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Re: Harmonious depredations



At 10:08 PM 6/8/00 -0400, John Bois wrote:


On Thu, 8 Jun 2000, Stanley Friesen wrote:

> For that matter, I doubt he has actually *looked* at bracken meadows.  The
> cover there is at least as good as in grasslands.

Where is there one?

New England and England have them, particularly the latter.

Just watch enough episodes of British shows like Robin Hood and you will see a bracken meadow. There are also photos in some of the better books on the ecology of New England and England.

Are they in competition with grass?

Not sure. They are almost grass-free. They are mostly limited to moist openings in moist or wet forest (hence "meadow". I do not know why these particular places are still fern dominated.


  Are they like
most fern and need water to fertilize?

Yes, but, like most ferns, it takes very little. Just a few drops. The gametophyte is quite small.


  Why aren't there more of
them?

Don't know.

Were they more dominant before grass?

Probablybly. Certainly fern spores are rather more common in older sediments.

I also seem to remember an in-place semi-arid florule from the Late Cretaceous preserved by a volcanic event that was dominated by a mixture of ferns and brambly bushes (similar to roses).

--------------
May the peace of God be with you.         sarima@ix.netcom.com