This tree diagram shows the relationships between several groups of organisms.
The root of the current tree connects the organisms featured in this tree to their containing group and the rest of the Tree of Life. The basal branching point in the tree represents the ancestor of the other groups in the tree. This ancestor diversified over time into several descendent subgroups, which are represented as internal nodes and terminal taxa to the right.
You can click on the root to travel down the Tree of Life all the way to the root of all Life, and you can click on the names of descendent subgroups to travel up the Tree of Life all the way to individual species.
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Note: this tree is still under construction. It does not yet contain all known Angiopteris subgroups.This tree is based on Murdock (2008)
This clade represents Angiopteris in a broad sense, including Archangiopteris, Macroglossum and Protomarattia.
Angiopteris is a genus of perhaps 100 species, occurring from Madagascar to the Pacific islands, and from India and southern Japan to northern Australia.
The taxonomy of the genus Angiopteris is contentious, and species numbers have fluctuated immensely. Mabberley (1997) considered the genus to consist of 200 poorly defined microspecies; Rolleri (2002, 2003) reviewed the genus, dealing with a total of only ten species. It is evident that additional studies are needed to resolve these taxonomic problems and better define the species morphologically and genetically.
Species of Angiopteris are used in the Pacific to perfume coconut oil, and in India the starch from the rhizome is eaten and used to brew an intoxicating drink (Mabberley 1997). Angiopteris evecta is documented as naturalised in Hawaii, Jamaica and Costa Rica (Christenhusz & Toivonen, 2008).
Angiopteris species are large to giant ferns with rhizomes that are globular and radial. The leaves are usually bipinnate, or once pinnate in "Archangiopteris" and A. smithii, and can be gigantic, measuring up to 9 m in length. The pinnae and pinnules are (usually) placed alternately. Veins are free and forked once or twice. The sporangia are almost free, attached only at the base, and are surrounded by a crude annulus of thickened cells; the contractions of which pull the sides of the sporangium apart along a line of dehiscence on the inner face (Christenhusz, 2007).
Discussion of Phylogenetic Relationships
The commonly recognised genus Archangiopteris is monophyletic and is sister to the core Angiopteris clade including A. evecta. However, recognizing the Archangiopteris clade as a separate genus would make the genus Angiopteris polyphyletic, and Archangiopteris is therefore included in this genus. The monotypic genus Macroglossum (= Angiopteris smithii) is also well embedded within the Angiopteris clade, and is sister to a clade uniting Archangiopteris and Angiopteris s.s.
Christenhusz, M. J. M. (2007). Evolutionary History and Taxnomy of Neotropical Marattioid Ferns: Studies of an ancient lineage of plants. Annales Universitatis Turkuensis ser. AII, tom. 216, pp. 1-134.
Christenhusz, M. J. M. and Toivonen, T. K. (2008). Giants invading the tropics: the oriental vessel fern, Angiopteris evecta (Marattiaceae). Biol. Invasions 10, pp. 1215-1228.
Mabberley, D. (1997). The Plant-Book, a portable dictionary of the vascular plants, second edition, pp. 39. Cambridge University Press.
Murdock, A. (2008). A taxonomic revision of the eusporangiate fern family Marattiaceae, with description of a new genus Ptisana. Taxon 57, pp. 737-755.
Rolleri, C. H. (2002). Caracteres diagnósticos y taxonomía en el género Angiopteris Hoffm. (Marattiaceae Bercht. & J. S. Presl): I, Los caracteres. Revista del Museo de la Plata, Botánica 15 (115), pp. 23-49.
Rolleri, C. H. (2003). Caracteres diagnósticos y taxonomía en el género Angiopteris Hoffm. (Marattiaceae Bercht. & J. S. Presl): II, Sinopsis de las especies. Revista del Museo de la Plata, Botánica 16 (116), pp. 1-23.
Information on the Internet
- Botany Photos: Marattiaceae. Plant Images by Maarten Christenhusz.
About This Page
The Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom
Correspondence regarding this page should be directed to Maarten Christenhusz at
Page copyright © 2009 Maarten Christenhusz
Page: Tree of Life Angiopteris. Authored by Maarten Christenhusz. The TEXT of this page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License - Version 3.0. Note that images and other media featured on this page are each governed by their own license, and they may or may not be available for reuse. Click on an image or a media link to access the media data window, which provides the relevant licensing information. For the general terms and conditions of ToL material reuse and redistribution, please see the Tree of Life Copyright Policies.
- First online 23 January 2009
- Content changed 23 January 2009
Citing this page:
Christenhusz, Maarten. 2009. Angiopteris. Version 23 January 2009 (under construction). http://tolweb.org/Angiopteris/56742/2009.01.23 in The Tree of Life Web Project, http://tolweb.org/