Polar Biology

, Volume 34, Issue 8, pp 1211–1220 | Cite as

High diversity of lichens at 84°S, Queen Maud Mountains, suggests preglacial survival of species in the Ross Sea region, Antarctica

  • T. G. A. GreenEmail author
  • L. G. Sancho
  • R. Türk
  • R. D. Seppelt
  • I. D. Hogg
Original Paper


Investigations of lichens collected in 1959/1960, 1963/1964 and 2003 from near the Beardmore Glacier in the southern Ross Sea region (84°S) have more than doubled the number of known lichen species in the area to around 30. The ranges of 15 species have been extended to 84°S. A lichen diversity hotspot has also been found along Ebony Ridge and its associated peaks where 28 of the species occur, a number equivalent to more northerly sites in the Ross Sea (e.g. Botany Bay 77°S). Furthermore, 6 species had been previously recorded only from the Antarctic Peninsula region. In agreement with previous studies on mites and springtails from the same area, we suggest that these populations represent relicts that predate the present Ross Ice Shelf extension, with a possible age of 2,000,000 years or older.


Relict Collembola Beardmore Glacier Mosses Diversity Lichens 



We are grateful to Antarctica New Zealand (AntNZ) for logistical support enabling sample collection in 2003 as part of the Latitudinal Gradient Project coordinated by Shulamit Gordon. The New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST), the University of Waikato Vice Chancellor’s Fund, and the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Waikato provided financial support. During completion of the research, TGAG and IDH were supported by the FRST grant, understanding, valuing and protecting Antarctica’s unique terrestrial ecosystems: predicting biocomplexity in Dry Valley ecosystems, and TGAG and LGS by the Spanish Education Ministry grants POL2006-08405 and CTM2009- 12838-C04-01. Ulrike Ruprecht is thanked for assistance in identifying Lecidea species. Barbara Polly at the Domininion Museum, Wellington, is particularly thanked for excellent curation of the Antarctic samples and for drawing our attention to the collections. Catherine Beard is thanked for drawing Figure 2b.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. G. A. Green
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • L. G. Sancho
    • 1
  • R. Türk
    • 3
  • R. D. Seppelt
    • 4
  • I. D. Hogg
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de Biologia Vegetal II, Facultad de FarmaciaUniversidad ComplutenseMadridSpain
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand
  3. 3.Fachbereich Organismische BiologieUniversität SalzburgSalzburgAustria
  4. 4.Australian Antarctic DivisionKingstonAustralia

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