The Fern Gazette Volume 19 Part 7

Published 2nd April 2014

Edited by M. Gibby & A. Leonard


Biogeography of the Brazilian Atlantic forest: evidence from phylogenetic data sets and perspectives for fern and lycophyte studies
J. Prado & R.Y. Hirai pg(s) 241-257
Several biogeographic studies on plants and animals have focused on the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, a “hotspot” area for conservation. The majority of these investigations are on animals, and the most recent studies are based on molecular data (phylogeography). Geography of ferns and lycophytes has been a subject of study for a long time and the major papers involving plants from the Neotropics have been based on floristic surveys and taxonomic revisions. These revisions became more numerous about five decades ago. From the floristic surveys, the most important information is presence or absence of taxa in one area; from taxonomic revisions and other kinds of data, like elevational range, substrate preference, and dispersal capacity, additional clues can be found. New data sets from molecular studies, that have suggested hypotheses about fern and lycophyte evolution, have recently become available, but until now they remain largely underutilized. There is an enormous gap in the literature in using these new data to postulate evolution, radiation, and speciation in these groups of plants in South America. Here we present and discuss some of the recent molecular data for fern groups like Lomariopsis, Pellaea viridis, and Megalastrum. They corroborate the primary and secondary centres of diversity and endemism for ferns in tropical America as outlined by Tryon, and indicate that the Brazilian Atlantic Forest (coastal Brazil) and the Andes (from Venezuela to southern Bolivia) are special areas for evolution and speciation for ferns. Additionally, recent data show that the Brazilian Atlantic Forest has 834 species of ferns and lycophytes, of which 321 (approx. 38.5%) are endemics. An integrated evaluation from a phylogeographic perspective remains unexplored.

A short biography of the authors pg(s)258


Asplenium auritum Sw. sensu lato (Aspleniaceae: Pteridophyta) – an overlooked Neotropical fern native to the Azores
F.J. Rumsey, H. Schaefer & M. Carine pg(s) 259-271
Asplenium auritum Sw. sensu lato (Eared Spleenwort) is recorded for the Azores and the Macaronesian region for the first time. Misidentified herbarium specimens indicate it to have first been collected on Flores by Drouet in 1857, strongly supporting a native status. A member of a critical species complex of sexual and apogamous lineages of various ploidy levels and widely distributed in Central and Southern America, the Caribbean, Madagascar and eastern Southern Africa, we consider this represents another example of a neotropical element naturally present in the Azorean flora. The taxonomy of this group is far from resolved. It is still unclear whether the Azorean material can be definitely identified with an existing named entity in this group or may be unique and endemic; further molecular work is needed to resolve this issue. Currently fewer than 50 individuals are known from one small area where it is highly vulnerable to both development and collection; we therefore suggest an IUCN category of Critically Endangered – CR (B1,2 a &b, D).

Some name changes in the Pteridaceae of Macaronesia and Europe – with validation of hybrid names in the genus Allosorus Bernh.
F.J. Rumsey pg(s) 275-279
Molecular studies have confirmed the polyphyletic nature of the genus Cheilanthes Sw. The Macaronesian-Mediterranean taxa form a clade, with Asiatic taxa, distinct from that containing the type C. micropteris Sw. and are best recognised as a separate genus for which the earliest available name is Allosorus Bernh. The novel species combinations have already been made; those for the nine naturally occurring hybrids currently known between them are validated here.


Dr Jacobus P. Roux
M. Gibby pg(s) 272-274

The website of the British Pteridological Society