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Phenology of Dryopteris affinis ssp affinis and Polystichum aculeatum modeling relationships to the climatic variables in a Mediterranean area


Phenology of Dryopteris affinis ssp affinis and Polystichum aculeatum modeling relationships to the climatic variables in a Mediterranean area



Plant Species Biology



DOI: 10.1111/1442-1984.12000

The phenology of leaves and stages from immature sori to spore release were studied in natural populations of two perennial herbaceous ferns, Dryopteris affinis ssp. affinis and Polystichum aculeatum, for 2?years in Italy. The Generalized Additive Model for Location, Scale and Shape (GAMLSS) was used to predict a particular phenological event from the climatic variables. Both fern species are evergreen with leaf lifespan of 13 14?months in D.?affinis ssp. affinis and 15 24?months in P.?aculeatum. Their leaf production is seasonal with most flushed in spring. In D.?affinis ssp. affinis the decaying of old leaves is sudden whereas in P.?aculeatum it is gradual, and in both types the decaying is accelerated just as the new leaves emerge. Temperature is the best predictor for the development of sori and spore release. The end of spore release and leaf emergence are positively affected by temperature and negatively affected by rainfall and snow cover for P.?aculeatum. An almost similar response to climatic factors of emergent and senescent leaves and their phenology supportsthe hypothesis that old leaves serve as nutrient storage organs for new leaf growth. Comparison the phenological patterns between the 2?years indicated that the time lapses between each phenological event were the same within seasons for D.?affinis ssp. affinis but show some differences for P.?aculeatum. We also hypothesize that endogenous factors may play an important role in the phenology of P. aculeatum.

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