While visiting family in Melbourne, I took the opportunity to go fern hunting.
Asplenium hookerianum is a rare fern in Australia. With Melbourne University’s Daniel Ohlsen and Mike Bayly, we went searching for the two populations recorded from Victoria’s Alpine National Park.
We were successful, relocating the known populations and finding a new one. We recorded a total of 450-500 individuals, some 200 more than previously noted.
In Victoria, Asplenium hookerianum appears restricted to rock overhangs in deep gorges. It was odd seeing it in Eucalyptus forest. In New Zealand, Asplenium hookerianum is much less fussy, being common on the forest floor.
We wonder whether the Australian populations are derived from New Zealand, or vice versa. We hope to test this using DNA analyses.
Findings from our previous investigations of New Zealand Asplenium hookerianum: