Journal Article Contrasting patterns in lichen diversity in the continental and maritime Antarctic

9 ( 3 )  , pp.311 - 318 , 2015-09
Systematic surveys of the lichen floras of Schirmacher Oasis (Queen Maud Land, continental Antarctic), Victoria Land (Ross Sector, continental Antarctic) and Admiralty Bay (South Shetland Islands, maritime Antarctic) were compared to help infer the major factors influencing patterns of diversity and biogeography in the three areas. Biogeographic patterns were determined using a variety of multivariate statistical tools. A total of 54 lichen species were documented from Schirmacher Oasis (SO), 48 from Victoria Land (VL) and 244 from Admiralty Bay (AB). Of these, 21 species were common to all areas. Most lichens from the SO and VL areas were microlichens, the dominant genus being Buellia. In AB, in contrast, many macrolichens were also present and the dominant genus was Caloplaca. In SO and VL large areas lacked any visible lichen cover, even where the ground was snow-free in summer. Small-scale diversity patterns were present in AB, where the number of species and genera was greater close to the coast. Most species recorded were rare in the study areas in which they were present and endemic to Antarctica.

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