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DRYOPTERIDACEAE WOOD FERN FAMILY

Alan R. Smith

Perennial herb, in soil or rock crevices; rhizome generally short-creeping, suberect, or erect, scales large, generally tan to brown, generally uniformly colored. Leaf: generally tufted, 5–200+ cm, generally ± alike; stipe generally firm, base generally darker, with many vascular strands; blade 1–4-pinnate, often with scales, hair-like scales, hairs (except clear, needle-like hairs generally 0), or short-stalked glands on axes, between veins or not, veins free to netted; rachis, costa generally grooved adaxially. Sporangia: sori round, along veins; indusia peltate or round-reniform; spores elliptic, winged, ridged, or spiny, scar linear.
± 40–45 genera, > 1600 species: worldwide, especially tropics, wooded areas. [Schuettpelz & Pryer 2007 Taxon 56:1037–1050; Smith et al. 2006 Taxon 55:705–731] Based on molecular sequence data, Athyrium, Cystopteris, Woodsia removed to Woodsiaceae to preserve a monophyletic Dryopteridaceae. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Smith, A.R. et al. 2006. A classification for extant ferns. Taxon 55:705–731; Schuettpelz, E. and K.M. Pryer 2007. Fern phylogeny inferred from 400 leptosporangiate species and three plastid genes. Taxon 56: 1037–1050.]
Unabridged note: Current data (as reported by Schuettpelz & Pryer and in papers cited therein) suggest that Wooodsiaceae is paraphyletic (with respect to Aspeniaceae, Blechnaceae, and Thelypteridaceae), yet are insufficient to resolve the questions of circumscription (too few taxa, not enough genes sampled). Alternative classifications that would preserve monophyly include recognition of several additional, small families (e.g., Cystopteridaceae, Athyriaceae, and others not in California, each comprising just a few genera) or lumping at least 4 currently recognized families, many of long-standing use and acceptance; a conservative and expedient course is taken for now (Smith et al. 2006), pending further work.

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Oct 2 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Dryopteridaceae, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=8, accessed on Oct 2 2014

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