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Insights into the Diversity of Lecanoraceae (Lecanorales, Ascomycota) in continental Antarctica (Ross Sea region)

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Taxonomic evaluation of lecideoid lichens in the family Lecanoraceae (Carbonea, Lecanora, Lecidella, Rhizoplaca) from continental Antarctica showed a higher diversity and different distributions compared to previous reports. Morphological, chemical and molecular (nuclear ITS) investigations were made to classify and restudy the different species. Sampling was carried out in the Ross Sea region (continental Antarctica) along a north - south transect at five different areas (Cape Hallett, Botany Bay – Granite Harbour, Mt. Suess, Taylor Valley, Darwin Area and Mt. Kyffin). The phylogeny also included specimens from Arctic and Alpine regions. Seven clades in the family Lecanoraceae were identified as the species Carbonea vorticosa, a previously unnamed clade of uncertain status, referred to as Carbonea sp. (URm1), Lecanora fuscobrunnea, Lecanora physciella, Lecidella greenii, Lecidella siplei, and Rhizoplaca macleanii. Additionally, one former endemic species (L. siplei) was proved to be bipolar. The actual endemism rate for this lichen group in continental Antarctica is 75%.
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Keywords: CRYPTIC DIVERSITY; ITS; LECANOROID LICHENS; POLAR REGIONS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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  • Nova Hedwigia is an international journal publishing original, peer-reviewed papers on current issues of taxonomy, morphology, ultrastructure and ecology of all groups of cryptogamic plants, including cyanophytes/cyanobacteria and fungi. The half-tone plates in Nova Hedwigia are known for their high quality, which makes them especially suitable for the reproduction of photomicrographs and scanning and transmission electron micrographs.
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