the facility with which buds and branches are in these cases detached has been adduced as an evidence of affinity with Bryophyta, which, as a class, are distinguished by their ready resort to vegetative reproduction.
Among the lower classes of plants we have scarcely any knowledge of Palaeozoic Bryophyta; Fungi were probably abundant, but their remains give us little information; while, even among the Algae, which are better represented, well characterized specimens are scanty.
The important class of the Bryophyta, which, on theoretical grounds, is commonly regarded as more primitive than the.
It may be regarded as derived from a wholly dependent sporogonium not unlike that of some of the simpler Bryophyta; the latter are assumed to have arisen from primitive Algal forms, in which, as the first step in the interpolation of the second generation in the life cycle, the fertilized ovum gave rise to a group of swarm spores, each of which developed into a new sexual plant.
Oedogonium, Coleochaete), the Bryophyta, and the simpler Pteridophyta, such as Phylloglossum, have been regarded as illustrating the method of progression, though there is no reason to regard the existing forms as constituting an actual series.