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THELYPTERIS PROLIFERA (RETZ.) COPEL. – A NEW FERN RECORD FOR GUJARAT STATE AND AN ADDITIONAL DISTRIBUTION RECORD FOR CERATOPTERIS THALICTROIDES (L.) BRONGN. IN GUJARAT

Authors:
  • Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage
  • Gujarat Ecology Society, Vadodara, India

Abstract and Figures

This paper reports the occurrence of Thelypteris prolifera (Retz.) Copel. (Thelypteridaceae) as a new fern record for Gujarat state. In addition to this, a new locality of occurrence for the aquatic fern – Ceratopteris thalictroides (L.) Brongn. in Gujarat state is also reported hitherto in this paper.
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Indian Journal of Plant Sciences ISSN: 23193824(Online)
An Open Access, Online International Journal Available at http://www.cibtech.org/jps.htm
2016 Vol.5 (4) October-December, pp. 7-10/Dudani and Gavali
Research Article
Centre for Info Bio Technology (CIBTech)
7
THELYPTERIS PROLIFERA (RETZ.) COPEL. A NEW FERN RECORD
FOR GUJARAT STATE AND AN ADDITIONAL DISTRIBUTION
RECORD FOR CERATOPTERIS THALICTROIDES (L.)
BRONGN. IN GUJARAT
*Sumesh N. Dudani and Deepa J. Gavali
Gujarat Ecology Society, 3rd Floor, Synergy House, Subhanpura, Vadodara 360023
*Author for Correspondence
ABSTRACT
This paper reports the occurrence of Thelypteris prolifera (Retz.) Copel. (Thelypteridaceae) as a new fern
record for Gujarat state. In addition to this, a new locality of occurrence for the aquatic fern
Ceratopteris thalictroides (L.) Brongn. in Gujarat state is also reported hitherto in this paper.
Keywords: Thelypteris Prolifera, Ceratopteris Thalictroides, Gujarat, New Record
INTRODUCTION
Pteridophytes evolved as most primitive vascular plants in the mid-paleozoic era and formed an important
connecting link between the non-vascular and higher seed plants group. Occupying various habitats, these
plants are distributed from the tropics to the temperate regions and prefer to grow in shady moist places
(Dudani et al., 2013). Despite forming an important part of the flora, only second to that of angiosperms,
these plants have received due attention only in the last couple of years with still some lacunae existing
that need to be addressed. The biodiversity of Gujarat state has been well explored by numerous
researchers over last few decades. However, the only earliest mention of Pteridophytes can be found in
the Flora of North Gujarat (Saxton & Sedgwick, 1918) wherein Ceratopteris thalictroides was reported
from the banks of Watrak River. Thereafter, the same species was also collected after a gap of three
decades from the Sabarmati River bank in Ahmedabad (Mahabale, 1948; 1963). Besides this, the other
pteridophyte studies in the state include the works of Phatak et al., (1953), Chavan and Mehta (1956),
Gaekwad and Deshmukh (1956), Chavan and Sabnis (1961), Chavan and Padate (1962, 1963), Mahabale
(1948, 1963), Shah and Vaidya (1964), Nayar and Devi (1964), Padate (1969), Inamdar and Shah (1967),
Inamdar (1970), GEC (1996). However, the only latest comprehensive account of Pteridophytes came out
in the study of Rajput et al., (2016), wherein they reported 23 species of pteridophytes from some parts of
Gujarat based on primary survey and secondary data through published literatures. The study did not
cover entire state of Gujarat missing out on some important and less explored habitats for the
Pteridophytes. Hence, this paper aims at reporting a new fern record and an additional distribution record
for Ceratopteris in the state as recorded from some of the under-explored ecological habitats in south and
western coastal parts of the state.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The fern species were recorded in the months of August September, 2016. The field images of the
specimens were clicked with the help of a Nikon DSLR camera. The geographical co-ordinates of the
locations surveyed were noted down using pre-calibrated GPS (global positioning system). The taxa were
identified using appropriate floras, journals, monographs and revisions (Beddome, 1883; Manickam and
Irudayaraj 1992; Fraser-Jenkins, 2008). The details on their botanical and ecological characteristics were
noted and are presented in the paper. The fresh samples of the species were collected and preserved in
form of herbarium in the institute.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The fern species Thelypteris prolifera is hitherto reported as a new fern record for the Gujarat state and
is described below:
Indian Journal of Plant Sciences ISSN: 23193824(Online)
An Open Access, Online International Journal Available at http://www.cibtech.org/jps.htm
2016 Vol.5 (4) October-December, pp. 7-10/Dudani and Gavali
Research Article
Centre for Info Bio Technology (CIBTech)
8
Botanical Name: Thelypteris prolifera (Retz.) C.F. Reed
Syn. Ampelopteris prolifera (Retz.) Copel.
Family: Thelypteridaceae
Distribution: Throughout India
Collection Locality: Mahuva taluk, Surat district, Gujarat state
Description: Large scrambling herb having creeping rhizome with ovate scales. Lamina is elliptic-
lanceolate; rachis proliferous, bearing tuft of fronds and rooting at several places, glabrous; pinnae
numerous sub-sessile with crenate margin. Sori is circular to elongate, 412 on each side of the pinna
lobe, without indusium, at maturity uniting with adjacent sori.
Ecology: Often found scrambling amongst tall grasses, sedges or shrubs in freshwater swamps, or beside
rivers, ponds and lakes.
Threat Status: None
Figure 1: Thelypteris Prolifera Recorded at a Stream Bank in Mahuva Taluka
Another species of pteridophyte recorded in the survey is Ceratopteris thalictroides, which was found
growing in stagnant stream water in the Veraval taluka. After its last report from Sabarmati river bank
(Mahabale, 1948; 1963), Rajput et al., (2016) reported its occurrence from some marshy areas of South
Gujarat. Our study reports this specimen to be present in an area which is hundreds of kilometers away
from the previous reports. The details of this plant are mentioned below:
Botanical Name: Ceratopteris thalictroides (L.) Brongn.
Family: Parkeriaceae
Distribution: Throughout India
Collection Locality: Veraval taluka, Gir Somnath district, Gujarat state
Description: Aquatic plants with erect stock, bearing thick, fibrous and fleshy roots. Fronds arranged in a
rosette with fleshy and pale green stipes. Lamina dimorphous, primary pinnae about five pairs, alternate,
shortly stalked, glabrous above and below, pale green, texture soft and herbaceous. Fertile lamina ovate,
tripinnate, margin reflexed and completely covering lower surface on which two rows of larger sporangia
are borne; spores trilete, pale green.
Ecology: Gregarious in fully exposed canals at foothills, paddy fields, ponds and other such marshy
places.
Threat Status: None
Indian Journal of Plant Sciences ISSN: 23193824(Online)
An Open Access, Online International Journal Available at http://www.cibtech.org/jps.htm
2016 Vol.5 (4) October-December, pp. 7-10/Dudani and Gavali
Research Article
Centre for Info Bio Technology (CIBTech)
9
Figure 2: Ceratopteris thalictroides Growing in Stagnant Stream Water in Veraval Taluka
The records of these ferns highlight the lacunae still persisting in biodiversity documentation in Gujarat
state. The cryptogams including Pteridophytes have been grossly neglected which has rendered them
vulnerable to the effects of habitat degradation and loss. Water being essential for the growth and
development of Pteridophytes, the occurrence of these ferns in and around the perennial streams further
fortifies the ecological richness and sensitivity of fresh water ecosystems. These perennial streams are
often under the brunt of various human induced activities which pose a threat to hamper the water quality
and bring about drastic change in the aquatic flora and fauna. The gravity of situation can be highlighted
from the fact that only two developing individuals of C. thalictroides were found in the stagnant part of
the stream which is in close proximity of villages. In contrast the stream along which T. prolifera was
found growing lies close to a forest patch and is little interior of a passing state highway. Efforts need to
be stepped up for exploring more such habitats and meticulously documenting the diversity of
Pteridophytes. Pteridophytes have economical value with respect to ornamental plants in gardens and
homes, as source of drug from rhizome or petiole and as source as food. There is need to popularize this
lowers forms of plants to include the same while designing in the conservation measures of the ecosystem
at large. The allied Forest Departments or Botanical Survey of India needs to identify critical areas and
habitats for long-term conservation of these species.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
The authors wish to thank the organization for the necessary support and Ms. Dhara Shah for the help in
the field. The first author specially wishes to thank Prof. S P Khullar for his help in verifying the
specimen.
REFERENCES
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Chavan AR and Mehta AR (1956). Occurrence of Ophioglossum gramineum Willd in Gujarat. Science
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Chavan AR and Padate SN (1962). The hydrophytes of Savali taluka. Journal of M S University of
Baroda 11(3) 63-78.
Indian Journal of Plant Sciences ISSN: 23193824(Online)
An Open Access, Online International Journal Available at http://www.cibtech.org/jps.htm
2016 Vol.5 (4) October-December, pp. 7-10/Dudani and Gavali
Research Article
Centre for Info Bio Technology (CIBTech)
10
Chavan AR and Sabnis SD (1961). A study of the hydrophytes of Baroda and Environs. Journal of
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Supplementary resource (1)

... Hence, it is possible that it might be extinct from Gujarat due to habitat loss. Dudani & Gavali (2016) reported the occurrence of Thelypteris prolifera (Retz.) C.F. Reed (1968: 306) from Gujarat. ...
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The hydrophytes of Savali taluka
  • A R Chavan
  • S N Padate
Chavan AR and Padate SN (1962). The hydrophytes of Savali taluka. Journal of M S University of Baroda 11(3) 63-78.
Handbook to the Ferns of British India, Ceylon and the Malay Peninsula
  • R H Beddome
Beddome RH (1883). Handbook to the Ferns of British India, Ceylon and the Malay Peninsula, (Thacker Spink & Co., Calcutta, India) 501.
Online) An Open Access, Online International Journal Available at http://www.cibtech.org/jps.htm
Indian Journal of Plant Sciences ISSN: 2319–3824(Online) An Open Access, Online International Journal Available at http://www.cibtech.org/jps.htm 2016 Vol.5 (4) October-December, pp. 7-10/Dudani and Gavali
Occurrence of Ophioglossum gramineum Willd in Gujarat
  • A R Chavan
  • A R Mehta
Chavan AR and Mehta AR (1956). Occurrence of Ophioglossum gramineum Willd in Gujarat. Science and Culture 21 538-540.