The distribution of lichens and mosses at Edward VII Peninsula, Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAntarctic Science. 2022, 34 (6), 423–431. 10.1017/S0954102022000396
This is the first detailed study of the distribution of mosses and lichens at Alexandra Mountains and Rockefeller Mountains, Edward VII Peninsula, Antarctica. A total of 418 samples was collected on 21 nunataks in the summer of 1987–1988. Lichens included 44 taxa, bringing the total known from Edward VII Peninsula to 50. Ten lichen species were new records for the Continental Antarctic zone, whilst only six were endemic to that zone. There were six species and one variety of moss, bringing the total known from Edward VII Peninsula to seven species and one variety. These included the first record of a species of Orthotrichum in Continental Antarctica. Two other species and a variety were new records for Edward VII Peninsula. Overall, the flora was species rich for a Continental Antarctic region and was comparable with the species-rich sites of Botany Bay and Kar Plateau, which are at approximately the same latitude (77°S) in southern Victoria Land. This rich flora was probably supported by a reliable summer water supply from melting snowfall and snowdrift and by the range of microenvironments at nunataks with different degrees of nutrient enrichment from nesting birds.