The two primary fern adaptations are the development of rhizomes and compounded leaves. While rhizomes develop horizontally beneath the soil and allow for new plant development, the compounded leaves grow rapidly and take up more space.
Rhizomes, which are also known as stems, grow horizontally from the fern beneath the ground. When they begin to rise above the ground again, they produce more fronds. Inside the rhizomes there are vascular systems that allow for quick water uptake and mineral transportation, which in turn assists with growth. While some rhizomes are hard, others are soft. Although ferns sometimes reproduce using spores, rhizomes also aid reproduction following harsh winters that cause the fronds to die.
Compounded leaves allow ferns to achieve greater surface area. When they have more leaves, ferns are capable of holding more chloroplasts and photosynthesis becomes more effective. As the fern gets closer to its light source, it grows bigger, which then allows it to enter into a cycle of expanding while generating the ability to flourish.
Overall, the fern's ability to increase in mass gives it an advantage over surrounding plants. These adaptations allow it to thrive. While bracken ferns can help a lot of plants to grow, they cause others to die.