Pellaea glabella includes four geographically and genetically isolated taxa treated here as subspecies. D. B. Lellinger (1985) recognized three species in this difficult group, but isozyme analyses (G. J. Gastony 1988) showed that one of these ( P . suksdorfiana ) is an autotetraploid derivative of the diploid known as P . occidentalis . As a result, Gastony recognized just two species: P . glabella (with two varieties) and P . occidentalis (with two subspecies). The few morphologic features that distinguish these taxa, however, are subtle and environmentally plastic, and the isozyme data indicate that they are less divergent genetically than any other pair of Pellaea species in North America. Therefore, a more conservative taxonomic treatment seems warranted.
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