Polar Biology

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 173–180 | Cite as

Pollen and spores transport into the Antarctic

  • L. Kappen
  • H. Straka


Pollen deposition in a 7 cm thick moss turf (Polytrichum juniperinum) from a site in Admiralty Bay (King George Island, maritime Antarctic zone) and in three cushions of Schistidium antarcticum (1–3 cm thick) from Bailey and Clark Peninsula (Wilkes Land, Greater Antarctica) were investigated. Twenty-four pollen and spore taxa were identified from a total of 1094 grains in the sample from Admiralty Bay. By contrast, the 3 samples from Wilkes Land contained only 10 grains (5 taxa). While the former sample was poor in lichen-mycobiont spores the latter revealed very many. Pollen deposition appears to be a good indicator of direction and frequency of immigration of cryptogamic propagules. It seems that the presence of cryptogamic species in the maritime Antarctic zone is predominantly the result of long-distance transport from neighbouring South America and a selection by climatic factors. The low frequency of pollen in Wilkes Land indicates a separation of this part of Antarctica from propagule exchange with other continents and the cryptogams of most of the Antarctic continent may represent a largely relictual flora which survived in ice-free refugia.


Climatic Factor Pollen Deposition Antarctic Continent Antarctic Zone Spore Taxon 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Kappen
    • 1
    • 2
  • H. Straka
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für PolarökologieKielFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Botanisches Institut der UniversitätKielFederal Republic of Germany

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