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Photosyntheic pathways & biome of Platycerium Grande May 4, 2006

Posted by flutterby in Plant Bio, Species.
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As mentioned earlier, Platycerium grande is an epiphyte(a plant that grows off of others), though it is not a parasite. This fern grows in tropical and subtropical rainforests, mostly in Australasia and Africa with a single species in South America. P. bifurcatum that hails from southern Australia. It grows best when it has bright sunlight, although not direct, and thrives suspended by filtered light under tree canopies. These tree canopies would have had to been established for a while, with enough leaves developing from primary growth to protect the fern from direct sunlight. Since these fern roots act strictly as anchors, the minerals for the fern are gained by dead insects and falling leaves, which gather in the area created by the brown fronds at the base. Without the minerals gained from these outside sources the plant could never survive.

From the fact that platycerium thrives in tropical areas, we can determine that it has a C4 photosynthesis because C3 photosynthesis is ineffective at such high temperatures that do not effect C4 plants. Because platyceriums are not parasites and their roots only act as anchors, their water is taken from the air, which is not a problem since rainforests are very humid.



Adopt-a-plant (Platycerium grande) – fertilization February 17, 2006

Posted by flutterby in Plant Bio, Species.

Platycerium grande has 2 spore patches on the underside of EACH fertile frond. One set of fertile fronds is produced each year between mid-summer and late fall. The spore patches are not developed at this time, but will develop mid- to late-winter; they will actually turn brown and rippen in late summer. These fronds will now die as the new fertile fronds are developing. On the spore patches are the actual spores, which resemble dust. These are capable of floating to a new site to be germinated.


Staghorn ferns as epiphytes

Adopt-a-plant (Platycerium grande) January 29, 2006

Posted by flutterby in Species.
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Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Pteridopsida
Order: Polypodiales
Family: Polypodiaceae
Genus: Platycerium
Species: grande

The Platycerium is an epiphyte plant, meaning that it does not grow from the soil, but from tall trees (as least in this case). It gets its nutrition mostly from the air, although sometimes it may use water pockets from it’s host. Grandes usually grow on coconut palms. The Platycerium has two different types of fronds, green fertile & brown sterile. The round brown sterile fronds surround groups of fertile fronds at the base of each group. (See picture) The Platycerium grande has two brown spore patches at the underside tips of it’s green fertile fronds, this is the way that it reproduces. (Platycerium grande is often confused with P. superbum, but the superbum only has one spore patch)

(see brown sterile fronds)Fronds

(a Platycerium grande)Platycerium grande
Sources: Staghorn fern

Dichotomous Key January 24, 2006

Posted by flutterby in Plant Bio.

1. Alive at maturity – 4
1. Dead at maturity – 2

2. Function is conducting things throughout plant – Xylem
2. Function is strength and support – 3

3. Have secondary walls and is star-shaped – Sclereids
3. Have secondary walls and is long & slender – Fibers

4. Occurs in fruits – 5

5. Function is transport – Phloem
5. Function is storage & photosynthesis – Parenchyma

4. Occurs in stem, petiole or leaf – 6

6. Function is support – Collenchyma
6. Has a specialized function – 7

7. Regulates gas exchange from inside to outside – Guard cells
7. Prevents water loss – Trichome

January 16, 2006

Posted by flutterby in Plant Bio.

Plants are fun!