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Ferns – Biodiversity University
July 23 @ 9:00 AM - July 24 @ 5:00 PM$265
Ferns are our constant companions in the North Woods, yet many naturalists never get to know them due to their cryptic characteristics. In this course, we’ll become familiar with ferns and their allies through an exploration of their natural history, evolution, and identification.
Ferns are the second largest group of vascular plants on earth, exceeded only by the seed plants, and are a group of spore-dispersed vascular plants (like horsetails, clubmosses, spikemosses & quillworts). We will explore this group’s wonderful diversity in the field, investigate diagnostic features, then take a closer look under the microscope back in the lab.
New England’s ferns include a number of similar-looking species and hybrids; we will learn to distinguish these by practicing with diagnostic keys and the aid of example specimens. We will also take a peek into the 450 million years of fern evolution and put Vermont’s local diversity into a global and historical context.