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A comparison between paleo and recent freshwater diatom communities from Vega Island, Antarctica.
Bulínová, Marie ; Kopalová, Kateřina (advisor) ; Spaulding, Sarah (referee)
In Antarctica, diatoms inhabit multiple limno-terrestrial habitat types, which may each individually offer unique ecological information for use in biomonitoring, paleoecology, and biogeography. However, we are still at the initial exploration stage of documenting the diversity among habitat types from different Antarctic regions, which is necessary to serve as baseline data for the aforementioned scientific disciplines, and ultimately inform conservation decisions. To gain insight into the spatial and habitat controls on Antarctic diatom communities, the importance of habitat type and island aspect was investigated by studying diatoms living in ponds, mosses, streams, and seepage areas on two opposite sides Vega Island, Antarctic Peninsula. A diverse flora of 136 taxa belonging to 31 genera was revealed, which was dominated by the genus Nitzschia, and suggests that the flora of Vega Island is biogeographically influenced by both continental and Maritime Antarctic bioregions. Habitat type was found to be a crucial factor for diatom community composition, and was stronger than the influence of island aspect. In ordination analyses, moss samples were separated primarily by their abundances of the diatom Chamaepinnularia krookiformis, while pond samples were separated by Nitzschia paleacea and stream...