Ferns are an integral part of the world's flora, appreciated for their beauty as ornamentals, problematic as invaders and endangered by human interference. They often dominate forest understories but also colonize open areas, invade waterways and survive in nutrient-poor wastelands and eroded pastures. Presented here is the first comprehensive summary of fern ecology, with worldwide examples from Siberia to the islands of Hawaii. Topics include a brief history of the ecological study of ferns, a global survey of fern biogeography, fern population dynamics, the role of ferns in ecosystem nutrient cycles, their adaptations to xeric environments and future directions in fern ecology. Fully illustrated concepts and processes provide a framework for future research and utilization of ferns for graduate students and professionals in ecology, conservation and land management.
• A comprehensive summary of extensive world wide research on fern ecology, a reliable framework for future research and fieldwork • Includes detailed examples of world wide fern research, from Siberia to Hawaii, to illustrate concepts effectively • Covers common ecological principles and broader socio-economic issues, for students, researchers and professional ecologists, conservationists and land managers
1. Ecological importance of ferns Joanne M. Sharpe, Klaus Mehltreter and Lawrence R. Walker; 2. Biogeography of ferns Michael Kessler; 3. Ecological insights from fern population dynamics Joanne M. Sharpe and Klaus Mehltreter; 4. Nutrient ecology of ferns Sarah J. Richardson and Lawrence R. Walker; 5. Fern adaptations to xeric environments Peter Hietz; 6. Ferns, disturbance and succession Lawrence R. Walker and Joanne M. Sharpe; 7. Interactions of ferns with fungi and animals Klaus Mehltreter; 8. Problem ferns: their impact and management Roderick Robinson, Elizabeth Sheffield and Joanne M. Sharpe; 9. Fern conservation Klaus Mehltreter; 10. Current and future directions in fern ecology Lawrence R. Walker, Klaus Mehltreter and Joanne M. Sharpe.
'This book will be of general interest to those who want to know more about ferns around the world. Despite so much information being presented, it is written in an accessible style with terms usually explained in the text or in the glossary. It will be of especial interest for students as a review of current knowledge and a source of inspiration for those looking for further projects.' Heather S. McHaffie, Annals of Botany
'The comprehensive and detailed nature of the treatment might lead you to believe that this scholarly book should be used as a reference. However, the authors and editors have done an excellent job at making this an enjoyable and engaging read for anyone interested in ferns.' Plant Science Bulletin