The botanical magazine = Shokubutsu-gaku-zasshi

, Volume 98, Issue 4, pp 371–381 | Cite as

Comparative life history of aspidiaceous ferns in northern Japan with reference to fertility during sporophyte development in relation to habitats

  • Toshiyuki Sato


The life-cycle characteristics of ferns, in particular reproductive characteristics in relation to alternation of generations, have been studied in populations of 19 species of aspidiaceous ferns native to Hokkaido. The developmental age of the sporophyte was quantitatively expressed by the number of midrib branches of the leaf (NV; number of venation). The maximum developmental age (MNV) of the aspidiaceous ferns in Hokkaido ranged from 49 to 113. The initiation of fertility (IF) in the relative developmental age (RDA), percentages of any NV to the maximum NV of the leaf population) ranged from 15 to 65%. Ferns occurring on rocky cliffs initiated fertility at 15–21%, while ferns occurring on the forest floor initiated fertility at 41–65% in the RDA of a leaf population. Further observations were undertaken on 26 ferns of other families and revealed that there were correlations between habitat and maximum NV, and habitat and IF in the RDA. Ferns occurring on cliffs, on mossy rocks and on tree trunks, had lower maximum NV of the leaf and earlier initiation of fertility in the RDA, than those of ferns occurring on the forest floor, edge of forests and on grassland in Hokkaido. Ferns occurring in the exposed habitat seemed to behave as a r-strategist, while ferns occurring in the forest floor seemed to behave as a K-strategist.

Key words

Aspidiaceous ferns Comparative life history Fertility rate Initiation of fertility (IF) Phenomenological convergence Relative developmental age (RDA) 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Iwatsuki, K. 1975. Phytogeographical notes on Pteridophyta flora of Thailand. Southeast Asian Studies13: 238–294.Google Scholar
  2. Klekowski, E.J., Jr. andH.G. Baker. 1966. Evolutionary significance of polyploidy in the Pteridophyta. Science153: 305–307.Google Scholar
  3. Masuyama, S. 1979. Reproductive biology of the fernPhegopteris decursive-pinnata I. The dissimilar mating systems of diploids and tetraploids. Bot. Mag. Tokyo92: 275–289.Google Scholar
  4. Sato, T. 1982a. Distributional characteristics and habitats of pteridophytes native to Hokkaido. Res. Rep. of Grant-in-Aid for Special Project of Hokkaido Univ., 1979–1981 p. 111–144.Google Scholar
  5. —. 1982b. Phenology and wintering capacity of sporophytes and gametophytes of ferns native to Northern Japan. Oecologia55: 53–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. — 1983. Determination of the developmental age of sporophytes of some summer-green ferns in Hokkaido, Japan. Jap. J. Ecol.33: 161–167.Google Scholar
  7. — 1984. Life history chracteristic ofCyrtomium falcatum around the natural northern boundary in Hokkaido, with reference to the alternation of generations. Bot. Mag. Tokyo97: 1–12.Google Scholar
  8. — 1985. The comparative life history of five HokkaidoPolystichum ferns with reference to leaf development in relation to altitudinal distribution. Bot. Mag. Tokyo98: 99–111.Google Scholar
  9. Schneller, J.J. 1975. Untersuchungen an einheimischen Farnen, insbesondere derDryopteris filix-mas-Gruppe 3. Teil. Ökologische Untersuchungen. Ber. Schweiz. Bot. Gez.85: 110–159.Google Scholar
  10. Southwood, T.R.E. 1976. Strategies and population parameters.In: R.M. May, ed., Theoretical Ecology p. 26–48. Blackwell Sci. Publ., Oxford.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Botanical Society of Japan 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Toshiyuki Sato
    • 1
  1. 1.The Institute of Low Temperature ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporo

Personalised recommendations