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Published In: Corollarium Bryologiae Europaeae 99. 1856. (Coroll. Bryol. Eur.) Name publication detail

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Acceptance : Accepted
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Goffinet and Buck (2004) listed 28 genera in the Neckeraceae, and with the addition of Orthos-tichella the family now consists of 29 genera. The Neckeraceae are most abundant and diverse in the tropics, especially in Southeast Asia. The family is poorly represented in the Northern Hemisphere, where it exhibits a small fraction of its remarkable variability and diversity. Traditionally, the Neck-eraceae have been divided into two subfamilies: Neckeroideae and Thamnioideae. These subfamilies are sometimes treated at the family level (Buck & Vitt 1986; Sastre 1987; Churchill & Linares 1995; Gradstein et al. 2001). Enroth (1994b), however, demonstrated the impossibility of separating the two families because some genera in the group had the thamnioid gametophyte/neckeroid sporophyte combination of features, while others had the neckeroid gametophyte/thamnioid sporophyte combi-nation. The use of a single family for this group of genera is now generally accepted (Enroth 1994b; He 1997; Buck & Goffinet 2000; Goffinet & Buck 2004).

Enroth (1994b) polarized the character states within the Neckeraceae, and, based on an analysis of their gametophytic and sporophytic characters, assigned relative advancement values for 23 gen-era. He concluded that some of the genera usually placed in the Thamnioideae were “clearly more primitive” than those placed in the Neckeroideae. Character state variability within the family is huge; however, a general gametophytic characterization of the Neckeraceae would include these features: (1) creeping stolons, with rhizoids more or less restricted to circular clusters just below the stolon leaf insertions; (2) stems often stipitate, with well-differentiated stipe leaves; (3) frondose branching pattern; (4) foliose pseudoparaphyllia; (5) the ability to form paraphyllia; and (6) leaves often com-planate, with variously serrate margins, weakly developed alar cells, and firm, relatively short, upper leaf cells. Sporophytic characters within the Neckeraceae are so variable and oddly distributed in re-gards to gametophytic characters that it is impossible to present any generalized characterization of the Neckeraceae sporophyte. Thamnobryum appears to be the most primitive genus, while Neckera seems to be the most advanced genus of the Neckeraceae (see Enroth 1994b, Table 3).


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Plants small, medium-sized, or robust, flattened, sometimes with an intense blackish color. Pri-mary stems creeping, sympodially branched, often stoloniferous, occasionally pendent; rhizoids from circular clusters of initials abaxial to the stolon leaf insertions and at the base of secondary stems; leaves reduced, widely spaced, appressed to spreading. Stems horizontal or erect, not stipitate or stipitate-frondose, sometimes pendent, irregularly branched, complanate-foliate, at times flagellate-attenuate; cross section of secondary stems with sclerodermis, enlarged cortical cells, central strand present or absent; paraphyllia present or absent; pseudoparaphyllia present or absent. Stipe leaves erect, erect-spreading, or squarrose. Secondary stem and branch leaves symmetric or asymmetric, smooth or undulate, decurrent or rarely not decurrent; margins often inflexed on one side below, sometimes coarsely dentate at apex, occasionally with intramarginal limbidia; costae double or single, long or short, often forked or branched near tip, sometimes ending in a small spine on the dorsal surface; cells smooth or prorate; alar cells weakly differentiated. Asexual reproduction some-times by deciduous leaves or filiform, microphyllous branchlets. Dioicous, synoicous, or autoicous. Perichaetia at times ramentose. Setae elongate or short, smooth throughout or smooth below and mammillose above. Capsules immersed or exserted, erect to suberect, symmetric or asymmetric; stomata present or absent; opercula rostrate; peristome diplolepideous; exostome teeth, linear or nar-rowly triangular, dorsal surface cross-striate below or papillose; endostome basal membranes low or high, segments perforate, keeled or not keeled, cilia well developed (nodose or appendiculate), rudi-mentary or absent. Calyptrae cucullate or mitrate and lobed, naked, sparsely hairy, densely ramen-tose, or smooth.



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