YATSKIEVYCH, GEORGE1* and ELISABETH A. HOOPER2. 1Missouri Botanical Garden, P.O. Box 299, St. Louis, MO 63166; 2Division of Science, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO 63501. - Evolution and adaptations of pteridophytes in dry climates.
A surprisingly large number of pteridophytes are able to meet the
challenges of life in arid and seasonally dry habitats. This symposium
will explore some of the structural, physiological, ecological,
genetic, and other life-history adaptations of ferns and fern allies
growing in regions where moisture deficit and high solar irradiation
are part of a syndrome of factors providing strong selection pressures
on evolution of the local flora. Attendant problems of taxonomic and
phylogenetic interpretation that have resulted from such adaptations
and directed evolution will be showcased. Studies on pteridophyte
responses to aridity are still an emerging field of study, so the
symposium will reflect future research needs as much as summarizing
present knowledge of selected topics.
Key words: arid lands, deserts, pteridophyte