Polar Biology

, Volume 30, Issue 7, pp 903–916 | Cite as

Vegetation of Barton Peninsula in the neighbourhood of King Sejong Station (King George Island, maritime Antarctic)

  • Ji Hee Kim
  • In-Young Ahn
  • Kyu Song Lee
  • Hosung Chung
  • Han-Gu ChoiEmail author
Original Paper


Plant communities were studied on Barton Peninsula around King Sejong Station on King George Island, maritime Antarctic. The objective of this study was to document the occurrence and distribution of plant assemblages to provide the bases for monitoring the effects of environmental changes and human impact on the vegetation of this area. Approximately 47% of the investigated area was covered by vegetation. Crustose lichens showed the highest mean cover (21%) among vegetation components. The total mean cover of the four dominant taxa, together with the other three major subdominant components, i.e., Usnea spp., Andreaea spp. and Sanionia georgico-uncinata, was 78.2% of the total cover of all the species. Lichen cover and species diversity increased with altitude and the time of exposure from snow. Lichens contributed substantially more to the increased species density and diversity than did bryophytes. Ten plant communities were recognized within the study area. All of them belong to the Antarctic cryptogam tundra formation; they were grouped into four subformations: fruticose lichen and moss cushion subformation, crustose lichen subformation, moss carpet subformation and moss hummock subformation. The moss turf subformation was not found on this region. The Antarctic herb tundra formation was also not found; however, the populations of both Antarctic vascular plants have rapidly expanded around Barton Peninsula in recent years, which may allow development of the Antarctic herb tundra formation in the future.


South Shetland Island Crustose Lichen Fildes Peninsula Fruticose Lichen Barton Peninsula 
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.



We thank Mr J.-H. Kim and Mr S.G. Moon for technical assistant for GIS map. We are indebted to Professors Tomio Yamaguchi, Jae-Seoun Hur and Dr Mikhail Andreev for identification of bryophytes and lichens. We would like to express our gratitude to Professor Rod Seppelt for his helpful comments on the manuscript. We are also most grateful to Drs R.I. Lewis Smith, S. Imura and J. Smykla for review of the manuscript. This work was supported by KOPRI grant ‘Monitoring on environmental changes at the Korean Arctic and Antarctic stations (PE06040)’.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ji Hee Kim
    • 1
  • In-Young Ahn
    • 1
  • Kyu Song Lee
    • 2
  • Hosung Chung
    • 1
  • Han-Gu Choi
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Polar Environmental Research DivisionKorea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI), KORDIIncheonSouth Korea
  2. 2.Department of BiologyKangnung National UniversityGangneungSouth Korea

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