The vining fern Lygodium microphyllum (Old World Climbing Fern), which is native to the Old World tropics, has invaded central and southern Florida, disrupting native habitats, reducing biodiversity, and altering fire-line intensity and behavior. Prescribed fire, one of several methods used to manage Old World Climbing Fern infestations, reduces the fern's above-ground biomass over large areas, but its effects on spore viability are unknown. To determine the heat tolerance of spores, we exposed spores to temperatures ranging from 50 °C to 300 °C for durations of 5 sec to 1 h, then assessed their germination on agar in Petri plates. Temperatures of 50 °C had little effect; 300 °C killed spores for all durations. Results indicate that spore viability decreases with increasing temperature and duration of heat exposure, and that spores are killed at relatively low tem peratures (≥100 °C).
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Vol. 15 • No. sp8