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This study was carried out in the Gori Valley catchment of Uttarakhand, Western Himalaya, to document more fully the distribution and ecology of ferns and lycophytes at a montane site divided into 7 elevation sampling zones from 1,800–4,000 m (subtemperate to alpine) across a distance of approximately 30 km. A total of 16 families, 33 genera, and 92 species were found. Species richness, total species density ha–1, diversity, and Pielou's species evenness per elevation zone (m) were calculated for each zone. The data were used to evaluate three hypotheses addressing changes in density and species distribution in relation to the biogeographic and climatic conditions across the seven elevation sampling zones. Total density of ferns and lycophytes tended to decrease from Zone 1 toward Zone 7; although Zones 1-3 (sub-temperate) had clearly higher mean densities than those in Zones 5-7 (alpine). The highest density was found in Zone 1 (Lilam 1,800 m) and lowest density was found in Zone 6 (Burfu 3,450 m). After finding a significant difference among all mean densities for each elevation zone (p < 0.001), using a non-parametric Welch's ANOVA, a Games-Howell test for pairwise comparisons of the means showed that each of the mean densities for species in Zones 1 to 3 was significantly different from each of the species densities in Zones 5 to 7 (p < 0.05). The mean densities for Zone 4 were not significantly different from any of the other zonal mean densities (i.e., 1–3 and 5–7), suggesting that Zone 4 is a transitional zone between two end member Zones (1–3 and 5–7).
The Platycerium plants circulating amongst hobbyists and growers under the common name Platycerium ‘Mount Lewis' is the same plant as the cultivar known as Platycerium ‘Venose Frond’, or, as it was later called, Platycerium willinckii var. venosum. This plant also shares the trait of raised major veins with P. bifurcatum var. lanciferum, described in 1915. Morphological and molecular comparisons of this plant were made with members of the P. bifurcatum complex, particularly with P. bifurcatum and P. willinckii, to determine its true identity. We conclude that Platycerium ‘Mount Lewis’ is a variant of P. bifurcatum.
Two new species of Doryopteris from Brazil are described and illustrated: Doryopteris spiritu-sanctensis, a monomorphic species endemic to low and middle elevation coastal forests in Espírito Santo, and Doryopteris alata, a small dimorphic species endemic to high elevation, rocky fields within the savannas (cerrados) of Goiás.
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