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Department of Biogeography

Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein

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Master Thesis

Der Keilblättrige Serpentin-Streifenfarn (Asplenium cuneifolium VIV.) in Deutschland: Räumliche Analyse des Vorkommens anhand von Serpentinitgesteinsvorkommen, Klima- und Landnutzungsparametern

Samuel Rauhut (08/2012-03/2013)

Support: Carl Beierkuhnlein, David Harter, Jürgen Kreyling

The serpentine spleenwort (Asplenium cuneifolium) can be found in Germany only in Bavaria and Saxony and is critically endangered (German Red List Status 2). However, this plant, which appears solely on or in the near of serpentine rocks, has been little studied up to now, though it is currently threatened by changes in environmental conditions.

Here, I studied the current distribution regarding the occurrence of serpentine rocks, land use, the influence of isolated serpentine rocks and also the potential climatic suitability of the serpentine deposits with a spatial analysis.

I could confirm a strong obligation of the fern to serpentine, a negative influence of increased shadowing by neighbouring plants, a negative influence of the distance to the next serpentine occurrences as well as a usually eastern location of settled serpentine. These findings are probably explained by the reproduction strategy of the fern (spore dispersal by wind). The analysis of the climatic suitability and of the land use in the surrounding area produced no clear results. Here, further and especially small-scale on-site-analyses are necessary for a better estimation of their influence.

This work contributes to the general understanding of the species and its characteristics. Due to the current endangerment by changing environmental factors (like climate change, change of land use and the destruction of habitats of the fern) there is still a huge need of research for a better understanding as well as for the protection and preservation of the species.

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