Microbial Mats pp 515-539 | Cite as

Diversity and Ecology of Cyanobacterial Microflora of Antarctic Seepage Habitats: Comparison of King George Island, Shetland Islands, and James Ross Island, NW Weddell Sea, Antarctica

  • Ondřej KomárekEmail author
  • Jiří Komárek
Part of the Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology book series (COLE, volume 14)


Antarctic seepages are a unique biotope with special communities of algae and cyanobacteria, characterized by their unique species composition and life strategies. The seepages are supplied by melting water from permafrost, glaciers, and snow fields. Filamentous cyanobacteria are the first colonizers; they fill the space of the shallow water body and form algal mats on the surface of flooded soils. Algal communities in Antarctic seepages are characterized by special zonation and seasonality. They are important components of the Antarctic coastal ecosystems, and they are highly sensitive to climatic changes and fluctuations during the polar summer season. The study of the taxonomy and ecology of the individual populations is highly important for the protection of this biotope. This review compares the characteristic mat communities from two disparate Antarctic coastal ecosystems: maritime Antarctica – King George Island and NW Weddell Sea – James Ross Island.


Summer Season Antarctic Peninsula South Shetland Island Cyanobacterial Community Subantarctic Island 
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.



Our studies in Antarctica were supported by the grant Nos. 206/05/0253, 206/07/1789, and IAA600050704 (Grant Agency of the Czech Republic – GA CR). The authors thank for the technical help from the directory and members of the Polish Antarctic Station “Henryk Arctowski” and the Czech Antarctic Station “J.G. Mendel.” The climatological data were provided by Dr. Kamil Láska and Professor Dr. Pavel Prošek, Dept. of Geography, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Masaryk University, Brno, geological characteristics by Dr. Daniel Nývlt, Czech Geological Service, Prague, Czech Republic. Cited diatoms were identified by Dr. Václav Houk, Institute of Botany AS CR, Třeboň, Czech Republic. Figures 46 are published with the kind permission from Backhuys Publishers, Leiden, and Figs. 913 are published with the permission from Springer Science+Business Media.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Systems Biology and Ecology ASCR and Institute of Physical BiologyUniversity of South BohemiaNové HradyCzech Republic
  2. 2.Botanical Institute ASCR, Třeboň and Faculty of ScienceUniversity of South BohemiaČeské BudějoviceCzech Republic

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