J Syst Evol ›› 1983, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (3): 266-276.

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A Monographic Revision of the Fern Genus Neolepisorus Ching

Ching Ren-Chang, Shing Kung-Hsieh   

  1. (Institute of Botany, Academia Sinica)
  • Published:1983-08-18

Abstract: The genus Neolepisorus Ching was proposed in 1940 and then consisted of five species including the type, Polypodium ovatum Wall. ex Hook. et Grev. The generic sense of Neolepisorus is now more homogenour than originally constructed. Strictly speaking, the genus then had only three species: Polypodium ovatum Wall. ex Hook. et Grev. of the Himalayas and China, P. ensatum Thunb. of Japan, and China, and P. lastii Baker of Africa (Madagascar). Since then our knowledge of the genus has substantially been enriched, as there are now 10 species known from China as described in the present paper. Phylogenetically, the genus Neolepisorus is a natural one in the family Polypodiaceae, beiny closely related to Nicrosorium Link, Calysis Presl and Tricholepidium Ching in general habit, scale structure, spores and chromosome numbers (x = 36), while its affinity with the genus Lepisorus (J. Sm.) Ching is much less close in these respects. From its related genera Neolepisorus differs in terestrial habit,typically long-stipitate simple fronds, distinct lateral main veins with 1--3(4) striate and irregularly dispersed sori covered when young with angular, clathrate and long-stalked paraphyses. One marked morphological peculiarity of the genus Neolepisorus is, however, that the fronds in many species from Guizhou and Sichuan are so divided into more or less similarly pinnatifid or lobed monstrous shapes that their proper identity is frequently indiscernible--a character not yet seen in ferns of other genera in China at least. It offers an interesting research subject for the morphologists. Geographically, the genus Neolepisorus is mainly Chinese. Except one species endemic to Afrira (Madagascar), one in Indo Himalayas, upper Burma, nothern Thailand, Indo-China and China and the third species in Japan and China, all are found endemic to China,northwards to the southern part of Shaanxi (Shensi) Province, south of the Tsing-ling Range. Ecologically, they all prefer half-sunny floor under secondary forests or among shrubberies.