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A revised family-level classification for eupolypod II ferns (Polypodiidae: Polypodiales)

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We present a family-level classification for the eupolypod II clade of leptosporangiate ferns, one of the two major lineages within the Eupolypods, and one of the few parts of the fern tree of life where family-level relationships were not well understood at the time of publication of the 2006 fern classification by Smith & al. Comprising over 2500 species, the composition and particularly the relationships among the major clades of this group have historically been contentious and defied phylogenetic resolution until very recently. Our classification reflects the most current available data, largely derived from published molecular phylogenetic studies. In comparison with the five-family (Aspleniaceae, Blechnaceae, Onocleaceae, Thelypteridaceae, Woodsiaceae) treatment of Smith & al., we recognize 10 families within the eupolypod II clade. Of these, Aspleniaceae, Thelypteridaceae, Blechnaceae, and Onocleaceae have the same composition as treated by Smith & al. Woodsia - ceae, which Smith & al. acknowledged as possibly non-monophyletic in their treatment, is circumscribed here to include only Woodsia and its segregates; the other “woodsioid” taxa are divided among Athyriaceae, Cystopteridaceae, Diplaziopsidaceae, Rhachidosoraceae, and Hemidictyaceae. We provide circumscriptions for each family, which summarize their morphological, geographical, and ecological characters, as well as a dichotomous key to the eupolypod II families. Three of these families—Diplaziopsidaceae, Hemidictyaceae, and Rhachidosoraceae—were described in the past year based on molecular phylogenetic analyses; we provide here their first morphological treatment.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, Duke University, Box 90338, Durham, North Carolina 27708, U.S.A.;, Email: 2: The Pringle Herbarium, Department of Plant Biology, University of Vermont, 27 Colchester Ave., Bington, Vermont 05405, U.S.A. 3: Institute of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, 10617, Taiwan 4: Systematic Biology, Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Norbyv. 18D, 752 36, Uppsala, Sweden 5: Department of Botany, National Museum of Nature and Science, Tsukuba 305-0005, Japan 6: Department of Biology and Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington, 601 South College Road, Wilmington, North Carolina 28403, U.S.A 7: Department of Biology, Duke University, Box 90338, Durham, North Carolina 27708, U.S.A.

Publication date: 2012-06-13

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