Botany of two Antarctic mountain ranges: Gjelsvikfjella and Mühlig-Hofmannfjella, Dronning Maud Land

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Engelskjøn, Torstein (1986)

The investigated area is located between 71"45' and 72"20'S and between l"35' and 5"33'E, from 1,080 to 2,695 m above sea level. An outline of climate, soil chemistry and main units of vegetation is provided. Of particular importance is the wet oasis area of Jutulsessen in Gjelsvikfjella which supports cyanophyceans, green algae, lichens and the mosses Grimmia lawiana and Sarconeurum glaciale, which have developed a series of distinctive communities. The nunataks fringing the Polar plateau harbour an impoverished cyanophycean and lichen vegetation up to approximately 2,500 m a.s.l., which is the highest elevation that macroscopic plant life has hitherto been reported in Antarctica. The thermal relations of the vegetation are discussed, based on the climatological record and on local measurements during the Norwegian Antarctic Research Expedition 1984/85. Some zonal and vertical belt subdivisions are indicated for this part of Greater Antarctica.
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