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Type: Article
Published: 2021-06-30
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Antarctic bryophyte research—current state and future directions

Departamento de Botânica, Universidade de Brasília, Brazil UnB
Departamento de Botânica, Universidade de Brasília, Brazil UnB
Naturalis Biodiversity Center, P.O. Box 9517, 2300 RA Leiden, Netherlands; Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands
Antarctic bryophyte Antarctic flora conservation future challenges molecular phylogenetics phylogeography


Botany is one of the oldest sciences done south of parallel 60 °S, although few professional botanists have dedicated themselves to investigating the Antarctic bryoflora. After the publications of liverwort and moss floras in 2000 and 2008, respectively, new species were described. Currently, the Antarctic bryoflora comprises 28 liverwort and 116 moss species. Furthermore, Antarctic bryology has entered a new phase characterized by the use of molecular tools, in particular DNA sequencing. Although the molecular studies of Antarctic bryophytes have focused exclusively on mosses, molecular data (fingerprinting data and/or DNA sequences) have already been published for 36 % of the Antarctic moss species. In this paper we review the current state of Antarctic bryological research, focusing on molecular studies and conservation, and discuss future questions of Antarctic bryology in the light of global challenges.


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