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SUMMARY

The distribution of 144 species of pteridophyte in sixty-five areas within Europe was analysed by minimum-variance cluster analysis and principal co-ordinates analysis. Fifteen floristic regions and twenty-one floristic elements were delimited, and the distribution and composition of these are described. Inter-relationships between the elements and regions are demonstrated, and the major floristic divisions revealed within Europe are discussed. Possible ecological and historical causes for these patterns are considered.