Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The order Polypodiales encompasses the major lineages of polypod ferns, which comprise more than 80% of today's fern species. This plant is often found growing on walls and tree trunks where it can catch more light. They are found in many parts of the world including tropical, semitropical and temperate areas.
Polypodiales may be regarded as one of the most evolutionarily advanced orders of ferns, based on recent genetic analysis. The polypodioid ferns apparently derived from the ancestors of the dryopteroid ferns, through the ancestors of the davallioid ferns. They arose and diversified a mere 100 million years ago, probably subsequent to the diversification of the angiosperms.
There are 9 families of Polypodiales:
- Grammitidaceae -- the Kihi Fern family
- Polypodiaceae – the Polypody family. This family contains 30 to 50 genera (depending on the authority consulted) and more than 1,000 species of diverse, widely-distributed medium-sized and small ferns.
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