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Are Gymnosperms not as poor resprouters as it was once thought!?

I need to work on an extended essay which is a thesis-like work for school, I decided to make it about gymnosperms and how incredibly lame they are, but while I was looking for information I stumbled across a review stating that gymnosperms are not that bad at resprouting, considering that it takes 2 years for a gymnosperm seed to develop, this was information I was not expecting!

Some basic terminology to understand this blog/summary I did ->

Angiosperm = Angio means vessel or in other words, covered/encapsulated, while sperm means seed, covered seed = fruit and flowers, angiosperms are any type of plant that can develop these.

Gymnosperm = Gymno meaning naked, uncovered, gymnosperms are naked seeds, this is self-explanatory, plants that don't develop any type of flowers or seeds. 

Conifers = pinecones, basically

Resprout = being able to produce seeds again

If u have any questions just ask me!!!

This review explains that even though gymnosperms are known for being poor resprouters compared to angiosperms, they have found evidence that there`s an exception since five out of six non-coniferous gymnosperm genera and twenty-four out of eighty conifer genera had at least one species with a well-developed resprouting capability, thanks to taxonomic categories, all conifer families excluding Sciadopityaceae had resprouting genera, but larger genera like Juniperus, Pinus, and Podocarpus there was a mix of both resprouting and non-resprouting with as expected being non-resprouting the most common. This means even though gymnosperms are indeed able to resprout it varies a lot, from families to genera to related species.


There is also evidence that gymnosperms have regeneration abilities because of their usage of lignotubers, tubers, burls, and underground stems, this adds up to the idea of gymnosperms actually being able to resprout.


Even though this is an interesting discovery, gymnosperms are also found to be physically and anatomically limited to resprout as mature plants, since a wide range of conifer species are not able to develop pical domes, leaf primordia, or vascular connections to help them resprout adding to this they also tend to develop “blank” leaf axis that also influences in mature gymnosperm’s resprouting.


Asides from their limits, there is fossil evidence of gymnosperms more specifically conifers presented in the past signs of epicormic resprouting and vegetative reproduction, looks like in general, conifers have a wide history of resprouting capabilities. Gymnosperms have a long history of clonal growth through root shoots as well as responding to damage through epicormic shoots. Modern conifers resprout after they are disturbed, this is thought to be originated in early conifer evolution for the constant pressure of constant fires during the Paleozoic era.


The percentage of gymnosperm resprouting is much lower compared to angiosperms, which have far more success at resprouting than gymnosperms; but knowing conifers have a high chance of developing an empty leaf axil and this limits their abilities to lower chances of resprouting; molecular and fossil evidence are able to clarify they overcame this limit since prehistoric times to the world we know today, this is new information and definitely unexpected, as I mentioned in the beginning, this recent discovery beats the generalization that “All gymnosperms are poor resprouters” and changing it to depending on the family and genera resprouting is possible, most likely to happen to conifer genera.

I was surprised to know this since I always thought gymnosperms were poor overall, considering there are 1000 gymnosperm species and 250,000 species of angiosperm is clear there's an advantage to having flowers and fruit, but I appreciate gymnosperm's effort to continue thriving!

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Fabian Dee

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Interesting read. I was always a fan of gymnosperms!

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harley ༘⋆

harley ༘⋆'s profile picture

(Gymnosperms are such things as pinecones and etcetera)?

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