Splitting Pleopeltis polypodioides (resurrection ferns)

iNaturalist current policy/guidelines currently inform us that genera that start with the letter P and ferns are not quite complete on Plants of the World Online, iNat's taxonomic authority for vascular plants. Here's one that fits both those categories.

Split Pleopeltis polypodiodes (sensu lato) into --->

  1. P. polypodioides (sensu stricto)
  2. P. michauxiana
  3. P. ecklonii
    (see drafted taxon change)

This also includes first merging P. polypodioides subsp. ecklonii into P. ecklonii.
(see drafted taxon change)

The split is in accordance with the following references and per the discussion recently taking place on this flag:

Pleopeltis polypodioides (sensu lato) is a widespread species, occurring in North, Central, and South America, the Caribbean, and southern Africa. P. polypodioides (sensu stricto) in in the proposal here is a taxon with distribution in Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, but excluding most of the United States--excepting extreme southern Florida--and southern Africa. See Sprunt 2010 above for more information about this split, which was proposed on the basis of limited overlapping ranges, phylogenetic, and morphological analyses; of the latter,

Even though no single morphological character can be used to distinguish among all taxa, a combination of characters can be used to identify each taxon. The most important characters include the presence or absence of scales on the adaxial surface, the location of the gland (or hydathode) on the laminar surface (Fig. 3.3), the presence and length of the sclerotic band in the rhizome scale (Fig. 3.5), leaf venation (Fig.3.4), and rhizome scale margin.

The resurrection fern covering the southern United States, eastern Mexico, and parts of the Caribbean has been elevated to species status as P. michauxiana and the southern African species is P. ecklonii. See the atlases below for rough ranges. Mainly, there are several hundred observations of resurrection ferns in the southern United States on iNaturalist that will be reassigned to P. michauxiana once this split is committed. Note that in Sprunt's 2010 dissertation there are several additional taxa raised to species level. At this time, this split only includes the elevation of P. michauxiana and P. ecklonii based on the published names and recognition in regional authorities as well as Plants of the World Online.

Review the output taxa atlases prepared by myself, @coreyjlange, and @choess. Identifications of P. polypodioides (sensu lato) will be automatically reassigned to one of the three output taxa based on these atlases. Where atlases overlap, identifications of P. polypodioides (sensu lato) will be reassigned to genus.

  1. Atlas for P. polypodioides (sensu stricto)
  2. Atlas for P. michauxiana
  3. Atlas for P. ecklonii

The purpose of this journal post is to gain rough consensus on going through with the split despite the current policy. If there is anyone that disagrees with it, please do include the basis of the disagreement. See also previous discussions in which everyone seemed on board with accepting P. michauxiana, which was accepted by the then-iNaturalist regional authority Weakley 2015: a flag and taxon change from ~7 months ago.

Pleopeltis michauxiana in Mississippi, US

Tagging in some of the most active curators, members of this project, and top Pleopeltis and Polypodium observers and identifiers. My apologies if I missed tagging you here. If you're not tagged, please do include yourself in the discussion. :) @aaronliston @ajwright @alexiz @americorp_jeffrey @aztekium_tutor @berkshirenaturalist @bobby23 @bodofzt @borisb @boschniakia @brownsbay @charlie @choess @cmcheatle @coreyjlange @cosmiccat @crothfels @dgreenberger @duarte @efmer @erikamitchell @erwin_pteridophilos @graysquirrel @grnleaf @gwark @hfabian @hkmoths @jakob @jasonrgrant @jdmore @jonathan142 @jrebman @juancarloslopezdominguez @jwalewski @kai_schablewski @kevinhintsa @kokhuitan @kueda @leonperrie @loarie @mangum @marykeim @mateohernandezschmidt @maxkirsch @mikepatterson @milliebasden @monifern @mrfish33 @nathantaylor7583 @norm_shea @philjrenner @reallifeecology @rfoster @robertarcher397 @ryan84 @ryancooke @sea-kangaroo @sedge @stevejones @tiggrx @tonyrebelo @treichard @tsn @valerietheblonde @wdvanhem @whiteoak @wisel

To view the project where this journal entry was posted, and join it if you wish, head to the iNaturalist Vascular Plant Working Group homepage and hit "Join" in the upper right corner.

由使用者 bouteloua bouteloua2018年09月30日 16:07 所貼文


I agree with the proposal and am happy this has finally been addressed. Thanks bouteloua!

發佈由 norm_shea 約 5 年 前

Pleopeltis is a difficult genus, and I'm sure that this won't be its final revision; but I'm happy that finally some light is shed on this issue. Thank you, Cassi! :)

發佈由 bodofzt 約 5 年 前

Way outside of my area of expertise, but thanks for tagging me @bouteloua.

發佈由 thenatureofvalerie 約 5 年 前

Valerie, same say I - an entomologist - taxonomic discussions on botany issues I simply cannot follow.
But happy any time I see what level of expertise is with us here!

發佈由 borisb 約 5 年 前

sorry for my confusion but is this affecting the Polypodium genus or just the pleoptelis? I don't know much about the latter, i don't think it grows in any of the areas i know well

發佈由 charlie 約 5 年 前

I know next to nothing about the genus and am happy with whatever you all decide on. Great job putting this together!

發佈由 nathantaylor 約 5 年 前

for southern Africa it is merely a rank change (subspecies to species) ... not an issue. Thanks.

發佈由 tonyrebelo 約 5 年 前

@charlie the Pleopeltis genus

發佈由 ryan84 約 5 年 前

Isn't this just a matter of splitting the species based on geographic location? If so I think the biggest issue is going to be in Central America where their ranges appear to overlap. I also am not a botanist haha

發佈由 ryan84 約 5 年 前

I don't have strong opinions in this specific case, but is there any real harm caused by leaving things as they are and waiting for POWO to catch up on their ferns and "P" genera? If not, I'd vote to just leave things be to minimize disruption, but again, no strong feelings. I haven't been very involved in the POWO transition aside from grudgingly accepting some of its clear implications, so maybe folks have already been jumping ahead of POWO for some reason.

發佈由 kueda 約 5 年 前

Folks are spending a lot of time "fixing" Pleopeltis polypodioides observations in the southern US. These would be quickly transfered to P. michauxii with this split.

發佈由 bouteloua 約 5 年 前

That is very much part of the problem. Folks "fixing" names and resulting in "xx disagrees with the ID of yy" and then the Community ID goes to genus or family level, when in fact it is the same species, just a name revision and no one is disagreeing with anything.

發佈由 tonyrebelo 約 5 年 前

Well, I guess as long as you list this as one of our deviations from POWO then it's fine, and it sounds like the folks who might care about these taxa who you've mentioned here are ok with it.

發佈由 kueda 約 5 年 前

If I'm understanding everything correctly, this looks like a "partial" adoption of the current (possibly outdated) POWO taxonomy. And there seems every reason to expect that POWO will continue to recognize P. michauxiana and P. ecklonii after the Pteridophytes and "P" genera are "officially" updated. Sounds like it will save much more manual ID work than it will create. So I have no objection to the ecklonii status change and partial polypodioides split. Good chance this will be the closest we could get to the POWO taxonomy even after their updates are complete.

To the extent possible, it might be good PR for any iNatters with neotropical Pleopeltis knowledge out there to be on top of the observations that revert to Genus level after the split is committed, and try to get as many of them as possible re-identified to species again in short order.

發佈由 jdmore 約 5 年 前

Hi all, I do have hard times geting used to this new proposals, I know we have to move on, but is really hard for me to get used to new names, still, I will suport new name status for species, not sure how POWO is working, but sure we do have many problems here in Mexico for the cacti family.

發佈由 aztekium 約 5 年 前

Thanks everyone. I committed the taxon changes. Here's how it shook out:

Number of observations before and after the split:

P. polypodioides sensu lato, now inactive - from 645 observations to 1 (user needs to opt into community ID)
P. polypodioides sensu stricto - from 0 observations to 31
P. michauxiana - from 395 observations to 1470
P. "ecklonii" (subsp & sp.) - from 8 observations to 10
Pleopeltis at rank=genus - from 794 observations to 347

Link to help identify Pleopeltis spp.:

發佈由 bouteloua 約 5 年 前

Thank you @bouteloua for providing all the helpful links! Hopefully those with Pleopeltis knowledge will be able to sort out most of the genus-level IDs.

And Thank you @bouteloua, @coreyjlange, and @choess for all the work that went into this.

發佈由 jdmore 約 5 年 前


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