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Terrestrial Vegetation Community Structure and Biomass of the Schirmacher Oasis Ecosystem, East Antarctica

Khwairakpam Gajananda, H. N. Dutta


Based on the collections of vegetation from 14 sites by line transects in the Schirmacher oasis (SO) of east Antarctica, a total of 24 species consisting 12 species of lichens, 7 species of algae and 5 species of mosses were recorded. The algal flora consists mainly of phytoplanktonic groups dominated by blue green algae cyanobacteria such as Oscillatoria limosa and Phormidium fragile. Only one green alga (Chlorococcum) was found in the present transect study. Rare occurrence of green algae and dominance of blue green algae in the SO suggests that cyanobacterial species are better adapted to the prevailing extremities of climatic conditions of Antarctica.

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