Green, T.G.A., Sancho, L.G., Türk, R., Seppelt, R.D. & Hogg, I.D. (2011). High diversity of lichens at 84°S, Queen Maud Mountains, suggests preglacial survival of species in the Ross Sea region, Antarctica. Polar Biology, available online 09 March 2011.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/5213
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.