How ferns adapted to one of Earth’s newest and most extreme environments

23 octubre 2014

Ferns are believed to be ‘old’ plant species — some of them lived alongside the dinosaurs, over 200 million years ago. However, a group of Andean ferns evolved much more recently: their completely new form and structure (morphology) arose and diversified within the last 2 million years. This novel morphology seems to have been advantageous when colonising the extreme environment of the high Andes.