The distribution and habitats of the Pteris fauriei complex in Taiwan

Yao Moan Huang, Hsueh Mei Chou, Jenn Che Wang, Wen Liang Chiou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Polyploidization is a significant mode of speciation in plants. Polyploids often occupy habitats different from those of their diploid parents. In Taiwan, two varieties of Pteris fauriei, one diploid and one triploid, have been identified. The number of spores per sporangium and the size of spores are reliable indicators of ploidy. Diploid P. fauriei have 64-spore sporangia and the spores are significantly smaller than spores of triploid plants, which have 32-spore sporangia. Based on these findings, the distribution and habitats of the two cytotypes in Taiwan are characterized from both living plants and herbarium specimens. Altogether, 516 live plants from 32 locations and 76 herbarium specimens were analyzed. In general, diploid plants occur in warmer habitats than triploid plants. Diploid plants are widely distributed in Taiwan and nearby islands, but do not occur in central Taiwan nor in the Matsu islands. In contrast, triploid plants are not found in southern tip of Taiwan nor on islands west of central Taiwan. In northern Taiwan and on the west-central islands, diploids grow most often in exposed sites and grasslands. However, in southern Taiwan and islands Lanyu and Lutao, diploids also occur in woodlands. Triploids are restricted to grassland and woodland habitats in Taiwan, but grow in exposed sites, grassland and woodland habitats in Matsu islands. In general, triploids grow at higher elevations than the diploids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-58
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • Cytotype
  • Diploid
  • Distribution
  • Habitat
  • Pteridaceae
  • Pteris fauriei
  • Taiwan
  • Triploid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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