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Netherlands Polar Data Center

Publication - Standing crop of the coastal macrolichen Mastodia tesselata, and its relationship to nutrient concentrations, on Petermann Island, Antarctica

Abstract

The standing crop of the epilithic foliose lichen Mastodia tesselata and some other species, the nutrient status (chloride, phosphate, nitrate and ammonium) of the substratum, slope and moisture availability were studied in 29 sample plots on Petermann Island (65°10'S, 66°30'W), Antarctica. The observed standing crop values for Mastodia ranged from 49 to 614 g m 2, with an average of 310 g m 2 (17 sample plots), and were 542 g m−2 for Rinodina petermannii (one sample plot) and 314 g m−2 for the alga Prasiola crispa in two meltwater pools. A regression equation with log-transformed ammonium and phosphate concentrations as predictors explained 75% of the observed variance in Mastodia standing crop. No significant influence of chloride or nitrate concentration on the Mastodia standing crop was detected, indicating that Mastodia is a salt-tolerant lichen species, but is not an obligate halophyte. The maximal standing crop of Mastodia on Petermann Island proved to be lower than maximal values found for fruticose macrolichen vegetation in maritime and continental Antarctic. The Mastodia standing crop on Petermann Island was similar to the standing crop of this species on subantarctic Marion Island.

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