CESI Research Project 04-3

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Hydrologic Constraints on Establishment of Lygodium microphyllum
Thomas E. Philippi & Jennifer H. Richards

Infestation of Old World Climbing Fern
Old World Climbing Fern Overtakes Native Vegetation

NPS Photo


Lygodium microphyllum, is an invasive, nonnative plant that now covers an estimated 300,000 acres of natural areas in central and south Florida. This climbing fern can form a dense canopy which can smother entire forests of native organisms. Like other ferns, L. microphyllum spreads via minute spores. Aided by wind, a single spore can travel great distances and establish the plant in new areas.

This CESI-funded investigation examines the relationship between the dispersal, germination and growth of this species relative to temperature and hydrology. In their final report Philippi & Richards suggest germination is most likely to occur in moist areas during periods of cooler temperatures. The survival of juveniles depends further on areas free from inundation. Monitoring these parameters in the field can help managers focus eradication efforts on those areas most likely to be invaded.

Please contact us for a copy of this report

Contact the principal investigator directly with questions about this study.

Last updated: June 2, 2021

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