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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.