Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 3
  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: August 2012

12 - Dispersal limitation or habitat quality – what shapes the distribution ranges of ferns?

from Part IV - Pluricellular eukaryotes

Summary

Introduction

Ferns are the second largest vascular plant group on earth with more than 9000 living species currently placed in four classes: (1) whisk ferns – Psilotopsida, c. 92 species, (2) horsetails – Equisetopsida, c. 15 species, (3) marattioid ferns – Marattiopsida, c. 150 species, and (4) leptosporangiate ferns – Polypodiopsida, c. 9000 species (Smith et al., 2006). Their origin dates back to the Late Devonian or early Carboniferous more than 350 million years ago (Pryer et al., 2004). They reproduce by haploid spores, which grow into a free-living gametophyte, usually a photosynthetic prothallus with microscopic male and female organs. The male sexual organs, the anteridia, release mobile sperms that swim to the female sexual organs, the archegonia (often on the same prothallus), and fertilise an egg that remains attached to the prothallus. The resulting zygotes divide by mitoses and grow into the diploid sporophytes, usually with characteristic rhizome and fronds (Lloyd, 1974). Most of the ferns are perennial hemicryptophytes (less commonly tree ferns, rarely annuals) that produce up to millions of tiny, long-lived, mostly wind-dispersed spores every year (Smith et al., 2006). The notable exceptions are some genera of Polypodiaceae (e.g. Grammitis, Jungermannia), which produce relatively few, chlorophyllous spores per frond that live only days or weeks (Schaefer, 2001a) and some water- or bird-dispersed heterosporous ferns (Marsileaceae, Salviniaceae).

References
Baas Becking, L.G.M. (1934). Geobiologie of inleiding tot de milieukunde. The Hague: Van Stockum and Zoon.
Barrington, D.S. (1993). Ecological and historical factors in fern biogeography. Journal of Biogeography 20, 275–280.
Birks, H.J.B. (1976). The distribution of European Pteridophytes: a numerical analysis. New Phytologist 77, 257–287.
Carine, M.A., Schaefer, H. (2010). The Azores diversity enigma: why are there so few Azorean endemic flowering plants and why are they so widespread?Journal of Biogeography 37, 77–89.
Dassler, C.L., Farrar, D.R. (2001). Significance of gametophyte form in long-distance colonization by tropical, epiphytic ferns. Brittonia 53, 352–369.
Flinn, K.M. (2006). Reproductive biology of three fern species may contribute to differential colonization success in post-agricultural forests. American Journal of Botany 93, 1289–1294.
Geiger, J.M.O., Ranker, T.A., Ramp Neale, J.M., Klimas, S.T. (2007). Molecular biogeography and origins of the Hawaiian fern flora. Brittonia 59, 142–158.
Gradstein, R., Zanten, B. (1999). High altitude dispersal of spores: an experimental approach. XVI International Botanical Congress, St. Louis. Abstract 15.4.3.
Guo, Q., Kato, M., Ricklefs, R.E. (2003). Life history, diversity and distribution: a study of Japanese pteridophytes. Ecography 26, 129–138.
Haufler, C.H. (2007). Genetics, phylogenetics and biogeography: considering how shifting paradigms and continents influence fern diversity. Brittonia 59, 108–114.
Janssen, T., Kreier, H.-P., Schneider, H. (2007). Origin and diversification of African ferns with special emphasis on Polypodiaceae. Brittonia 59, 159–181.
Kato, M. (1993). Biogeography of ferns: dispersal and vicariance. Journal of Biogeography 20, 265–274.
Little, D., Barrington, D.S. (2003). Major evolutionary events in the origin and diversification of the fern genus Polystichum (Dryopteridaceae). American Journal of Botany 90, 508–514.
Lloyd, R.M. (1974). Reproductive biology and evolution in the pteridophyta. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 61, 318–331.
Lloyd, R.M., Klekowski, E.J. (1970). Spore germination and viability in Pteridophyta: evolutionary significance of chlorophyllous spores. Biotropica 2, 129–137.
Pryer, K.M., Schuettpelz, E., Wolf, P.G. et al. (2004). Phylogeny and evolution of ferns (monilophytes) with a focus on the early leptosporangiate divergences. American Journal of Botany 91, 1582–1598.
Rumsey, F., Russel, S., Schaefer, H., Rasbach, H. (2004). Distribution, ecology and cytology of Asplenium azoricum Lovis, Rasbach and Reichstein (Aspleniaceae, Pteridophyta) and its hybrids. American Fern Journal 94, 113–125.
Schaefer, H. (2001a). The Grammitidaceae, Pteridophyta, of Macaronesia. Feddes Repertorium 112, 509–523.
Schaefer, H. (2001b). Distribution and status of the pteridophytes of Faial island, Azores (Portugal). Fern Gazette 16, 213–237.
Schaefer, H. (2003). Chorology and diversity of the Azorean Flora. Dissertationes Botanicae 374. J. Cramer, Stuttgart, 130 pp. + CD rom (580 pp.).
Schneider, H., Schuettpelz, E., Pryer, K.M. et al. (2004). Ferns diversified in the shadow of angiosperms. Nature 428, 553–557.
Schneller, J.J. (1988). Remarks on reproductive biology of homosporous ferns. Plant Systematics and Evolution 161, 91–94.
Schneller, J.J., Haufler, C.H., Ranker, T.A. (1990). Antheridiogen and natural gametophyte populations. American Fern Journal 80, 143–152.
Schuettpelz, E., Pryer, K.M. (2009). Evidence for a Cenozoic radiation of ferns in an angiosperm-dominated canopy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 106, 27.
Skog, J.E. (2001). Biogeography of Mesozoic leptosporangiate ferns related to extant ferns. Brittonia 53, 236–269.
Smith, A.R. (1972). Comparison of fern and flowering plant distributions with some evolutionary interpretations for ferns. Biotropica 4, 4–9.
Smith, A.R., Pryer, K.M., Schuettpelz, E. et al. (2006). A classification for extant ferns. Taxon 55, 705–731.
Trewick, S.A., Morgan-Richards, M., Russell, S.J. et al. (2002). Polyploidy, phylogeography and Pleistocene refugia of the rockfern Asplenium ceterach: evidence from chloroplast DNA. Molecular Ecology 11, 2003–2012.
Tryon, R. (1970). Development and evolution of fern floras of Oceanic islands. Biotropica 2, 76–84.
Tryon, R. (1972). Endemic areas and geographic speciation in tropical American ferns. Biotropica 4, 121–131.
Tryon, R. (1985). Fern speciation and biogeography. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 86B, 353–360.
Vanderpoorten, A., Rumsey, F., Carine, M.A. (2007). Does Macaronesia exist? Conflicting signal in the bryophyte and pteridophyte floras. American Journal of Botany 94, 625–639.
Vitalis, R., Riba, M., Colas, B., Grillas, P., Olivieri, I. (2002). Multilocus genetic structure at contrasted spatial scales of the endangered water fern Marsilea strigosa Willd. (Marsileaceae, Pteridophyta). American Journal of Botany 89, 1142–1155.
Vogel, J.C., Rumsey, F.J., Russell, S.J. et al. (1999). Genetic structure, reproductive biology and ecology in isolated populations of Asplenium ciskii (Aspeniaceae, Pteridophyta). Heredity 83, 604–612.
Wild, M., Gagnon, D. (2005). Does lack of available suitable habitat explain the patchy distributions of rare calcicole fern species?Ecography 28, 191–196.
Wilson, K.A. (1996). Alien ferns in Hawai'i. Pacific Science 50, 127–141.
Wolf, P.G., Schneider, H., Ranker, T.A. (2001). Geographic distributions of homosporous ferns: does dispersal obscure evidence of vicariance?Journal of Biogeography 28, 263–270.