Inland diatoms from the McMurdo Dry Valleys and James Ross Island, Antarctica
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Botany : an international journal for plant biology. - Ottawa, Ont., 2008, currens
, p. 1378-1392
University of Antwerp
Diatom taxa present in the inland streams and lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys and James Ross Island, Antarctica, are presented in this paper. A total of nine taxa are illustrated, with descriptions of four new species (Luticola austroatlantica sp. nov., Luticola dolia sp. nov., Luticola laeta sp. nov., Muelleria supra sp. nov.). In the perennially ice-covered lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, diatoms are confined to benthic mats within the photic zone. In streams, diatoms are attached to benthic surfaces and within the microbial mat matrix. One species, L. austroatlantica, is found on James Ross Island, of the southern Atlantic archipelago, and the McMurdo Dry Valleys. The McMurdo Dry Valley populations are at the lower range of the size spectrum for the species. Streams flow for 610 weeks during the austral summer, when temperatures and solar radiation allow glacial ice to melt. The diatom flora of the region is characterized by species assemblages favored under harsh conditions, with naviculoid taxa as the dominant group and several major diatom groups conspicuously absent.