EPOW - Ecology Picture
of the Week
Each week a different image of our
fascinating environment is featured, along with a brief explanation written
by a professional ecologist.
10-16 January 2011
Click on images for larger versions
Fern Below the Canopy
Staghorn Fern (Platycerium
superbum), Family Polypodiaceae
Lamington National Park, Queensland, Australia
Credit & Copyright: Dr. Bruce G.
Continuing from last week's visit, this week we are still in Lamington
National Park in eastern Australia. Now our necks ache as we crank
skyward to view these dense floral skirts that ring some of the larger and
older trees of the park. These are staghorn
ferns, so named for their branching, antler-like appearance.
ferns are used widely as ornamentals.
But here, in their native environment, they cling to the trunks of massive
rainforest trees just below the tree canopy, catching the light with
spectacular sprays of foliage.
Way up high on this old-growth hoop
pine, just below the tree canopy, is a staghorn fern, taking advantage of
the light it can gather up so high. (See next image below for a
The green leaves of the staghorn fern are the reproductive fronds
that bear "sporangia" or spore-producing bodies.
The tan-brown mass at the base of those fronds are the
"sterile fronds" which are thick, hard overlapping layers that
grasp the tree surface.
Next week's picture:
Sea Lion Attacks Iguana !
... | Archive |
Location | Search | About
EPOW | ... Next >
Author & Webmaster: Dr.
Bruce G. Marcot, Tom Bruce
Disclaimers and Legal
Original material on Ecology Picture of the Week ©
Bruce G. Marcot
Member Theme of Taos-Telecommunity