Biology -- Classification, Ferns, Pteridophyta
The mainly tropical genus Lygodium differs from other ferns in that the fronds are indeterminate and are vine-like. A single species, L. palmatum is native in temperate North America. The temperate Asian L. japonicum is naturalized throughout much of the southeastern United States. About twenty years ago, L. microphyllum was introduced into South Florida and is now naturalized in several counties. The present study documents differences among spores and their generation, development of sporophytes from the fertilized egg, and in flavonoid chemistry. Hybridization experiments showed a strong possibility for cross fertility between species. Experiments with prothallial development and differentiation revealed that environment influenced variation and gametangium formation.
Greater similarity in sporophyte developmental stages and in frond phytochemistry show that the native L. palmatum is phenetically closer to the tropical L. microphyllum than to L. japonicum. All three species are clearly distinct at all levels examined.
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Miller, Harvey A.
Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Brown, Violet M., "A Biosystematic Study of the Fern Genus LYGODIUM in Eastern North America" (1984). Retrospective Theses and Dissertations. 4726.