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Focal Taxon

My focal taxon are ferns. During this field course, I've been looking at an enourmous diversity of ferns in all the locations that we've been. Ferns are actually very interesting. They might look the same, but they are acctualy different species. Most ferns don't have a vernacular name, all of them are referred to a single name, ferns, which are different from other types of plants that have their own vernacular name.

Ferns belong to the phylum Pteridophyta, or also known as Filicophyta. The term pteridophyte traditionally describes all seeedless vascular plants, including ferns and fern allies. Ferns differs from more primitive lycophytes by having megaphylls or true leaves, and it differs fromm seed plants because ferns don't have seeds and flowers. The life cycle of ferns is reffered to as alteration of generations, characterized by a diploid sporophytic and a haploid gametophytic phase. In ferns, the dominant plant is the sporophyte with ther gametophyte short-lived.

Ferns are very easy to spot because they are very abundant. They can grow in every possible habitat. Other that their abundance, ferns have two very obvious features; the large, typically pinnate leaves, or fronds and the circinate vernation, the term used to describe the protective coiling of young fern leaves into a spiral.

These are the ferns that i found during the trip. Identification was done by refering the plant to several guidebooks and internet sources. All the individuals found are photographed, recorded and then analyzed. The possible relationship between the individuals are displayed in the figure below.

SP1 = Asplenium nidus

SP2 = Blechnum spp.

SP3 = Sphaeropteris glauca

SP4 = Dennstaedtia spp.

SP5 = Morphospecies 1

SP6 = Dipteris conjugata

SP7 = Dipteris novoguineensis

SP8 = Morphospecies 2

SP9 = Morphospecies 3

SP10 = Cheiropleuria bicuspis

SP11 = Alsophila ramispina

SP12 = Morphospecies 4

SP13 = Blechnum Sp.nov

SP14 = Belvisia spicata

SP15 = Selliguea taeniata

SP16 = Morphospecies 5

SP17 = Dipteris lobbiana

SP18 = Gleichnia spp.

BOB no. 9, edna