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Leaves of the giant leather-fern, Acrostichum danaeifolium, were infested by larvae of an unknown species of moth (microlepidoptera) at a mangrove site on the Gulf of Mexico. During a nine-month observation period these moths infested 87% of the ferns and 41% of their leaves. The damage caused by the moth larvae consisted of galleries bored into the petioles and rachis; however, this did not affect maximum leaf size. The galleries form a microhabitat that later can be colonized by ants. Among ten ant species found, two introduced tramp species, Tapinoma sessile and Wasmannia auropunctata were the most common ones. Because it does not produce domatia or extrafloral nectaries to attract ants directly, the giant leather-fern becomes an involuntary myrmecophyte by harboring ants in the moth-constructed galleries.
Cheilanthes feei is a xerophytic fern that is broadly distributed throughout the United States west of the Mississippi. Although it has a broad distribution, it occupies a very narrow niche. In southeast Missouri, C. feei inhabits crevices of limestone bluffs, in full sun, approximately 0.5–1.0 m from the top of the bluffs. The physiological basis for the fern's restriction to this xeric environment is unclear. In this study, C. feei spores were subjected to a broad range of temperatures, pH, and light intensities, to varied light qualities, and to different moisture levels. Results indicate that C. feei spores can germinate under a wide variety of conditions. However, data suggest that spore germination optima and optimal conditions for protonemal growth overlap narrowly. The disparity in optimum conditions may be a partial basis for the broad distribution and narrow niche of C. feei.
In the presence of light, the germination rates of spores of Nephrolepis exaltata, Phlebodium aureum and Cibotium glaucum on three different soils were similar to those on water or water agar. All the soils tested promoted elongation of rhizoids of N. exaltata and stimulated growth of protonemata of C. glaucum. Spores of the fungus Botryodiplodia theobromae germinated completely on water or water agar under light or in darkness but failed to germinate on soils under the same conditions. The results suggest that spores of ferns are not sensitive to microbiostasis of soil. Contrary to microorganisms, insensitivity of spores to soil microbiostasis could be beneficial to ferns because it would be advantageous to their successful colonization of suitable habitats.
A new species of Adiantum, A. pulcherrimum Prado, is described from the Atlantic forests of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo States, and inland forest from Minas Gerais State, Brazil. It can be distinguished by long-creeping rhizomes, stipes with scattered minute and light brown hairs, laminae glaucous abaxially, median segments curved basiscopically, segment apices mostly long-acuminate or acute, and glabrous indusia. Illustrations of the diagnostic characters of the taxon as well as a key for the related species in Brazil are also presented.
We describe two new species from Peru, Ceradenia tryonorum and Terpsichore youngii (Grammitidaceae). Ceradenia tryonorum is a member of subg. Ceradenia and is unusual in having hydathodes. Terpsichore youngii belongs to the T. taxifolia group. Three new combinations are made: Melpomene youngii, Terpsichore anfractuosa, and T. subscabra. We provide a key for the nine species of the T. taxifolia group in Peru.
Lectotypifications are made for the following names that apply to species of Diplazium in the Old World: D. atratum, D. conterminum, D. crinipes, D. megaphyllum, D. polypodioides var. vestitum, D. sechellarum, and D. sikkimense. The types of these names have scales with black borders and bifid marginal teeth, a scale type characteristic of the diplazioid segregate Callipteris.