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Bryophytes of Zhelania Cape, Severny Island, Novaya Zemlya Archipelago in the Russian Arctic

Fedosov, Vladimir E., Churakova, Elena Yu., Kholod, Sergey S., Beldiman, Lyudmila N., Bakalin, Vadim, Zakharchenko, Darja A., Afonina, Olga M.
Nordic journal of botany 2019 v.37 no.4
Grimmia, deserts, flora, mosses and liverworts, vegetation cover, Arctic region, Norway
We present the results of a revsion of an extensive set of collections of bryophytes from the Novaya Zemlya Archipelago northern extremity, the northern‐most sector of polar deserts, which until now has been poorly explored in terms of the bryophyte flora. The checklist produced includes 24 liverwort and 135 moss species. Thirteen species, viz. Lophoziopsis propagulifera, Scapania degenii, Brachytheciastrum collinum, Bryoerythrophyllum cf. rubrum, Bucklandiella microcarpa, Campylium laxifolium, C. longicuspis, Dicranum schljakovii, Drepanium recurvatum, Flexitrichum gracile, Grimmia longirostris, Hamatocaulis vernicosus and Pseudocalliergon angustifolium are reported for the first time from the polar desert region. Though in number of species known the area loses only to the more intensively studied NE Land of Svalbard, a comparative analysis suggests that our study area is still incompletely known and suffers from ‘phytosociological sampling’ which underestimates the number of small pioneer mosses. A comparative analysis based on published data on other areas of the polar desert region is presented but the results does not confirm previously proposed floristic subdivisions of the polar desert region and may be strongly influenced by incomplete and biased sampling. Some species have a higher share in the vegetation cover of the polar desert region than elsewhere, thus contributing to its segregation and among these are mostly calciphilous/basiphilous species.