Microsoroideae is the third largest of the six subfamilies of Polypodiaceae, containing over 180 species. These ferns are widely distributed in the tropical and subtropical regions of the Old World and Oceania. We documented the spore ornamentation and integrated these data into the latest phylogenetic hypotheses, including a sampling of 100 taxa representing each of 17 major lineages of microsoroid ferns. This enabled us to reconstruct the ancestral states of the spore morphology. The results show verrucate ornamentation as an ancestral state for Goniophlebieae and Lecanoptereae, globular for Microsoreae, and rugulate surface for Lepisoreae. In addition, spore ornamentation can be used to distinguish certain clades of the microsoroid ferns. Among all five tribes, Lecanoptereae show most diversity in spore surface ornamentation.
Fields of Science
- 11831 Plant biology