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Abstract Detail


Nitta, Joel [1], Watkins, James [2], Holbrook, N. Michele [3], Davis, Charles [4].

Comparative Ecophysiology of the Filmy Ferns (Hymenophyllaceae) of Moorea, French Polynesia.

Filmy ferns (Hymenophyllaceae) represent one of the most diverse early-diverging lineages of ferns, and include more than 600 species. Filmy ferns have long attracted the interest of botanists: their fronds are only a single cell-layer thick and lack cuticle or stomata, and many species can tolerate extreme desiccation. They are also remarkably diverse in their ecology, including terrestrial species with erect rhizomes, hemi-epiphytes with rooted and climbing parts, and holoepiphytes with extremely reduced roots. However, despite a long history of interest in these ferns, we lack a clear understanding of how different ecological strategies have evolved in filmy ferns, particularly with regards to the role of the gametophyte phase. To investigate these topics, we surveyed sporophytes and gametophytes of 22 species of filmy ferns along an elevational gradient from 200 to 1200m on the island of Moorea, French Polynesia. We sequenced two chloroplast genes (rbcL and trnHpsbA) to infer phylogenetic trees and identify field-collected gametophytes to species. We used chlorophyll fluorescence to measure light responses and the ability to recover from desiccation in selected species representing several different ecological strategies. Here, we present our results comparing the physiology of filmy fern sporophytes and gametophytes in a phylogenetic context. We anticipate our study will provide better insight into the evolution of this unique and important group of ferns.

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1 - Harvard University, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, 22 Divinity Ave, Cambridge, MA, 02140, USA
2 - Colgate University, Biology, 129 Ho Science Center, 13 Oak Drive, Hamilton, NY, 13346, USA
3 - Harvard University, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, 16 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02138
4 - Harvard University, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, 22 Divinity Ave, Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA

Data Loggers
Desiccation Tolerance
Filmy Ferns
French Polynesia
Light Responses

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Topics
Session: P
Location: Hall D/The Shaw Conference Centre
Date: Monday, July 27th, 2015
Time: 5:30 PM
Number: PEP007
Abstract ID:944
Candidate for Awards:Physiological Section Best poster presentation,Physiological Section Physiological Section Li-COR Prize

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