Thursday 14 September 2017

Pteris latipinna: A new species of Braken from Taiwan.

Brakens, Pteris spp., are a group of over 280 ferns found throughout the tropics, subtropics and some temperate regions. They grow from a branching rhizome (underground stem) system, typically with linear fronds with sub-palmate divisions. 

In a paper published in the journal PhytoKeys on 31 August 2017, Yi-Shan Chao of the Department of Biomedical Science & Environmental Biology at Kaohsiung Medical University, Atsushi Ebihara of the Department of Botany at the National Museum of Nature and Science, Wen-Liang Chiou of the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute and the Dr. Cecilia Koo Botanic Conservation Center, and Yao-Moan Huang, also of the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, describe a new species of Braken from Taiwan.

The new species is named Pteris latipinna, in reference to the species wide pinnae (the smallest subdivisions of a leaf). It is not described from a new population, but rather is widespread in the lowland broadleaf forests of Taiwan, having previously been assigned to the species Pteris fauriei, which is widespread in East Asia. The new species was identified as being extinct based upon its wider pinnae, then confirmed as a new species based upon genetic analysis.

Pteris latipinna growing in Hsinchu, Taiwan. St, sterile fronds; Fe, fertile fronds. Chao et al. (2017).

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