Ferns And Fern Allies: Identification, Evolution And Their Role In Victorian Life

Course Details

Module Code: XS18410

Class Code: AA303E

Venue: Elystan Morgan Building Room B1.18 (Llanbadarn Campus)

Town: Aberystwyth

Day: Wednesday

Start Time: 10am

End Time: 5pm

Start Date: 24-06-2020

End Date: 26-06-2020

Tutor: Thomas, Barry(Prof)

Other Date(s):

Full Fee: £120.00
Concessions: £110.00
Fee Waiver Fee: £10.00

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Students will learn the fundamentals of fern identification, how to use floras and how to identify fern species using keys. These are essential and valuable skills for field and conservation ecologists, as plants are used to define habitats and form the basis of the food chain. Emphasis will be on practical skills with identification taking place in the laboratory and in the field. A range of British species from local habitats and commonly cultivated plants will be examined. The focus will be on learning how to identify ferns and developing the skills and confidence to use a flora, rather than learning a defined species list. An overview of the lifecycle of ferns, horsetails and clubmosses (Selaginella and Lycopdium), their evolutionary history and the Victorain fern craze will also be explored.

Seminars (2 x 5 hours) covering:

  • An Introduction to ferns, horsetails and clubmosses (Selaginella and Lycopodium)
  • The lifecylce of ferns, horsetails and clubmosses
  • Keeping a notebook and recording observations from detailed examination and identification of specimens
  • The evolutionary history of ferns, horsetails and clubmosses
  • The Victorian fern craze
Workshops and Fieldwork - Local area and University Glasshouse (2 x 5 hours) covering:

  • Identification of common ferns, horsetails and clubmosses ? specimens from local habitats using a flora with keys.
  • Identification of commonly cultivated plants using a flora with keys.
  • Examination of Victorian fern artefacts (glass, china, pottery, garden seats etc..)


This module is at CQFW Level 4