Researchers report a new fern species from Yunnan, China

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Angiopteris nodosipetiolata Ting Wang tris, HFChen & YHYan (A, B: habitat; C, D, E: lamina; F: portion of stipe showing pulvini; G: rhizome; H, I: sporangia; J: posterior margin, a dense sheath of hairs : Exospores; Credit: Chen Hongfeng

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Angiopteris nodosipetiolata Ting Wang tris, HFChen & YHYan (A, B: habitat; C, D, E: lamina; F: portion of stipe showing pulvini; G: rhizome; H, I: sporangia; J: posterior margin, a dense sheath of hairs : Exospores; Credit: Chen Hongfeng

The genus Angiopteris Hoffmann belongs to the eusporangiate ferns within Maratiales Link and Marataceae Calf, an important branch in the origin and evolution of ferns, providing significant ornamental, medicinal, edible and scientific research value.

Currently, Angiopteris is recognized as having about 53 species in the world, including 30 species in China (of which 18 are endemic).

In August 2022, during a field study of Angiopteris in Gulinking Nature Reserve, Yunnan Province, researchers led by Professor Chen Hongfeng from the South China Botanical Garden of the Chinese Academy of Sciences discovered a new species in the genus, and they collected Specimens for further morphological observations.

After consulting Flora of China, literature and data from websites such as CVH and GBIF, the researchers found that this species has different morphological characteristics from known species.

For example, it is similar to A. chingii JM Camus in having more than one hollow pulvinus and numerous limb-like hairs at the base of the mature pinnae. However, the posterior of the former is lanceolate and occurs in 4–6 pairs, while the posterior of the latter is oblong and occurs in only 2–3 pairs.

Judging by the shape of the lamina, this species also closely resembles A. ladipinna (Sing) ZR He, WM Chu & Christenh. and A. saprodundata (Singh) ZR He & Kristen. However, both these species have only one hollow pulvinus on the stipe, and the surfaces of their mature pinnae are smooth and glabrous except for the mid-rib.


(A) Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference tree of Angiopteris species based on complete plastid genome sequences and (B) 84 CDSs. Maximum likelihood bootstrap support and Bayesian inference posterior probability are given above the branches. The NA (Not Available) used to display the sample site cannot be provided. Credit: CHEN Hongfeng

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(A) Maximum likelihood and Bayesian inference tree of Angiopteris species based on complete plastid genome sequences and (B) 84 CDSs. Maximum likelihood bootstrap support and Bayesian inference posterior probability are given above the branches. The NA (Not Available) used to display the sample site cannot be provided. Credit: CHEN Hongfeng

In July 2023, the researchers returned to Gulinking Nature Reserve to conduct a detailed survey and statistics of the species’ natural environment, number of species and morphological characteristics, and collected molecular samples for chloroplast genome sequencing.

Phylogenetic and genetic distance analysis This species is not closely related to the morphologically similar species mentioned above, and there is significant genetic distance between species.

Combining morphological and molecular systematic research, the team confirmed the species as a new species of the genus Angiopteris, named Angiopteris nodocipetiolata Ding Wang Tris, HF Chen & YH Yan.

Research is Published In the journal Phytocase.

Currently, about 500 mature Angiopteris nodosipetiolata have been identified in this type locality. According to IUCN standards, this new species is recommended to be listed as endangered and given secondary national protection, like other members of the Angiopteris genus.

Potential species such as Angiopteris nodocipetiolata may also occur in nature reserves and areas with high human activity such as cities or rural areas. Only through active conservation and scientific research can we ensure the preservation of the diversity and uniqueness of all species on Earth.

More information:
Ting Wang et al, Angiopteris nodosipetiolata (Marattiaceae), a new fern species from Yunnan, China, Phytocase (2024) DOI: 10.3897/phytokeys.241.115175

Press Information:
Phytocase


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