Fern leaves with a pattern of spore-producing bodies on the underside

These pictures show one of many varieties of fern in the tropical rainforest known as The Daintree, in Far North Queensland, Australia. I don’t know the specific name of it but I know it is possible to tell one species from another by (partly) looking at the distribution pattern of the spore-producing bodies (sporangia) on the undersides of the pinnules (leaflets) on the fronds (the equivalent of leaves in seed-producing plants). Ferns don’t have seeds or fruits. Instead, they propagate by releasing microscopic spores from the sporangia which are themselves arranged in groups called sori. The ripening sori are easy to see as rust coloured dots, circles or horse-shoe shapes against the bright green of the pinnule.

Ferns love the moist conditions of the rainforest undergrowth. In The Daintree, which is in the area of Australia receiving the most rainfall, there are over 250 species of fern – 20 percent of which grow exclusively in that region. They range in size from tiny to huge – and include towering ancient tree ferns with the fronds growing from a tall trunk.

Reference

Ramsey, Damon (2008) Ecosystem Guides: Rainforest of Tropical Australia, 2nd Edition, Yes Printing, Sydney, Australia, ISBN 978-0-9757470-4-9.

Fern leaves with a pattern of spore-producing bodies on the underside

Fern leaves with a pattern of spore-producing bodies on the underside

Fern leaves with a pattern of spore-producing bodies on the underside

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2013

All Rights Reserved

One Reply to “Rainforest Ferns 1”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: