2 Biodiversity and Radiation of a New Zealand Tree Fern (Cyathea): Species phylogeny for Cyathea?Pattern and timing of species diversification?Impact of habitat in driving morphological and ecological diversity of Cyathea in New Zealand?Differences in species radiation of Cyathea in New Zealand (an Island archipelago) and respective South Pacific Island habitats and evolutionary importance of habitat on biodiversity & radiation?Land Environments of New Zealand (LENZ)ALLAN WILSON CENTRE for Molecular Ecology and EvolutionRSNZ: HomeDevelop learning modules to develop and strengthen problem solving skills of New Zealand students, relevant and interesting to students, written from a New Zealand context & perspective.
3 Cyatheaceae A family of 500-600 species of tree ferns. Wet, montane tropical forests around the world.Unusual: High Species Diversity, yet near uniform chromosome number, n=69[Contant(1994).Fertile diploid hybrids.At least THREE different systems of classification:1. Tyron and Tyron(1982),2. Holttum and Edwards(1983)3. Lellinger*(1987).*Supported by Brownsey(2000).
4 Cyatheaceae Classification Note: Taxonomically, New Zealand species are reasonably easy to identify,Tryon and Tryon (1982)AlsophilaNepheleaCnemidariaCyatheaTrichipterisSphaeropterissubgenus Sphaeropterissubgenus SclephropterisHolttum and Edwards (1983)Cyatheasubgenus Cyatheasection Alsophilasub sect. Alsophilasub sect. Nepheleasection Cyatheasubgenus SphaeropterisLellinger (1987)AlsophilaCnemidariaCyatheaSphaeropterisData from a study of cpDNA completed by Conant(1994) shows strong support for 3 evolutionary lineages: Alsophila clade, Cyathea clade and Sphaeropteris clade, Alsophila being most basal and Cyathea and Sphaeropteris are derived sister groups. cpDNA Data are most consistent with Lellinger’s classification.
5 Classification Sori and indusial characteristics Habitat Stipe (shows geographical distribution of A. colensoi)StipeFrond Forms
6 Various Cyatheaceae Distributions c. colensoic. smithiic. cunginghamiic. medullarisc. dealbata
7 Fern Life Cycle Mature Tree Ferns Sori on under-side of Cyathea medullarisYoung Sporophyte emerging from gametophyteThe young gametophyte is a rarely seen plant (1-2 mm) that is a completely independent plant in the life cycle.Gametophyte
8 Fern Morphology (Anatomy) Each spore-case under the leaf(pinna) is called a sorus. Each sorus contains many sporangia. Each sporangium produce a varying number of spores.The spore-cases look different for various species of Fern, and can be used to identify them.This spore-case may be covered by a flap, called an indusium.The Tree-Fern fiddlehead gives rise to a new Frond (leaf). ‘The young fiddlehead and it’s stalk (stipe) are often covered with hair and/or scales.
9 Classifying Ferns (A Dichotomous Tree) To use this Key to identify Ferns, Start at the BOTTOM of the Key and follow the arrows.Go to Page (10)Go to Page (10)Does it have fronds that are divided once?Does it have fronds that are divided more than once -(NOT a tree-fern)?Does it Have simple, single/unlobed fronds (leaves)?Go to Page (10)Go to Page (13)Does it look like a tree ?Does it have see-through fronds?Go to Page (10)START HERE
10 Morphological Classification Key Start at the BOTTOMDicksonia squarrosaSlender trunk with black pegs of remaining dead fronds. (Sometimes branches)Dicksonia fibrosaVery thick and soft brown trunk.Are the Frond (leaf) stalks black?YESYESAre the Fronds in the “Skirt” whole?Cyathea dealbataUnderside of leaves silver/white.Cyathea smithii- Skirt made of frond stalks only.Very soft and pale fronds, horizontal like parasol.NOYESIs the “Skirt” Tidy?NOYESDoes it have a “Prickly” Trunk?NONOCyathea medullarisScars on trunk oval or hexagonal in shape.NOYESCyathea medullaris(Young)Very uneven skirt of black frond stalks.Thick frond stalks.Does it have a “Skirt” of dead fronds in this area?Go Back to Page 5YESNOStart HEREIs it a Tree Fern?To complete a Phylogenetic Analysis of Nucleotide Sequences,go to:The Phylogenetic Tree Constructor
11 Cyathea vs. DicksoniaCyathea dealbata vs.Dicksonia sqarrosaHeight: Up to 10mFronds: Up to 4mDistinguishing characters:White peg-like frond bases on trunkWhite stalks (stipe) and under fronds.Location:North Island, East of South IslandDry Forest or open scrubHeight: Up to 7mFronds: Up to 3mDistinguishing characters:Black peg-like frond bases on trunkBlack stalks, may have branches.Location:North Island and South Island, common in most ForestCyathea smithii… vs.Dicksonia fibrosa.Height: Up to 8mFronds: Up to 2.5mDistinguishing characters:Fronds are soft, pale, horizontal.Short skirt of dried stalks (not Frond)Location:More common in South Island at high altitudes as they like it cold and wet.Height: Up to 6mFronds: Up to 3m (HARSH)Distinguishing characters:Trunk is thick, soft and brown.Skirt of entire dead fronds.Location:North Island and South Island Forrest, semi-open scrub
12 ? Cyathea the others Cyathea medullaris (Young) Cyathea medullaris (Mature)Height: Up to 20mFronds: Up to 5mDistinguishing characters:Young ferns will often have untidy skirt of a few dead fronds.Height: Up to 20mFronds: Up to 5mDistinguishing characters:Thick Black stalks, Oval/Hexagonal scars left where fronds are lost.Location:North Island and South Island, common in most damp valley forests.Cyathea colensoiCyathea cunninghamii (Similar to C. medullaris)Height: Up to 1m (a creeping Fern, may have horizontal fronds along ground)Fronds: Up to 1.5mDistinguishing characters:Very slender, pale brown stalksLocation:North and South Island in mountain forests. Favours damp areas/treeline.Height: Up to 20mFronds: Up to 3mDistinguishing characters:Fronds are soft, pale, horizontal.Ragged skirt on young plants, rough stalks/dark brown and appressed.Location:Wet coasts (North and West).?
13 Glossary of Terms Dichotomous To branch into two. A dichotomous keys asks a question about a plant, and there are two possible answers.EndemicA plant is endemic if it exists only in one geographical region/island. The silver fern (Cyathea dealbata) grows in New Zealand and is not found anywhere else in the world, and is therefore, endemic to New Zealand.FrondsThe leaves of a Fern.GametophyteA VERY tiny, green, heart shaped plant that is produced from Fern spores in the Fern Life Cycle.The gametophyte produces egg and sperm which ‘merge’, and a new sporophyte (Fern plant) grows.Indusium (indusia, pl)In some Ferns, it protects sporangia by covering them. The indusium looks different on various Fern species.MorphologyPhysical Characteristics of a plant. What a plant looks like, and it’s form (including the internal structure).PhloemTube in a vascular plant that carries nutrients.RhizomeThe trunk of the Tree-Fern. (Found along the ground in the Creeping Tree-Fern)SpeciesAn individual group of plants that has been ‘produced’ from parents of the same species. If all the plants in a species die, it cannot be reproduced by any means, and is therefore extinct.Sorus (Sori, pl)A group of sporangia found under the leaves of a fern, sometimes covered by an indusium.Sporangium (sporangia, pl)The part of a Fern plant under the leaves that produce and hold spores before they are released.SporeFern ‘seeds’. Spores are produced under the leaves (pinnae) and dropped when they are mature. If they land in a favorable location, they become a gametophyte (see Fern Life Cycle), which produces egg and sperm.SporophyteThe Fern Plant we see. In a Fern Life Cycle it produces the spores.StipeThe ‘stalk’ of a Fern that connects the trunk (rhizome) to the leaf(frond). See Fern Morphology (Anatomy)Vascular plantAny plant that makes use of tubes to transport water, nutrients or other materials through the plant.XylemTube in a vascular plant that carries water.
14 Exit Thank you for using New Zealand Ferns, and I would like to thank: 1. Royal Society of New Zealand.2. Allan Wilson Centre, Massey University.3. Associate Professor Peter Lockhart,Recourses:“New Zealand Ferns and Allied Plants”, Patrick J. Brownsey and John C. Smith Dodsworth, David Bateman, pp83-89.“Native Trees of New Zealand 2”, J.T. Salmon, Reed Publishing NZ Ltd., 2003.“Which Native Tree", Andrew Crowe, Penguin Books NZ Ltd., 2001.“New Zealand Trees – Ferns”, Alina Arkins, Reed Publishing NZ Ltd., 2003.Click to Exit or click <A New Zealand Tree Fern> to return to beginning.
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