Pteridophytes (Ferns)


Pteridophytes (vascular cryptogams or ferns and fern allies) comprise about 12 000 species of primitive vascular plants; they do not produce flowers or seeds and reproduce instead via spores. They occur in most terrestrial habitats and also in some aquatic communities. Some species are very beneficial to humans, but the group also contains important species of weeds.

Keywords: pteridophyte; fern; fern ally; vascular cryptogam; plant; botany

Further Reading

Camus JM, Gibby M and Johns RJ (eds) (1996) Pteridology in Perspective. Kew, UK: Royal Botanic Gardens.

Galston AW (1975) The water fern–rice connection. Natural History 84(12): 10–11.

Hoshizaki BJ and Moran RC (2001) Fern Grower's Manual, revised edn. Portland, OR: Timber Press.

Kramer KU and Green PS (eds) (1990) Pteridophytes and Gymnosperms; vol. 1 In: Kubitzki K (ed.) The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants. Berlin: Springer‐Verlag.

May LW (1979) The economic uses and associated folklore of ferns and fern allies. Botanical Review (Lancaster) 44: 491–528.

Perring FH and Gardiner BG (eds) (1976) The biology of bracken. Botanical Journal of the Linnaean Society 73: 1–302.

Pryer KM, Schneider H, Smith AR et al. (2001) Horsetails and ferns are a monophyletic group and the closest living relatives to seed plants. Nature 409: 618–622.

Sheffield E, Wolf PG and Haufler CH (1989) How big is a bracken plant? Weed Research 29: 455–460.

Tryon RM and Tryon AF (1982) Fern and Allied Plants, with Special Reference to Tropical America. New York: Springer‐Verlag.

Wolf PG (ed.) (1995) Use of molecular data in evolutionary studies of pteridophytes. American Fern Journal 85: 101–428.

Wolf PG, Sipes SD, White MR et al. (1999) Phylogenetic relationships of the enigmatic fern families Hymenophyllopsidaceae and Lophosoriaceae: evidence from rbcL nucleotide sequences. Plant Systematics and Evolution 219: 263–270.

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How to Cite close
Yatskievych, George(Feb 2003) Pteridophytes (Ferns). In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0003679]