A tendency of the gametophyte evolution in plants has been towards the formation of gametes that are independent from water. In bryophytes and in pteridophytes the fecundation is totally dependent on water. In phanerogamic plants such dependency does not exist.
Another tendency is the reduction in the size and duration of the gametophyte. In bryophytes the gametophyte is indeed the lasting stage. In pteridophytes, gymnosperms and angiosperms it became the temporary stage and its relative size was successively reduced. A third evolutionary trend relates to the interdependency between gametophytes and sporophytes. In bryophytes the sporophyte is entirely dependent on the gametophyte to survive. In the remaining plants the sporophyte is the independent stage and the once autotrophic gametophyte in bryophytes and pteridophytes became dependent upon the sporophyte in the phanerogamic plants.