Diversity and distribution of lichens in recently deglaciated areas of southeastern Spitsbergen

Wojciech Maciejowski, Piotr Osyczka, Jerzy Smykla, Wiesław Ziaja, Krzysztof Ostafin, Beata Krzewicka


The diversity and distribution of lichen species were investigated in recently deglaciated areas of the borderland between Sørkapp Land and Torell Land (southeastern Spitsbergen, Svalbard). A total of 15 sites representing various habitat types specific to the area were evaluated. Sampling sites were characterized by a very diverse composition of lichens and species richness ranging from as few as two species to as many as 53. None of the species was ubiquitous among the investigated sampling sites; conversely, most were recorded only once or twice indicating a high heterogeneity in species distribution. Eighty species are reported for the first time from southeastern Spitsbergen. The terricolous lichen Verrucaria xyloxena is reported for the first time from the Svalbard archipelago. The influence of the selected abiotic and biotic environmental factors on the occurrences and distributions of lichen species is discussed in this paper.


Arctic; Svalbard; Sørkapp Land; Torell Land; lichenized fungi; spontaneous succession; ice-free areas

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