Authors: Rinchen Dorji and Michael B. Thomas
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Locality: Bhutan (27.332740, 90.439450)
Abstract: Ferns are important sources of food for both wild animals and humans. A suite of herbivores, mostly wild pigs (Sus scrofa), sambar deer (Rusa unicolor), and barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak) feed on native ferns which serve as their main or supplemental diet during particular seasons. These ungulates, in turn, are important food sources for the threatened predators such as the tiger (Panthera tigris) and dhole (Cuon alpinus) and common leopard (Panthera pardus). Ferns also provide shelter for many species of birds, amphibians, and reptiles. They also play very important role in maintaining the soil nutrient and moisture content. Additionally, there is a long tradition of Bhutanese harvesting wild ferns for domestic consumption and sale in the local markets. Unfortunately, however, there is little documentation of the extensive fern diversity and local uses in Bhutan. The conservation status of many fern species is not known. There is some concern that some of the fern species could be being over harvested, negatively affecting local plant populations and the environment.

The following checklist includes documented edible ferns of Bhutan.

References:
Matsushima, K., M. Minami and K. Nemoto. 2012. Use and Conservation of Edible Plants in Bhutan from the Journal of the Faculty of Agriculture, Shinshu University Vol. 48, no.1.

Fraser-Jenkins, C.R., Matsumoto, S. & Wangdi, T., in Fraser-Jenkins, C.R. (ed.). 2009. Pteridophytes of Bhutan - A list of families, genera and species: i-x, 1-125. National Biodiversity Centre, Ministry of Agriculture, Serbithang, Thimphu, Bhutan.

Pem, T. 24.10.2008. New species of fern discovered [by CRFJ & T. Wangdi, Cheilanthes bhutanica], Bhutan Observer 24 Oct. 2008: 10.
http://bhutanobserver.bt/763-bo-news-about-new_species_of_fern_discovered.aspx

Matsushima, K., M. Minami, K. Nemoto, N.K. Pradhan, L. Thapa, and D. Delma. 2008. Edible Wild Plants of Bhutan and their Associated Traditional Knowledge. Council for RNR Research in Bhutan, Ministry of Agriculture, Royal Government of Bhutan. Thimphu, Bhutan. 130 p.

Notes: Project supported by the United States Fulbright Scholar Program, Washington, D.C. (2017). The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government.

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Families: 6
Genera: 8
Species: 6 (species rank)
Total Taxa: 11 (including subsp. and var.)
Athyrium sp. - Gasha Daway
Recorded from: Mongar, Uses: food, Parts used: Young fronds, source: Matsushima et al. (2012); Matsushima et al. (2008)
Recorded from: Bumthang, Uses: food, medicine (increase longevity), Parts used: Fronds, source: Matsushima et al. (2008)
Recorded from: Trashigang, Uses: food, Parts used: Young fronds
Diplazium sp. - Tonkey Dawey
Recorded from: Thimphu, Trashigang, Mongar, Wangdue Phodrang, Trongsa, Punakha, Tsirang, Uses: food, medicine (bodyache), Parts used: Young fronds, source: Matsushima et al. (2012); Matsushima et al. (2008)
Recorded from: Punakha, Tsirang, Mongar, Uses: food, Parts used: Young fronds, source: Matsushima et al. (2008); T. Wangdi & Garden 236 [NBC] , T. Wangdi & Garden 236 [NBC] , T. Wangdi... 314 [NBC] , T. Wangdi... 512 [NBC]
Recorded from: Thimphu, Tsirang, Mongar, Trongsa, Punakha, Uses: food, Parts used: Young fronds, source: Matsushima et al. (2012); Matsushima et al. (2008); C.R. Fraser-Jenkins... CRFJ 31745 [NBC] , C.R. Fraser-Jenkins... CRFJ 31777 [NBC] , T. Wangdi... 403 [NBC] , T. Wangdi... 581 [NBC]
Recorded from: Trashigang, Uses: food, Parts used: Young fronds, source: Matsushima et al. (2008)
Recorded from: Trashigang, Zhemgang, Uses: food, Parts used: Young fronds, source: Matsushima et al. (2008)
Pteris excelsa Gaud. - Nimin Daway
Recorded from: Mongar, Uses: food, Parts used: Young fronds, source: Matsushima et al. (2012); Matsushima et al. (2008); C.R. Fraser-Jenkins... CRFJ 31722 [NBC]
Recorded from: Wangdue Phodrang, Uses: food, Parts used: Young fronds, source: Matsushima (2008); T. Wangdi... 479 [NBC] , T. Wangdi... 169 [NBC] , T. Wangdi... 169 [NBC]