Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Marsilea minuta
L., Marsileaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  no

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Common name(s): [more details]

English: clover fern, dwarf waterclover, pepperwort, small water clover, water clover

Habit:  aquatic fern

Description:  "Plants forming extensive but diffuse colonies.  Rhizome 0.4-0.8 mm thick, green to light brown, densely covered with tan hairs at apices but glabrate proximally, sometimes bearing short branches with numerous leaves at nodes, nodal and internodal roots 0.1-0.3 mm thick, internodes 1-3.5 cm long; rhizome in water 0.5-0.8 mm tick, green to brown, glabrous, internodes 4-11 cm long.  Land leaves with erect terete petioles 5-13 cm long, 0.4-0.8 mm thick, leaflets 1.2-2 cm long, 0.8-1.7 cm wide, cuneate to flabellate, glabrous to sparsely hairy, with concave, straight, or convex lateral margins and entire to crenulate terminal margins; leaves in water often with leaflets emergent rather than floating, with stiff terete petioles 13.5-47 cm long, 0.3-0.8 mm thick, leaflets 1.7-1.8 cm long, 1.5-1.6 cm wide; hydropoten infrequent.  Fertile leaves produced on land, bearing 1-4 sporocarps per leaf, on either branched or unbranched peduncles attached at or slightly above the base of the petiole, unbranched peduncles and ultimate divisions of branching peduncles 2.6-6.0 mm long, the common trunk of branched peduncles 0.4 mm long.  Sporocarps 2.6-4.1 mm long, 2.4-3.1 mm wide, 1.3-1.7 mm thick, nearly round to slightly oblong in lateral view, ovate or elliptical in cross section, brown to black, hairy to glabrate; raphe 1.5-2.2 mm long, inferior tooth 0.3-0.6 mm long, obtuse or truncate, or absent, superior tooth 0.3-0.6 mm long, acute; sporocarp veins ca 15, forking midway, branches often anastomosing at tips.  Sori 9-12 per sporocarp, attached to a sorophore with a free acute tip, 9-14 microsporangia and 2-7 megasporangia per sorus.  Microspores 50-64 per sporangium, 50-75 μm in diameter, with 1-2 spores per sporangium occasionally brown, misshapen, up to 32 μm long.  Megaspores 400-525 μm long, 355-380 μm wide, with an apical lpapilla 40-65 μm long" (Johnson, 1986; pp. 39-40).

Habitat/ecology:  Low elevations near the coast in fresh water or occasionally in brackish water on sandy or clay substrates. In northeastern Brazil the plants have been collected in seasonal ponds (Johnson, 1986; pp. 39-40).

Propagation:  Spores or rhizomes (Waterhouse, 1994; p. 114).

Native range:  Africa and India. It is found in Trinidad, Tobago and northeastern Brazil, but these may be recent introductions (Johnson, 1986; pp. 39-40).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Philippines
Philippine Islands
Philippine Islands   Waterhouse, D. F. (1993) (pp. 67, 78)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Malaysia
Malaysia
Malaysia (country of) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Comoros
Comoro Islands
Comoro Islands native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Agr. Res. Serv. (2013)

Control: 

Biological:  Waterhouse (1994, pp. 115-116) lists natural enemies of the species.


Need more info? Have questions? Comments? Information to contribute? Contact PIER! (pier@hear.org)

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This page was created on 30 MAY 2005 and was last updated on 20 MAY 2013.