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

Journal Article

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. Woodsiaceae, 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.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rothfels, CJ; Sundue, MA; Kuo, L-Y; Larsson, A; Kato, M; Schuettpelz, E; Pryer, KM

Published Date

  • 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 61 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 515 - 533

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0040-0262