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Phylogenetic tree[edit]

None of the references shown give the topology shown in the cladogram. The cited source (Li et al, 2011) shows the four classes in a four-way polytomy. The consensus phylogeny of Smith et al (2006) places Psilotopsida outside a three-way polytomy of the other classes. None of the three topologies shown in the studies illustrated in Eusporangiate fern#Cladistics match the one in this article either.   Jts1882 | talk  14:52, 10 February 2019 (UTC)[reply]

Then the cladogram needs urgently to be changed to match at least one of the sources. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:16, 10 February 2019 (UTC)[reply]

What is a true fern?[edit]

While I don't think there is necessarily an answer, the article uses it two ways.

  1. In the lede it seems to use it narrowly for leptosporangiate ferns: Ferns are defined here in the broad sense, being all of the Polypodiopsida, comprising both the leptosporangiate (Polypodiidae) and eusporangiate ferns, the latter itself comprising ferns other than those denominated true ferns, including horsetails or scouring rushes, whisk ferns, marattioid ferns, and ophioglossoid ferns.
  2. In taxonomy section it is used more broadly: ... while both the whisk ferns and horsetails are as much true ferns as the ophioglossoid ferns and Marattiaceae.

I think just remove the "true" from the latter would make it consistent. —  Jts1882 | talk  16:09, 14 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, I agree. The changes in the classification of ferns in recent years make any use of the term "true fern" misleading. I'll do it. Peter coxhead (talk) 17:47, 14 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Actually more changes were needed. The article really needs a thorough review, because parts have clearly been written at different stages in the changing understanding of the phylogeny of the group, and are not well integrated. I've left the Stace-referenced use of "true fern" = "leptosporangiate fern", but there should be some mention of its use to mean "ferns s.l. minus horsetails". Peter coxhead (talk) 17:59, 14 March 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Inconsistency in time period[edit]

We have : "Ferns first appear in the fossil record about 360 million years ago in the middle Devonian period"

But according to http://www.stratigraphy.org/ICSchart/ChronostratChart2020-01.jpg, reference used in the article about Devonian, middle devonian goes from roughly 393.3 to 382.7 Ma. Either the value of "360 million" is wrong, either Ferns appeared between the Devonian and Carboniferous (around 358.9 Ma).

Major Topics Missing[edit]

I think there are some major missing areas that, if added, would substantially improve the article. Reproduction is only mentioned in passing, but really a whole section or subsection under Ecology is necessary to deal with the differences between fern reproduction and other major plant groups. An additional area that is lacking is any discussion of hybridization. You cannot understand the evolution of ferns and their current biogeography and diversity without at least a brief discussion of hybrid formation. Ptero-ADH (talk) 17:37, 5 October 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Feel free to improve the article (with sources, of course). Peter coxhead (talk) 21:17, 5 October 2020 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, don't forget to improve articles sometimes we need to be bold! Don't hesitate to make the changes you discussed! PrecociousPeach (talk) 00:54, 9 January 2021 (UTC)[reply]