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Overview of Podocarpaceae - Assignment

Added on - 09 Jan 2021

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Plant or animal group thatcontributes to New Zealandbiodiversity.
TABLE OF CONTENTSINTRODUCTION...........................................................................................................................1Overview of Podocarpaceae............................................................................................................1Group diversity in Podocarpaceae...................................................................................................2Presence of Podocarpaceae outside New Zealand..........................................................................4Types of habitat and distribution of Podocarpaceae in New Zealand............................................5Morphological, ecological and behavioural feature of Podocarpaceae...........................................6REFERENCES................................................................................................................................9
INTRODUCTIONPodocarpaceae, also known as the Podocarps which is the family of shrubs or trees thathave leaves in scale or linear pattern. The female cone of these species is characterised by singleovule which consist of fruit or seed bearing bract. The report will provide a brief review ofcontribution of Podocarpaceae in biodiversity of New Zealand. It will discuss their overview andgroup diversity. The report will explain details about scientific classification and theirdistribution in New Zealand (NZ) as well as outside NZ. The report will highlight behavioural,ecological and morphological features of plant family. It will describe the impact of Podocarpson local biological structure of New Zealand. Further report will analyse involvement ofconservation issues in association with plant group.Overview of PodocarpaceaeThe plant family is called Podocarpaceae because the seeds of this plant family are notenclosed by the fruit rather they are positioned at the foot or bottom of fruit. Podocarps is thefamily of vascular plants which are found in the southern hemisphere. The family consists ofaround 17 genera and has more than 100 species of conifers. Podocarpaceae family has differentmale and female plants which are defined as dioecious. The genera of this family are usuallysmall and large. Small trees have height of around few inches only while large trees can grow upto 60 meters or even greater. The leaves of this group are usually needle shaped, linear or scaledtype (Norton, Butt and Bergin, 2018).These plants consist of long shoots and axillary positioned male cones. The male cones ofplants consist of microsporophyll which are arranged in spiral pattern. In most of the species ofPodocarpaceae female cone is very diminished and is observed as single ovule with fleshy andswollen receptacle. This plant family follows a wide range of mechanisms for pollination. Withinthe same genus of Podocarpaceae, the basic number of chromosome is highly variable. Thechromosome number in all species of Podocarpaceae is within range of 9 to 19. However, it isthe characteristic feature that this family member does not consist of 14 and 16 number ofchromosome in any of its species.
Group diversity in PodocarpaceaePodocarpaceae are considered to be the most diversified groups. The members of thisfamily shows great diversification in terms of ecology as well as morphology (Barratt and et.al.,2015). In New Zealand following genera of Podocarps are present. Each of these groups consistof its native species.Dacrydium:The Dacrydium genus of Podocarpaceae is present across New Zealand. However, in NZonly one species of this group is found which is Dacrydium cupressinum. Their height is below60 meters. They are characterised by dark red wood, dark brown bark and variety of colours inleaves such as red-green, bronze or dark green and orange. The male and female cone in thesespecies occurs on sub adults at first. The fruits of this specie takes around more than one year formaturing and to co-occur with the female cones.Podocarpus:Out of 105 species of this group, 5 species are found in NZ.Podocarpus acutifolius specie forms dense and thick areas along river channels andgrasslands. This specie is present as shrub or as trees which is of height up to 15 m only.This is similar to another specie of Podocarpus, namely Podocarpus totara var.wailhoensis. Both of these species are assumed to be have hybrid arising. P. acutifolius isdiffered by other species that have linear, narrow leaves and are shrubby growing innature (Rawlence and et.al.,, 2015).Podocarpus nivalis is found in alpine and subalpine areas and can be easily observed inherb field and among razorback ridges. These species have heavily erected growth habitsand narrow leaves. Nivalis and acutifolius both species grow in full sunlight and indrained and fertile soil.Podocarpus totara var. totara is abundantly present in lowlands and lower region ofsubalpine forests. These species are up to 30 m tall and it frequently undergoes into
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