Lichen Life in Antarctica: A review on growth and environmental adaptation of Lichens
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Antarctica is a harsh environment with very little vegetation. The Antarctic continent and the surrounding areas can be divided into two or three general regions. Most often the continental area of Antarctica is identified, with the Antarctic Peninsula being included as the maritime Antarctic due to oceanic influences (Lindsay, 1978; Sancho and Pintado, 2004). Usually a third area is also identified as being separate from the maritime antarctic, the sub antarctic (Robinson et al., 2003). The focus of this review is the continental and maritime regions. There are only two native flowering plants in Antarctica, with the terrestrial vegetation being primarily composed of cryptograms. Lichen are the most species rich, with 350 species currently described (Kappen, 2000; Robinson et al., 2003). However, there is some debate about this total, depending on classifications, with a more conservative total also being put forward (Lindsay, 1978).