Higher spore plants, which includeplunders are living fossils that appeared about 400 million years ago. Then they were massive plants with a height of over 30 m and formed dense forests. Now they are perennial herbaceous plants, most of which are included in the Red Book of Russian regions. Species and reproduction of the mocks are interesting,non-standard topic, still attracting biologists from many countries. The Latin name of the plant "lycopodium" is translated as "wolf's foot", which resembles the location and appearance of the leaves.
The plunas of the photo relate to evergreens withcreeping or erect stems. Shoots grow on the ground and underground, having the appearance of a rhizome, and can also wrap around trees hanging from the trunks. The height of vertically growing shoots reaches 1–1.5 m, lying shoots - 10 m. At the tops of shoots are kidney-shaped sporangia - organs for the maturation of spores.
Leaves are dark green, sharp, small, variousthe shapes and sizes of even one plant. Plants have active vascular tissue, due to which the roots, absorbing water, then supply it to the whole body. Horsetails, also related to higher spore plants, have a similar internal structure. Horsetails and crowns breed spores, live on earth for many millions of years. Their difference is the absence of leaves in horsetails and the different arrangement of spores.
Growth and reproduction
Plown (e.g., marsh, spiky,oblate, club-shaped and a number of others) grows by shoots crawling on the ground. Gradually, the parent part of the plant dies, and the new one is strengthened by emerging roots. At the same time, the branches occupy a vertical position, on the tops of some of them, as noted, spore-bearing organs appear that are similar in appearance to the kidneys.
Some laps (club-shaped, flooded,oblate) can grow not only forward, but also form spiral rings, which since ancient times have been called "witch circles". When the inner rings die off, a large circle of the young plant remains.
Propagation of the plunders occurs in two ways: spores and vegetatively, that is, in different parts (shoots, roots). The first method is not reliable, since it depends on many natural conditions that contribute to the germination of spores. The main method of propagation of plunas is vegetative, as more stable.
The life cycle of the pluno occurs as follows.way. Mature spores spread, fall into the ground, after which there is a sexual formation - a seedling or gametophyte with eggs and motile spermatozoa. Fertilization occurs by the fusion of one of the sperm with the egg using a drop of dew or rain.
The resulting cell (zygote) is capable of birthnew organisms. So there is a sporophyte belonging to the asexual generation. After several decades, under favorable circumstances, sporangia for spore maturation will appear on the sporophyte, then the cycle will repeat.
The most diverse plant species are found in the tropics, located on the trunks and branches of trees and shrubs. On moist soil of coniferous and mixed forests of the temperate zone, creeping grouse grow.
In Russia, they grow in swamps, wet sands, choosing bright and shaded places. In the far North, the plunders settle on rocks, clusters of stones at the foot of hills and mountains.
Many types of pluns, which includeclub-shaped, sheepskin, juniper, oblate, annual, dark, three-spike plunders are listed in the Red Book. In total, there are about 200 species of this plant.
The name of the species comes from a form of sporangia, similar to a mace. This is especially pronounced in winter and spring.
The clown club-shaped has a long thin stalk,creeping on the ground with a length of 1–4 m. From it shoots grow no more than 25 cm in height. Gradually, the old shoots die off and there is a feeling that the plant is moving.
In sunny areas, spores have been ripening since July,in the shade, this process can last until September. Under suitable conditions, falling spores germinate in 12–20 years, forming a seedling that dies when roots and shoots appear. After 20-30 years, the plant becomes an adult. It occurs in coniferous, mixed forests on sandy soils, adjacent to mosses.
Grows vertically, stems reach 6–25 cm,the lower part is made up of bushy, somewhat twisted twigs. The leaves are pointed, curved in the upper part. Leaves with spores are larger, slightly serrated, ovate.
It is found in the coniferous mossy forests of Siberia, the Far East, North America.
It consists of stems lying on the ground andupright shoots 10–20 cm tall with densely spaced horizontal branches with a flattened appearance. The leaves look like scales, sitting on a stem in 4 rows. On a long stalk there are 2–6 spore-bearing spikelets. When the plant reaches 20 years of age, it is capable of forming spores that ripen in June - July.
It grows mainly on the sandy soil of pine forests covered with moss and lichen, on dried swamps.
It is a long creeping plant withwith direct growing branches of 10–20 cm. Leaves are pointed at the ends, hard, bright green in color. Spore-bearing spikelets are located one on the shortened legs, appearing for the first time in a 6–7-year-old plant. At the same time, shoots with spikelets stop growing, subsequently dying.
Spore maturation occurs in July - August. The process takes several years, after which a seedling is formed, giving life to a new organism in 12-15 years.
The annual plaun grows in spruce and pine forests next to blueberries.
The stem of this plant is located on the ground,from it dark green bushes of slightly curved shoots rise up to a height of no more than 20 cm. The leaves grow in rows, are stiff to the touch, narrow in shape, 1 mm wide, slightly serrated. Over the year, the ram ram grows by 1–4 cm. Microscopic sporangia are found in the axils of the leaves. After spore germination, it will take more than 20 years for the plant to become an adult.
In addition to spores ripening in June, reproductionThis species occurs with the help of apical bulbs that grow on shoots. It is found in moist pine forests, birch groves with moist soil, taiga, tundra, and sometimes in forest-steppe zones.
The main causes of rarity
The main factors of the small number of pluns can be called:
slow formation of spores;
felling of old forests, shrubs;
trampling and destroying of the herds by herds of domestic animals;
mass preparations of a plant as medicine, wreaths, garlands;
grassroots fires burning the ground.
Listing of plunas in the Red Book enables the state to take measures to preserve this rare plant.
The properties of the plugs are used by medicine, cosmetology, various types of industry.
Disputes are procured from August to September, whenspore-bearing spikelets become yellowish. Spikelets are harvested in wet weather or early in the morning during the dew, carefully cutting them and folding them into dense fabric bags or hermetically sealed dishes.
Then it is necessary to dry in the open air and separate the spores from the spikelets using a fine sieve.
In pharmacology, the plunae, or rather, their spores,used in the preparation of powders for children, the treatment of pressure sores, and also as a convenient means for storing pills. A good effect is given by spores with burns, frostbite, eczema, boils.
Shoots are used to induce vomiting, treat constipation, alcoholism, smoking, baldness, and diseases of the urinary system, liver, respiratory system, stomach, rectum, joints.
Some species contain poison, so treatment with drugs from this plant must be carried out under the supervision of specialists.
The value of the plunges is also evaluated to obtainblue, green and yellow colors, which are used for dyeing textile raw materials. In foundry technology, plague spores help ensure a smooth surface.
The plunders who lived many millions of years agoleft their mark in the form of rich deposits of coal, which is actively used in energy, chemistry, medicine. The peculiarity of the structure of the plunas ensures the maintenance of water balance in the soil, which is very important for maintaining the life of the flora and underground fauna.
Being ancient, slowly growing species, plunders need human help to participate in the harmonious development of the living world on the planet and not get lost in the records of the red book forever.