A molecular phylogeny of the fern family Pteridaceae: assessing overall relationships and the affinities of previously unsampled genera.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats


Citation Stats


The monophyletic Pteridaceae accounts for roughly 10% of extant fern diversity and occupies an unusually broad range of ecological niches, including terrestrial, epiphytic, xeric-adapted rupestral, and even aquatic species. In this study, we present the results of the first broad-scale and multi-gene phylogenetic analyses of these ferns, and determine the affinities of several previously unsampled genera. Our analyses of two newly assembled data sets (including 169 newly obtained sequences) resolve five major clades within the Pteridaceae: cryptogrammoids, ceratopteridoids, pteridoids, adiantoids, and cheilanthoids. Although the composition of these clades is in general agreement with earlier phylogenetic studies, it is very much at odds with the most recent subfamilial classification. Of the previously unsampled genera, two (Neurocallis and Ochropteris) are nested within the genus Pteris; two others (Monogramma and Rheopteris) are early diverging vittarioid ferns, with Monogramma resolved as polyphyletic; the last previously unsampled genus (Adiantopsis) occupies a rather derived position among cheilanthoids. Interestingly, some clades resolved within the Pteridaceae can be characterized by their ecological preferences, suggesting that the initial diversification in this family was tied to ecological innovation and specialization. These processes may well be the basis for the diversity and success of the Pteridaceae today.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Schuettpelz, E, H Schneider, L Huiet, MD Windham and KM Pryer (2007). A molecular phylogeny of the fern family Pteridaceae: assessing overall relationships and the affinities of previously unsampled genera. Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 44(3). pp. 1172–1185. 10.1016/j.ympev.2007.04.011 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/21813.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Kathleen M. Pryer

Professor of Biology

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.