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Pteridophytes: World of Ferns and Lycophytes | New Species Discovered in the Philippines

Pteridophytes: World of Ferns and Lycophytes | New Species Discovered in the Philippines
Pteris deltodon

Pteridophytes are group of vascular plants that reproduce thru “spores” instead of seeds. They can thrive in various habitats from mangroves, freshwater swamps, lowland tropical evergreen forest and mossy forest. 


It is widely use as source of food, medicine, materials for handicrafts and construction materials. Because of its wide range of leaf shapes, pteridophytes are use as ornamental plants in gardens and foliage in fresh-cut flower arrangement. 


Pteridophytes: World of Ferns and Lycophytes - Survey site in Northern Luzon
Survey site in Northern Luzon

Around ~12,000 species of pteridophytes in the world, 10% of which are found in the Philippines. It comprises of 1,030 species and 260 endemic species that found nowhere else in the world. 


Podosorus angustatus is endemic to San Mariano, Isabela, Luzon Island. Photo is from Plants of the World
Podosorus angustatus is endemic to San Mariano, Isabela, Luzon Island.
Photo is from Plants of the World
http://www.plantsoftheworldonline.org/?q=Podosorus%20angustatus

Tectaria stalactica endemic Peñablanca, Cagayan, Luzon Island. Photo is from Pteridophyte Collection Consortium
Tectaria stalactica endemic Peñablanca, Cagayan, Luzon Island.
Photo is from Pteridophyte Collection Consortium
https://www.pteridoportal.org/portal/taxa/index.php...

A rare and remarkable monotypic genus, Podosorus is distinguishable by its stalked sori popping out the leaf margin. It was last collected in 1961 from remote locality in San Mariano, Isabela. Although field researchers already covered different habitats to record all pteridophytes in the country, it is far from complete. Field sites were revisited and still garner new taxa that were not previously recorded. 


Pteridophytes: World of Ferns and Lycophytes | New Species Discovered in the Philippines
Polystichum fraxinellum
Pteridophytes: World of Ferns and Lycophytes | New Species Discovered in the Philippines
Hymenasplenium cardiophyllum

Pteridophytes: World of Ferns and Lycophytes | New Species Discovered in the Philippines
Asplenium pulcherrimum


In a remote mountain in Northern Luzon four species were discovered as new distributional record to the country. Asplenium pulcherrimum, Hymenasplenium cardiophyllum, Pteris deltodon and Polystichum fraxinellum were all found near the summit of a 1500m limestone karst mountain. Limestone Karst and Ultramafic Forest are special habitats for many rare, narrow endemic species of pteridophytes. 


New species were also discovered in established protected areas. Actinostachys minuta Amoroso & Coritico was recently discovered from Mt Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary. Pteridophytes are good biological indicator to determine the conditions of our environment. Help us, protect and conserve our unique flora and our remaining natural forest by sharing this post.

 

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Text and photos by John Rey C. Callado / NMP Botany and National Herbarium Division

© National Museum of the Philippines (2021)

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