In vitro cultures, cryopreserved gametophyte and sporophyte tissues, and plants are held at CREW.
This species was initiated into tissue culture from spores collected from Jackson Co., Alabama. A tissue culture propagation protocol for the species has been developed at CREW (Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden), as well as cryopreservation protocols for in vitro cultures of both gametophytes and sporophytes (Pence, 2015).
This fern has specific substrate and microhabitat requirements and occurs in small, widely-separated groups of populations. Northern populations are associated with the Niagara Escarpment in southern Ontario, central New York, and eastern Upper Peninsula Michigan; small disjunct southern populations occur in sinkholes and limestone caves in northern Alabama and southcentral Tennessee with microclimates mimicking conditions at northern sites. Approximately 100 extant occurrences are known, with nearly 80% of these in Ontario; a small to moderate number are found in New York and Michigan, and Tennessee and Alabama have just one and one to two extant occurrences, respectively. Total population size in the United States appears to be 5500-6500 plants, while Ontario figures are larger, with ten to hundreds of thousands of individuals. Major threats include habitat alteration via logging, quarrying, residential and commercial development, trail construction, and rock clmbing and trampling. The majority of the southern (TN and AL) populations have declined drastically or have been extirpated since their initial discovery; conservation of these small, disjunct populations appears important to preserve the genetic variability of the taxon.
Be the first to post an update!