Diversity, ecology, and community structure of the terrestrial diatom flora from Ulu Peninsula (James Ross Island, NE Antarctic Peninsula)

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA1: Web of Science-artikelpeer review

Diatoms constitute an important and diverse component of terrestrial protist communities but remain poorly studied, especially in the Antarctic realm. Here, we investigated the diversity and community structure of the terrestrial diatom flora from the Ulu Peninsula, James Ross Island (Maritime Antarctic Region) using a morphology-based dataset and physico-chemical measurements. A total of 97 taxa belonging to 27 genera was identified in 59 samples from terrestrial environments, including soils and rock walls. The flora was dominated by the genera Hantzschia, Luticola, and Humidophila. Eight distinct diatom assemblages could be distinguished and were mainly structured by differences in environmental characteristics such as vegetation coverage, moisture, conductivity, pH, and nutrient concentrations. In general, James Ross Island harboured a unique diatom flora as evidenced by very low similarity values with other (sub-)Antarctic localities. Only 16 whereas 70 supporting previous indications of high species-level endemism in environments characterized by harsh abiotic conditions. In addition, several of the cosmopolitan species uncovered in this study might harbour substantial levels of hidden diversity, including endemic taxa, as previously revealed for the Pinnularia borealis species complex on James Ross Island. Taken together, the present study improves our knowledge and understanding of the diversity, ecology, and community structure of the terrestrial diatom flora of Ulu Peninsula and highlights that soils and wet rock walls represent important terrestrial habitats in this transitional zone between Maritime and Continental Antarctica.
Originele taal-2Engels
TijdschriftPolar Biology
Nummer van het tijdschrift5
Pagina's (van-tot)873-894
Aantal pagina's22
StatusGepubliceerd - 1-mei-2022


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