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Cyathea. A New Zealand Tree Fern. Biodiversity and Radiation of a New Zealand Tree Fern (C yathea):. Species phylogeny for Cyathea? Pattern and timing of species diversification? Impact of habitat in driving morphological and ecological diversity of Cyathea in New Zealand?

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biodiversity and radiation of a new zealand tree fern c yathea

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 Evolution

RSNZ: Home

Develop 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.

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).

Cyatheaceae
cyatheaceae classification
Cyatheaceae Classification

Note: Taxonomically, New Zealand species are reasonably easy to identify,

Tryon and Tryon (1982)

Alsophila

Nephelea

Cnemidaria

Cyathea

Trichipteris

Sphaeropteris

subgenus Sphaeropteris

subgenus Sclephropteris

Holttum and Edwards (1983)

Cyathea

subgenus Cyathea

section Alsophila

sub sect. Alsophila

sub sect. Nephelea

section Cyathea

subgenus Sphaeropteris

Lellinger (1987)

Alsophila

Cnemidaria

Cyathea

Sphaeropteris

Data 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.

classification
Classification

Sori and indusial characteristics

Habitat

(shows geographical distribution of A. colensoi)

Stipe

Frond Forms

various cyatheaceae distributions
Various Cyatheaceae Distributions

c. colensoi

c. smithii

c. cunginghamii

c. medullaris

c. dealbata

fern life cycle
Fern Life Cycle

Mature Tree Ferns

Sori on under-side of Cyathea medullaris

Young Sporophyte emerging from gametophyte

The young gametophyte is a rarely seen plant (1-2 mm) that is a completely independent plant in the life cycle.

Gametophyte

fern morphology anatomy
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.

classifying ferns a dichotomous tree
Classifying Ferns(A Dichotomous Tree)

Touse 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)

Does it have see-through fronds?

Go to Page (13)

Does it look like a tree ?

Go to Page (10)

START HERE

morphological classification key
Morphological Classification Key

Start at the BOTTOM

  • Dicksonia squarrosa
  • Slender trunk with black pegs of remaining dead fronds. (Sometimes branches)
  • Dicksonia fibrosa
  • Very thick and soft brown trunk.

Are the Frond (leaf) stalks black?

YES

YES

Are the Fronds in the “Skirt” whole?

  • Cyathea dealbata
  • Underside of leaves silver/white.
  • Cyathea smithii
  • - Skirt made of frond stalks only.
  • Very soft and pale fronds, horizontal like parasol.

NO

YES

Is the “Skirt” Tidy?

NO

YES

Does it have a “Prickly” Trunk?

NO

NO

  • Cyathea medullaris
  • Scars on trunk oval or hexagonal in shape.

NO

YES

  • Cyathea 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 5

YES

NO

Is it a Tree Fern?

Start HERE

To complete a Phylogenetic Analysis of Nucleotide Sequences,

go to:The Phylogenetic Tree Constructor

cyathea vs dicksonia
Cyathea vs. Dicksonia

Cyathea dealbata .....................................................................vs.

Dicksonia sqarrosa

  • Height: Up to 10m
  • Fronds: Up to 4m
  • Distinguishing characters:
  • White peg-like frond bases on trunk
  • White stalks (stipe) and under fronds.
  • Location:
  • North Island, East of South Island
  • Dry Forest or open scrub
  • Height: Up to 7m
  • Fronds: Up to 3m
  • Distinguishing characters:
  • Black peg-like frond bases on trunk
  • Black stalks, may have branches.
  • Location:
  • North Island and South Island, common in most Forest

Cyathea smithii… .....................................................................vs.

Dicksonia fibrosa.

  • Height: Up to 8m
  • Fronds: Up to 2.5m
  • Distinguishing 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 6m
  • Fronds: 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
cyathea the others
Cyathea the others

Cyathea medullaris (Young)

Cyathea medullaris (Mature)

  • Height: Up to 20m
  • Fronds: Up to 5m
  • Distinguishing characters:
  • Young ferns will often have untidy skirt of a few dead fronds.
  • Height: Up to 20m
  • Fronds: Up to 5m
  • Distinguishing 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 colensoi

Cyathea cunninghamii (Similar to C. medullaris)

  • Height: Up to 1m (a creeping Fern, may have horizontal fronds along ground)
  • Fronds: Up to 1.5m
  • Distinguishing characters:
  • Very slender, pale brown stalks
  • Location:
  • North and South Island in mountain forests. Favours damp areas/treeline.
  • Height: Up to 20m
  • Fronds: Up to 3m
  • Distinguishing characters:
  • Fronds are soft, pale, horizontal.
  • Ragged skirt on young plants, rough stalks/dark brown and appressed.
  • Location:
  • Wet coasts (North and West).

?

slide14
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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