Insights into the Diversity of Lecanoraceae (Lecanorales, Ascomycota) in continental Antarctica (Ross Sea region)
Ruprecht, Ulrike; Lumbsch, H. Thorsten; Brunauer, Georg; Green, T.G. Allan; Türk, Roman
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%.