Hart’s Tongue Fern

About 90% of the U.S. population of American hart’s-tongue fern occurs in two central NY counties (Onondaga and Madison). A census of all 16 populations of American hart’s-tongue fern in NY has been done about every five years since 1916. These populations have had dramatic increases and decreases over the past nearly 100 years, most likely due to precipitation (including snow), especially extreme dry and wet periods. More recently, the habitat of this fern in NY has been studied. Populations are generally restricted to north-facing slopes at mid-slope position beneath hardwood canopy on steep slopes with significant blocks of limestone.


Project Title: Conservation of the federally-listed (threatened) American hart’s-tongue fern in central New York

Summary:
Besides the ongoing census work, we (D. Fernando, contact) have recently initiated a study on the genetic diversity of the populations in central New York.

Location: all sixteen populations of the American hart’s-tongue fern in NYS

Timeline: ongoing, since 1916

Field participants:
Thomas Brumbelow (M.S. student; D. Leopold, mp)

Principal Investigators:
Donald J. Leopold, Danilo D. Fernando

Funding:
USFWS, Sussman Environmental Internship Program

Contact:
Donald J. Leopold, Chair and Distinguished Teaching Professor
Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, SUNY-ESF
Syracuse, NY 13210
email: djleopold@esf.edu

For more information:

  • Kelsall, N., C. Hazard, and D.J. Leopold. 2004. Influence of climate factors on demographic changes in the New York populations of the federally-listed Phyllitis scolopendrium var. americana. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society 131:161-168.
  • Cinquemani Kuehn, D.M. and D.J. Leopold. 1993. Habitat characteristics associated with Phyllitis scolopendrium var. americana in central New York. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 120:310-318.
  • Cinquemani Kuehn, D.M. and D.J. Leopold. 1992. Long-term demography of Phyllitis scolopendrium var. americana in central New York. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club 119:65-76.