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Pteridological Section/AFS

Sanchez, Carlos [1], Caluff, Manuel G. [2], Regalado, Ledis [3], Morejón, Renier [1].

Cuban endemic true ferns: a preliminary assessment of the current conservation conditions.

One of the main tasks in the conservation of our natural resources is to expand the knowledge of the endemic species in our flora. The ferns and allied plants have been an understudied group in the Cuban flora and taxonomic treatments of the Cuban pteridophytes, before 1970, were scarce and disperse; today, only three families of ferns have a modern taxonomic treatment: the filmy ferns (Hymenophyllaceae), spleenworts (Aspleniaceae) and tree ferns (Cyatheaceae). The aim of this work is to provide an updated list of the endemic Cuban ferns (taking into account only ferns and not allied plants). Brief characterization of each species, concerning distribution and habitat, and a preliminary assessment on their risk of extinction will be discussed. A preliminary evaluation of the conservation condition of 54 Cuban endemic true fern species (Polypodiopsida) showed that more than 60% are in the most alarming threat categories: Critically Endangered (CR, 14); Endangered (EN, 12) and Vulnerable (VU, 9). Three more species are under the Near Threatened (NT) category and 16 are Least Concerned (LC). The most common cause is the loss or degradation of the habitat because of agriculture, mining, deforestation, infrastructure development and meteorological events. Due to their condition of endemicity, attention is focused on these plants by the Action Plan of Conservationist Strategy of the Cuban pteridologists and the people, in general, working on plant conservation. Setting up an integrated strategy, emphasizing on the "in situ" conservation, to preserve the quality of the natural habitats, is the most feasible approach to the maintenance and protection of this group of ferns.

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1 - Jardín Botánico Nacional, Universidad de la Habana, Carretera Del Rocio, Km 3.5, Calabazar, Boyeros, Ciudad Habana, Cp 19230, Cuba
2 - Jardín de Helechos de Santiago de Cuba, Bioeco, Ctra. del Caney No 129, Reparto La Caridad, Santiago de Cuba, CP 90400, Cuba
3 - Instituto de Ecología y Sistemática, Carretera de Varona Km 3½, Capdevila, Boyeros, A.P.8029, Ciudad Habana, C.P. 10800, Cuba

Cuban Ferns

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: 18-5
Location: 602/Hilton
Date: Monday, August 15th, 2005
Time: 2:45 PM
Abstract ID:462

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