Article

The diversity of Cyanoprokaryota from freshwater and terrestrial habitats in the Eurasian Arctic and Hypoarctic

Abstract and Figures

The diversity and geographical distribution of cyanoprokaryotes in the Eurasian Arctic and Hypoarctic were investigated. We combined information from the literature and data from our own research in various parts of high-latitude regions. We collected and studied more than 1000 samples from terrestrial and freshwater habitats. The published data on cyanoprokaryotes include records from about 1500 locations. Both original and published data on biodiversity were used for the analysis. The data were submitted to the CYANOpro database (http://kpabg.ru/cyanopro/). A total of 603 species were recorded. In the Arctic zone, 482 species were found. The Eurasian Hypoarctic flora includes 428 species. The Murmansk region (359 species), Spitsbergen archipelago (314), and Bolshezemelskaya tundra (191) have the highest number of species among the studied territories. The flora is unevenly studied in different areas of the Arctic, and therefore, it is too early to suggest any significant specificity of the algal flora to particular areas.
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20TH IAC SYMPOSIUM Review Paper
The diversity of Cyanoprokaryota from freshwater
and terrestrial habitats in the Eurasian Arctic
and Hypoarctic
Denis Davydov .Elena Patova
Received: 4 March 2017 / Revised: 18 September 2017 / Accepted: 26 September 2017 / Published online: 10 October 2017
ÓSpringer International Publishing AG 2017
Abstract The diversity and geographical distribu-
tion of cyanoprokaryotes in the Eurasian Arctic and
Hypoarctic were investigated. We combined informa-
tion from the literature and data from our own research
in various parts of high-latitude regions. We collected
and studied more than 1000 samples from terrestrial
and freshwater habitats. The published data on
cyanoprokaryotes include records from about 1500
locations. Both original and published data on biodi-
versity were used for the analysis. The data were
submitted to the CYANOpro database (http://kpabg.
ru/cyanopro/). A total of 603 species were recorded. In
the Arctic zone, 482 species were found. The Eurasian
Hypoarctic flora includes 428 species. The Murmansk
region (359 species), Spitsbergen archipelago (314),
and Bolshezemelskaya tundra (191) have the highest
number of species among the studied territories. The
flora is unevenly studied in different areas of the
Arctic, and therefore, it is too early to suggest any
significant specificity of the algal flora to particular
areas.
Keywords Cyanobacteria Distribution Flora
Ecology
Introduction
Cyanoprokaryota (Cyanobacteria) are widespread and
ecologically important organisms of aquatic and
terrestrial ecosystems of the Arctic. Their unique
abilities to photosynthesize and fix molecular nitrogen
make them a special group in production of organic
matter in the water bodies and soils of high latitudes.
In Arctic water bodies, cyanoprokaryotes form
dominant communities in phytoplankton and benthos.
In southern parts of the Arctic, some species can
cause «blooming» of the water bodies. In terrestrial
habitats of high latitudes, cyanoprokaryotes can form
visible growths on the surface of and in the soil.
Reduced competition from higher plants allows
cyanobacterial mats and films to occupy considerable
areas. Cyanoprokaryotes occur on soil surfaces lack-
ing vegetation, and on the surface of, and within cracks
penetrating rocky substrata. Growth in cracks in rocks
and internally amongst rock crystals provides protec-
tion against temperature changes, dehydration, and
external physical influences (e.g., destruction by the
Guest editors: Eugen Rott, Allan Pentecost & Jan Mares /
Aspects of cyanobacterial biogeography, molecular ecology,
functional ecology and systematics
D. Davydov (&)
Polar-alpine Botanical Garden-Institute of the Kola SC
RAS, 18A Fersman‘s St, Apatity, Russia 184209
e-mail: d_disa@mail.ru
E. Patova
Institute of Biology, Komi SC, UD RAS, 28
Kommunisticheskaya St, Syktyvkar, Russia 167982
123
Hydrobiologia (2018) 811:119–137
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10750-017-3400-3
wind). Cyanoprokaryotes are often the first organisms
to inhabit glaciers and moraines (Kas
ˇtovska
´et al.,
2005,2007; Turicchia et al., 2005; Davydov, 2011).
Their high abundance is seen in bryophyte communi-
ties of moist habitats along the shores of lakes,
streams, pools, and the splash zone of waterfalls.
The current state of Cyanoprokaryota biodiversity
has not been analyzed in the massive area (58.7
million km
2
) occupied by the Eurasian Arctic and
Hypoarctic (Fig. 1). The studies of cyanoprokaryotes
in high latitudes are problematic due to much of the
region being remote. The aim of this study was to
combine all available published data and results of our
own research on diversity of Cyanoprokaryota in the
Eurasian sector of the Arctic and Hypoarctic.
Within Eurasia, the Arctic territories usually
include continental margins and the entire Arctic
Ocean with its archipelagos and islands. Recognition
of zones within northern high-latitude regions varies
among authors (Polunin, 1951; Aleksandrova, 1980;
Bliss, 1981; Elvebakk, 1985; Matveyeva, 1998). The
division of the Arctic into High Arctic and Low Arctic
is commonly accepted (Bliss, 1975). In Russian
research practice, two zones are usually distinguished
in the Arctic: polar deserts and tundras which divide
into Arctic tundra and Subarctic tundra (Aleksan-
drova, 1980,1988). The High Arctic subzone includes
polar deserts and Arctic tundras, and the Low Arctic
subzone comprises Subarctic tundras.
Here, we assume that the southern boundary of the
Arctic corresponds to the southern boundary of the
tundra zone (Aleksandrova, 1980; Walker et al., 2005)
and the Arctic includes the polar deserts zone and
tundra zone. The transition zone from tundra to the
forest is considered Subarctic or Hypoarctic (Yurtsev,
1994). According to B.A. Yurtsev (1994), it includes
typical and southern tundras, forest tundra, and the
northern edge of the boreal forest. Here, we place only
transitional ecotone communities of forest tundra and
northern taiga in the Hypoarctic. Consequently, we
accept the boundary between the northern and middle
taiga as the southern border of the Hypoarctic
(Yurtsev, 1994).
Fig. 1 The map of cyanoprokaryotes distribution in the Arctic
and Hypoarctic. Color code: violet—the southern boundary of
polar desert zone, green—the southern boundary of tundra zone,
red—the southern boundary of the Hypoarctic, blue dots are all
locations of cyanoprokaryota records
120 Hydrobiologia (2018) 811:119–137
123
Historical review of studies on Cyanoprokaryota
biodiversity in the Eurasian Arctic and Hypoarctic
regions
The location of all regions is shown in Fig. 2.
Spitsbergen (Svalbard) archipelago has the longest
history of study of Cyanoprokaryota in the European
sector of the Arctic. The first records were made in the
late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
(Table 1). Spitsbergen archipelago has also been a
focus for their role in colonization processes following
glacial retreat (Kas
ˇtovska
´et al., 2005,2007; Turicchia
et al., 2005; Stibal et al., 2006; Kvı
´derova
´et al., 2011)
including nitrogen fixation (Liengen & Olsen, 1997;
Solheim et al., 2002; Zielke et al., 2002,2005). Several
species from Spitsbergen archipelago were the subject
of taxonomic and biogeographic studies (Koma
´rek
et al., 2006; Strunecky et al., 2012; Richter & Matuła,
2013).
There have been few psychological studies on
Franz Josef Land archipelago and Novaya Zemlya
archipelago (Table 1).
Murmansk region is well studied with 359 species
described. This is one of the richest floras in Russia,
possibly due to the long history of research in the
region starting with Elfving (1895). The history of
research and a combined list of species for the region
are provided by Davydov (2010a).
Three hundred and twenty species have been
recorded from Eastern European tundra. Several
studies have examined the tundras of Bolshezemel-
skaya and Malozemelskaya and the Polar and Subpo-
lar Urals (Table 1).
There have been several studies in the Asian sector
of the Arctic. Soil communities in polar deserts have
been studied by Patova & Belyakova (2006). At lower
latitudes, soil and freshwater species are described for
Taimyr Peninsula, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous
Okrug, and rivers of Yakutia. Few studies have been
carried out in the Chukotka and in Magadan regions.
Literature survey and data analyses
We combined our new findings with records from our
CYANOpro database (http://kpabg.ru/cyanopro/)
(Melechin et al., 2013), obtained during an extensive
literature analysis, in order to review Cyanoprokaryota
Fig. 2 The regions included in the research: 1Malozemelskaya
tundra, 2Bolshezemelskaya tundra, 3Polar Urals, 4Subpolar
Urals, 5Commander Islands, Ch Chukotka peninsula, FJL
Franz Josef Land archipelago, KK Krasnoyarsk kray, KP
Kamchatka peninsula, MaR Magadan region, MR Murmansk
region, NSI New Siberian Islands, NZ Novaya Zemlya
archipelago, RK Karelia republic, RS Sakha (Yakutia) republic,
SZ Severnaya Zemlya archipelago, SV Spitsbergen archipelago,
TTaimyr peninsula, YYamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug
Hydrobiologia (2018) 811:119–137 121
123
diversity in the Eurasian Arctic and Hypoarctic. The
database has free and open access to Cyanoprokaryota
biodiversity data, it is accessible through the Internet
and only registration is needed. For species
identification, recent monographs were used
(Koma
´rek & Anagnostidis, 1998,2005; Koma
´rek
2013). We studied 1500 database records of
cyanoprokaryotes and our data (both new and
Table 1 Total numbers of Cyanoprokaryota species recorded from various regions of the Arctic and Hypoarctic
Region Number of
species
Published papers
Arctic regions
Bolshezemelskaya tundra
(BT)
191 Getsen et al. (1994), Patova (2004)
Chukotka peninsula (Ch) 84 Dorogostaiskaya (1959), Batov et al. (1978), Belyakova (2001)
Franz Josef Land
archipelago (FJL)
68 Borge (1899), Kosinskaya (1933), Shirshov (1935), Novichkova-Ivanova (1963,1972)
Malozemelskaya tundra
(MT)
122 Patova (2001), Stenina & Patova (2007)
New Siberian Islands
(NSI)
10 Zakharova et al. (2005)
Novaya Zemlya
archipelago (NZ)
60 Wille (1879), Palibin (1903), Shirshov (1935)
Polar Urals (PU) 89 Voronikhin (1930), Patova & Demina (2008), Patova & Sterlyagova (2016)
Severnaya Zemlya
archipelago (SZ)
41 Patova & Belyakova (2006)
Spitsbergen archipelago
(SV)
314 Wittrock & Nordstedt (1882), Wittrock (1883), Lagerheim (1894), Stockmayer (1906),
Borge (1911), Strø
´m(1921), Summerhayes & Elton (1923), Thomasson (1958,1961),
Willen (1980); Matuła (1982), Plichta & Lus
´cin
´ska (1988), Perminova (1990) (30),
Oleksowicz & Lus
´cin
´ska (1992), Skulberg (1996) (87), Liengen & Olsen (1997),
Solheim et al. (2002), Zielke et al. (2002,2005), Davydov
(2005,2008,2010b,2011,2013,2014,2016), Kas
ˇtovska
´et al. (2005,2007),
Turicchia et al. (2005), Koma
´rek et al. (2006), Stibal et al. (2006), Matuła et al.
(2007), Kim et al. (2008,2011), Richter et al. (2009,2015), Kvı
´derova
´et al. (2011),
Koma
´rek et al. (2012), Strunecky et al. (2012), Richter & Matuła (2013), Raabova
´
et al. (2016)
Taimyr peninsula (T) 123 Kosheleva & Novichkova (1958), Yermolaev et al. (1971), Sdobnikova (1986)
Yamalo-Nenets
Autonomous Okrug (Y)
62 Voronkov (1911), Perminova (1990), Naumenko & Semenova (1996), Bogdanov et al.
(1991;2004)
Hypoarctic regions
Commander Islands (CI) 62 Perminova (1990)
Kamchatka peninsula
(KP)
27 Perminova (1990)
Karelia republic (RK) 189 Komulainen et al. (2006)
Krasnoyarsk kray (KK) 66 Bondarenko & Schur (2007)
Magadan region (MaR) 63 Kuzmin (1986), Pivovarova (1987), Perminova (1990), Gabyshev (2015)
Murmansk region (MR) 359 Davydov (2010a)
Sakha (Yakutia) republic
(RS)
a
161 Vasilieva-Kralina et al. (2005), Gabyshev (2015)
Subpolar Urals (SPU) 150 Voronikhin (1930), Patova & Demina (2008), Patova & Sterlyagova (2016)
Europe SV, FJL, NZ, MR, RK, MT, BT, PU, SPU; Asia SZ, Y, T, KK, RS, NSI, Ch, KP, MaR, CI
a
Most part of the Sakha (Yakutia) republic located in the Hypoarctic, but northern territories belong to Arctic
122 Hydrobiologia (2018) 811:119–137
123
published) obtained from 1000 samples collected in
terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. We used a special
program code of CYANOpro database system to filter
data and select data points for the polar deserts of the
Arctic and Hypoarctic.
Floristic similarity was investigated using the
Sørensen index (KS) (weighted pair-group method
using arithmetic averaging) in the program module
GRAPHS (Nowakowskiy, 2004): KS =2a/
(a?b)?(a?c), where a is the number of species
common to both sets; c is the number of species unique
to the first set; and b is the number of species unique to
the second set.
Estimate of the current cyanobacterial biodiversity
in the Eurasian Arctic and Hypoarctic
and perspectives of further studies
Comparative analysis of species composition
along the latitudinal gradient from polar deserts
to the Hypoarctic
Within the Eurasian sector of the Arctic and Hypoarc-
tic, 603 species of cyanoprokaryotes were found of
which 482 were in the Arctic zone. This diversity
belongs to 113 genera, 38 families, and 8 orders.
In the Eurasian sector of polar deserts, 156 species
of cyanoprokaryotes were noted. Most species (147)
were found in the Barentz province of the polar desert
zone which includes North-East Land Island in the
Spitsbergen archipelago, Franz Josef Land archipe-
lago, and the northern tip of Novaya Zemlya. Siberian
province (Severnaya Zemlya archipelago, the northern
tip of Taimyr) had only 45 species.
Flora of polar deserts in Spitsbergen archipelago is
presently the best studied among high-latitude regions
and had 118 species. Flora of Franz Josef Land, the
whole territory of which is entirely within the polar
desert zone, had 69 species. Species similarity
between archipelagos is low (Sørensen index of
26%) with only 25 common species, most being
typical hydrophytes. A more detailed study of Franz
Josef Land could result in a lower floristic difference.
Franz Josef Land and Severnaya Zemlya floras are
closer (Sørensen index of 33%); however, the number
of common species is only 18.
As expected, the number of species increases in the
less harsh conditions of the Arctic tundra. 456 species
are recorded for the territories of which 129 are
common to polar deserts and Arctic tundra (Sørensen
index of 41%). 30 species of cyanoprokaryotes were
found only in polar deserts but not in the tundra. Most
of them were found in southern areas of the Hypoarc-
tic, except for 11 species (Chroococcus obliteratus P.
G. Richt., Coleodesmium wrangelii ([C. Ag.] Born. et
Flah.) Borzı
`ex Geitl., Gomphosphaeria cordiformis
(Wille) Hansg., Leptolyngbya aeruginea (Ku
¨tz. ex
Hansg.) Koma
´rek, L. gelatinosa (Voronich.) Anagn. et
Koma
´rek, Merismopedia hyalina (Ehrenb.) Ku
¨tz.,
Microchaete calothrichoides Hansg., Phormidium
lividum Na
¨g., Symplocastrum aurantiacum (Hansg.
ex Hansg.) Anagn., Trichocoleus tenerrimus (Gom.)
Anagn., Xenococcus minimus Geitl.) which were not
found there. We do not consider these as typical
species of polar deserts because they have a worldwide
distribution.
Four hundred and twenty-eight species have been
recorded from the Eurasian Hypoarctic. The floristic
similarity between the tundra zone and Hypoarctic is
high (Sørensen index of 65%). A high similarity is also
noted between the flora of the polar deserts and the
Hypoarctic (Sørensen index of 45%). 307 species are
found in the Hypoarctic flora but not in the Arctic
zone; a significant number (117) is found in polar
deserts and probably will be discovered in the tundra
zone. 190 species are found only in the Hypoarctic.
Some can be described as boreal species, in particular
the representatives of the genera Anabaena (A.
aequalis,Anabaena augstumalis,A. catenula (Ku
¨tz.)
Born. et Flah., A. cylindrica Lemm., A. verrucosa B.-
Pet. et al.), Dolichospermum (D. affinis,D. circinale,
D. lemmermannii), Hapalosiphon (Hapalosiphon
hibernicus W. West et G. S. West, H. intricatus,H.
pumilus), Rivularia (R. aquatica De-Wild., R. becca-
riana [De Not.] Born. et Flah., R. borealis P. G. Richt.,
R. haematites), as well as the species Aulosira laxa
Kirchn. ex Born. et Flah., Gloeotrichia echinulata,G.
pisum Thur. ex Born. et Flah., Gomphosphaeria
virieuxii (Virieux) Koma
´rek et Hind. and Woroni-
chinia karelica Koma
´rek et Kom.-Legn.
Comparative studies of territorial floras
of the Arctic and Hypoarctic
Regions and territories within the Arctic and Eurasian
Hypoarctic have received varying intensities of study.
The highest number of species has been observed in
Hydrobiologia (2018) 811:119–137 123
123
the well-studied Murmansk region (408 taxa, 359
species). The high number of species is detected on
Spitsbergen archipelago (314) and Bolshezemelskaya
tundra (191), Karelia Republic. Taimyr peninsula
(123), Malozemelskaya tundra (122), Polar Urals (89),
Chukotka (84), Subpolar Urals (150), Franz Josef
Land archipelago (68), Magadan region (63), Novaya
Zemlya archipelago (60), Yamal peninsula (62) have
been only partially studied and have lower numbers of
species. The smallest number of species was found in
Severnaya Zemlya archipelago (41).
The reason for the rich flora of the Murmansk
region is the wide diversity of habitats and the long
history of studies. Vegetation zones vary from the
northern boreal forests to the southern tundra. The
number of species that are similar to Spitsbergen flora
is high, considering that a large part of Spitsbergen
(60%) is covered by glaciers. The floristic diversity of
the Spitsbergen archipelago is probably due to a wide
range of environmental conditions from mountainous
territories with a varied geology to large areas of
lowland tundra with many small ponds. Despite the
small area of Malozemelskaya tundra, there is a rich
flora (122 species). Some parts of the Urals region
have been well-studied. The north part (Polar Urals)
has 89 species, and the southern part (Subpolar Urals)
has 150 species. The species richness could be
explained by diverse mountain conditions (consider-
able altitudinal range and diverse landscapes), and the
relatively low latitude of the Urals regions. Taimyr has
a large number of species but an increase in species
richness would be expected after more detailed studies
as in addition to the large area it has several vegetation
zones.
Similarities of species composition between differ-
ent regions are generally quite low (Fig. 3). A high
similarity (Sørensen index of [50%) only occurs for
relatively well-studied flora of the Murmansk region
and Spitsbergen archipelago (54%), and for Franz
Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya (51%). The similar-
ities between floras of Polar Urals and Subpolar Urals
(30%), Polar Urals and Bolshezemelskaya tundra
(43%), and Bolshezemelskaya tundra and Taimyr
(38%) may be due to their similar geology.
The distribution of species amongst habitats
There are two ecological groups of species according
to habitat type: aquatic and terrestrial. The latter can
be sub-divided into subaerophytic (at the margins
between aquatic and aerophytic habitats) and aero-
phytic (inhabitants of rocky substrates and soil
surfaces).
Aquatic habitats
A reduction of species diversity in freshwater water-
bodies Cyanoprokaryota from south to north is one of
the main environmental features of high latitudes. This
happens since the majority of water bodies in the polar
desert zone of the Arctic are oligotrophic and also
ultra-oligotrophic as they have a glacial origin and low
temperature in the summer and the short vegetation
period. Under such conditions, the species diversity
and biomass of cyanoprokaryotes in plankton and
benthos is low. The most common planktonic species
are shown in Table 2.
Fig. 3 A complete graph of similarity between Cyanoprokary-
ota floras in studied areas of the Arctic (gray circle) and
Hypoarctic (white circle) (Sørensen index). For clustering, the
mean distance between elements of each cluster was used with
weighted pair-group method using arithmetic averaging, num-
bers on the ridges are similarity index shown in percentages
where BT Bolshezemelskaya tundra, Ch Chukotka, FJL Franz
Josef Land archipelago, MaR Magadan region, MR Murmansk
region, MT Malozemelskaya tundra, NZ Novaya Zemlya
archipelago, PU Polar Urals, SPU Subpolar Ural, SV Spitsber-
gen archipelago, SZ Severnaya Zemlya archipelago, TTaimyr
peninsula, YYamal peninsula
124 Hydrobiologia (2018) 811:119–137
123
Table 2 The typical species of aquatic habitats in various regions of Arctic and Hypoarctic
Species Ecology Distributions
Arctic Hypoarctic
Ammatoidea normannii W. West et G.
S. West
Epilithon (slow streams) SV MR
Anabaena aequalis Borge Plankton SV, BT MR, RS
Anabaena augstumalis Schmidle Plankton MT, BT MR, KK
**Anabaena cylindrica Lemm. Plankton in rivers MT, BT, PU, T MR, KK, RS
Anabaena echinospora Skuja Plankton (only in Hypoarctic lakes) MR
Anabaena elliptica Lemm. Plankton (only in Hypoarctic lakes) MR
Anabaena laxa (Rabench.) A. Braun
ex Born. et Flah.
Plankton (in rivers) FJL, BT, SZ MR, RS
**Anabaena minutissima Lemm. Plankton (only in Hypoarctic lakes) MT, PU SPU
**Anabaena oscillatorioides Bory ex
Born. et Flah.
Plankton (only in Hypoarctic lakes) MT, T, Ch MR, SPU, RS,
MaR
Anabaena sedovii Kossinsk. Plankton (only in Hypoarctic lakes) FJL KK, MaR
**Anabaena sphaerica Born. et Flah. Plankton BT, MT SPU, RS, KP
Anabaena verrucosa Boye-Petersen Plankton (in Arctic and Hypoarctic lakes) MT, BT, PU RS
Anathece bachmannii (Kom.-Legn. et
G. Cronb.) Koma
´rek et al.
Plankton (lakes, rivers and estuary) BT RK
Anathece clathrata (W. West et G.
S. West) Koma
´rek et al.
Plankton (lakes and rivers) SV, BT, MT, PU,
T
MR, SPU, KK,
RS
**Aphanizomenon flos-aquae Ralfs ex
Born. et Flah.
Plankton (in Arctic, Hypoarctic lakes, rivers and
estuary)
MT, BT, PU, Y, T MR, RK, KK,
RS
Aphanocapsa conferta (W. West et G.
S. West) Kom.-Legn. et G. Cronb.
Plankton FJL, Y, Ch MR, SPU
Aphanocapsa delicatissima W. West
et G. S. West
Plankton SV, MT, Y MR
Aphanocapsa elachista W. West et G.
S. West.
Plankton SV, FJL, NZ, PU MR
Aphanocapsa grevillei (Berk.)
Rabenh.
Epilithon (slow streams) SV, MT, BT, NZ,
PU, T
MR, RK, SPU,
KK, RS
Aphanocapsa holsatica (Lemm.) G.
Cronb. et Koma
´rek
Plankton T, PU MR, RS
Aphanocapsa hyalina Hansg. Epilithon (slow streams) SV, BT MR
Aphanocapsa incerta (Lemm.) G.
Cronb. et Koma
´rek
Plankton SV, FJL, BT, MT,
PU, SZ, T, Ch
MR, RS
Aphanocapsa rivularis (Carm.)
Rabenh.
Epilithon (slow streams) SV MR, RS
Calothrix braunii Born. et Flah. Epilithon (slow streams) BT, PU MR, RK, SPU
Calothrix clavata G. S. West Epilithon (slow streams) MT, BT, PU SPU, KK, RS
Calothrix parietina Thur. ex Born. et
Flah.
Epilithon (slow streams) SV, BT, MT, PU,
SZ
MR, SPU, KP
Chamaesiphon confervicolus A.
Braun.
Epilithon (mountain lakes; rivers high rocky
banks)
MT, NZ, BT, PU,
SPU
MR, RK, RS
Chamaesiphon incrustans Grun. Epilithon and benthos (mountain lakes) SV, MT MR, SPU
Chamaesiphon polonicus (Rost.)
Hansg.
Epilithon and benthos (Arctic and mountain fast
streams)
SV MR
Chamaesiphon rostafinskii Hansg. Periphyton and benthos (mountain lakes); epilithon
(rivers high rocky banks)
SV, NZ RK, SPU, RS
Hydrobiologia (2018) 811:119–137 125
123
Table 2 continued
Species Ecology Distributions
Arctic Hypoarctic
Coelospherium kuetzingianum Na
¨g. Epilithon (rivers high rocky banks) SV, FJL, NZ, BT,
Y, Ch
MR, RK, SPU,
RS
*Dichothrix gypsophila (Ku
¨tz.) Born.
et Flah.
Epilithon (slow streams) SV, MT, BT, PU,
SZ, Ch
MR, RK, SPU
Dolichospermum affinis (Lemm.)
Wacklin et al.
Plankton (only in Hypoarctic lakes) MT MR, KK, RS
Dolichospermum circinale (Rabenh.
ex Born. et Flah.) Wacklin et al.
Plankton (only in Hypoarctic lakes) MR, KK, RS
Dolichospermum flos-aquae ([Lyngb.]
Bre
´b. ex Born. et Flah.) Wacklin
et al.
Plankton (in arctic and Hypoarctic lakes) MT, BT, PU, Y, T MR, SPU, KK,
RS
Dolichospermum lemmermannii (P.
G. Richt.) Wacklin et al.
Plankton (in arctic and Hypoarctic lakes) MT, BT, PU, Y, T MR, RK, SPU,
KK, RS
Dolichospermum solitarium (Kleb.)
Wacklin et al.
Plankton (in arctic and Hypoarctic lakes) MT, BT, T SPU, RS
Gloeotrichia echinulata [J. E. Smith
et Sowerby] P. G. Richt.
Plankton (in arctic and Hypoarctic lakes) MT, BT, PU MR, RK, RS
Gloeotrichia pisum Thur. ex Born. et
Flah.
Epilithon (slow streams) MT, BT MR, RK
Gomphosphaeria aponina Ku
¨tz. Plankton (in Arctic and Hypoarctic lakes) SV, FJL, MT, BT,
NZ
MR, RK, RS
Hapalosiphon intricatus W. West et
G. S. West
Periphyton and benthos (in Arctic and Hypoarctic
lakes)
MT MR, SPU
Hapalosiphon pumilus Kirchn. ex
Born. et Flah.
Periphyton and benthos (in south Arctic and
Hypoarctic lakes)
MT, Ch MR, SPU
Hydrocoryne spongiosa Schwabe ex
Born. et Flah.
Periphyton and benthos (in Hypoarctic lakes and
rivers)
MR, KK
Leptolyngbya aeruginea (Ku
¨tz. ex
Hansg.) Koma
´rek
Epilithon in slow stream SV
Leptolyngbya compacta (Hansg. ex
Hansg.) Koma
´rek
Epilithon in slow stream SV MR
Leptolyngbya valderiana (Gom.)
Anagn. et Koma
´rek
Epilithon (rivers and slow stream) SV, BT, PU, Y, T,
Ch
MR, KK, CI
Limnothrix guttulata (Van Goor)
Umezaki et M. Watanabe
Plankton (in Arctic lakes) SV
Limnothrix mirabilis (Bo
¨cher) Anagn. Plankton (in Arctic lakes) SV RK, RS
Limnothrix planctonica (Wolosz.)
Meff.
Plankton MT, BT, Y MR, RK, KK,
RS, MaR
Merismopedia elegans A. Br. Plankton SV, MT, BT, NZ,
PU, Y, Ch
MR, RK, RS
Merismopedia glauca (Ehr.) Ku
¨tz. Plankton SV, MT, BT, FJL,
NZ, Y, T, NSI
MR, RK, RS
Merismopedia minima Beck Plankton SV RK, RS
Merismopedia punctata Meyen Plankton SV, FJL, NZ, MT,
BT, PU, Ch, NSI
MR, RK, KK
*Microcoleus autumnalis (Trev. ex
Gom.) Strunecky et al.
Benthos (in slow streams) SV, FJL, NZ, BT,
PU, T, Ch, NSI
MR, KK, RS,
MaR, CI
Microcystis aeruginosa (Ku
¨tz.) Ku
¨tz. Plankton MT, BT, PU, Y, T MR, RK, SPU,
KK, RS
126 Hydrobiologia (2018) 811:119–137
123
Table 2 continued
Species Ecology Distributions
Arctic Hypoarctic
Nodularia harveyana Thur. ex Born.
et Flah.
Plankton (in Arctic, Hypoarctic rivers and estuary) MT, BT MR, MaR, CI
Nostoc coeruleum Lyngb. Epilithon (slow stream) MT, BT, NZ, NSI MR, RK, SPU,
RS
Nostoc kihlmanii Lemm. Plankton (in Arctic and Hypoarctic lakes) SV, FJL, NZ, MT,
BT, PU, NSI
MR, RK, RS,
MaR
Nostoc linckia Born. ex Born. et Flah. Plankton (in Arctic and Hypoarctic lakes);
periphyton and benthos; epilithon (rivers high
rocky banks)
SV, FJL, MT, PU,
Y, SZ, T, Ch
MR, SPU, KK,
MaR
Nostoc pruniforme C. Ag. Periphyton and benthos SV, MT, PU, T MR, SPU
Oscillatoria limosa C. Ag. ex Gom. Periphyton and benthos SV, MT, BT, PU,
T
MR, RK, SPU,
KK, RS, MaR,
CI
Oscillatoria limosa C. Ag. ex Gom. Plankton (in lakes) SV, MT, BT, PU,
T
MR, RK, SPU,
KK, RS, MaR,
CI
Oscillatoria tenuis C. Ag. ex Gom. Periphyton and benthos (in lakes) SV, BT, NZ, Y, Ch MR, KR, KK,
RS
Oscillatoria tenuis f. uralensis
(Voronich.) Elenk.
Periphyton and benthos BT, PU
Phormidesmis molle (Gom.) Turicchia
et al.
Periphyton and benthos MT, FJL, NZ, T SPU, KK, RS,
KP
Phormidium granulatum (N.
L. Gardn.) Anagn.
Plankton (in rivers and estuary) SV, MT, BT RK, SPU, KK,
RS, MaR
Phormidium uncinatum Gom. ex
Gom.
Periphyton and benthos (in lakes and fast streams) SV, FJL, NZ, PU,
Y, SZ, T
KK
Planktolyngbya limnetica (Lemm.)
Kom.-Legn. et G. Cronb.
Plankton (in lakes) SV, BT, Ch MR, RK, SPU,
RS
Planktothrix agardhii (Gom.) Anagn.
et Koma
´rek
Plankton (only in Hypoarctic lakes) MT, PU MR, RK, KK,
RS
Planktothrix isothrix (Skuja) Koma
´rek
et Koma
´rkova
´
Plankton (only in Hypoarctic lakes) MT MR, RK
Pulvinularia suecica Borzi Periphyton and benthos MR, SPU
Rivularia biasolettiana Menegh. ex
Born. et Flah.
Epilithon (rivers high rocky banks) SV, MT, BT MR
Rivularia haematites [DC] C. Ag. ex
Born. et Flah.
Epilithon (rivers high rocky banks; slow streams) BT, NZ MR, RK
Schizothrix facilis (Skuja) Anagn. Epilithon (fast stream) SV MR
Scytonema crispum (C. Ag.) Born. Periphyton and benthos (mountain lakes) FJL, PU RK, MaR
Stigonema mamillosum [Lyngb.] C.
Ag. ex Born. et Flah.
Epilithon (rivers high rocky banks) SV, MT, BT MR, RK, SPU
Tolypothrix distorta Ku
¨tz. ex Born. et
Flah.
Periphyton and benthos (in lakes); epilithon (rivers
high rocky banks)
SV, BT, MT RK, MR, SPU,
RS
Tolypothrix tenuis Ku
¨tz. ex Born. et
Flah.
Benthos (in lakes); epilithon (rivers high rocky
banks)
SV, FJL, NZ, MT,
BT, PU, Y, SZ,
Ch
MR, RK, SPU,
KK, RS
Hydrobiologia (2018) 811:119–137 127
123
There is low species diversity in typical planktonic
genera (Anabaena, Aphanizomenon, Dolichosper-
mum) in floras of high-latitude regions of Spitsbergen,
Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya archipelagos
but their diversity increases markedly in the subarctic
tundra. For example, a typical widespread species,
Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, has not yet been found in
any Arctic archipelagos (Spitsbergen, Franz Josef
Land and Novaya Zemlya, Severnaya Zemlya) but it is
frequently observed in the more southern tundra and
Hypoarctic territories (e.g., Murmansk region,
Malozemelskaya tundra and Bolshezemelskaya tun-
dra, Taimyr) where it often colors water with its
vigorous growths.
Plankton of large lakes of polar deserts usually
includes tychoplanktonic species from Pseudan-
abaena,Leptolyngbya,Jaaginema, and Oscillatoria.
Cyanoprokaryota of benthic habitats in Arctic and
Hypoarctic lakes are more diverse and abundant. One
of the most common benthic species in the lakes of
high latitudes on Spitsbergen archipelago, and prob-
ably in other Arctic territories, is Oscillatoria tenuis
(Table 2). Benthic mats formed by Phormidium
uncinatum are also frequent.
In benthos of more southern lakes of the tundra
zone species of Tolypothrix and Hapalosiphon are
most frequent, whilst in mountain lakes these are
replaced by species of Scytonema and Chamaesiphon.
Rivers at high latitudes are fed by meltwater from
glaciers and snow fields. Upper reaches of rivers are
cold, fast, and have large amounts of suspended
mineral particles. These are extremely unfavorable
conditions for development of cyanoprokaryotes.
Towards the lower reaches, river flow slows but
transparency and temperature often remain low.
Cyanoprokaryota communities in rivers have similar
species composition to those in smaller streams
(Table 2).
Watersheds of more southern rivers are located in
waterlogged boggy areas, so the transparency of the
water is low due to high concentrations of humic acids.
Turbulent rapids are often common for Hypoarctic and
Arctic rivers. High rocky banks are typical of rivers in
the mountains. Epilithon in these diverse rivers
comprises species of Merismopedia,Microcystis,
Coelospherium,Chamaesiphon,Stigonema, Toly-
pothrix, and Rivularia (Table 2).
In large rivers, massive growth of cyanoprokary-
otes is only observed in their estuaries where phyto-
plankton blooms are caused by species of
Aphanizomenon,Dolichospermum,Nodularia, and
Phormidium.
Arctic streams are divided into two types: fast and
slow. Fast streams are fed by glaciers. These have
water that is cloudy with suspended sediment and only
a few degrees above freezing. Algal communities are
restricted to epilithon that forms mucous films on the
surface of large boulders. Diversity is low being from
1 to 8 species (Table 2).
A greater diversity is found in slow streams.
Phormidium uncinatum is the first alga to appear in
upper reaches of slow streams which usually begin
Table 2 continued
Species Ecology Distributions
Arctic Hypoarctic
Trichocoleus delicatulus (W. West et
G. S. West) Anagn.
Epilithon (fast stream) SV
Woronichinia compacta (Lemm.)
Koma
´rek et Hinda
´k
Plankton (in lakes) SV, FJL, BT, PU,
Y, T, Ch
RK, SPU, RS
Woronichinia naegeliana (Under)
Elenk.
Plankton (in lakes) SV, MT, FJL, NZ MR, SPU, RK,
RS
Note for the Tables 2,3, and 4: Distributions: BT Bolshezemelskaya tundra, Ch Chukotka Peninsula, CI Commander Islands, FJL
Franz Josef Land archipelago, KK Krasnoyarsk Kray, KP Kamchatka Peninsula, MaR Magadan Regions, MR Murmansk Region, MT
Malozemelskaya tundra, NSI New Siberian Islands, NZ Novaya Zemlya archipelago, PU Polar Urals, RK Karelia Republic, RS Sakha
(Yakutia) Republic, SPU Subpolar Urals, SV Spitsbergen archipelago, SZ Severnaya Zemlya archipelago, TTaimyr Peninsula,
YYamal Peninsula. For the references of Cyanoprokaryota species distributions, see Table 1. The most widespread species of the
Arctic are indicated by ‘‘*’’ and of the Hypoarctic by ‘‘**’
128 Hydrobiologia (2018) 811:119–137
123
Table 3 The typical species of transitional habitats between aquatic and aerophytic environments in various regions of the Arctic and
Hypoarctic
Species Ecology Distributions
Arctic Hypoarctic
Anagnostidinema amphibium (C. Ag. ex
Gom.) Strunecky
´et Koma
´rek
Seepage SV, MT, BT, PU, Y MR, SPU, RS
Aphanocapsa fonticola Hansg. Seepage; puddles and streams;
waterlogged moss tundras
SV MR
*Aphanocapsa muscicola (Menegh.)
Wille
Waterlogged moss tundras SV, SZ, T, Ch, NSI MR, SPU, RS
Aphanothece castagnei (Bre
´b.) Rabenh. Seepage; puddles and streams;
waterlogged moss tundras
SV, FJL, NZ, PU MR, RK, RS
Aphanothece saxicola Na
¨g. Seepage; puddles and streams;
waterlogged moss tundras
SV, NZ, Y, T, Ch MR, SPU
*Chroococcus cohaerens (Bre
´b.) Na
¨g. Seepage; puddles and streams;
waterlogged moss tundras
SV, MT, BT, PU MR, SPU
Chroococcus turgidus (Ku
¨tz.) Na
¨g. Seepage; puddles and streams;
waterlogged moss tundras
SV, MT, BT, FJL, NZ,
PU, T, SZ, Ch, NSI
MR, RK, SPU,
KK, MaR
Fischerella muscicola (Thur.) Gom. Waterlogged moss tundras MT, BT, PU MR
Gloeocapsa kuetzingiana Na
¨g. Seepage; puddles and streams SV, Y MR, RK, KK,
MaR
Gloeocapsa sanguinea (C. Ag.) Ku
¨tz. Seepage; puddles and streams SV, FJL, NZ MR
Gloeocapsa violascea (Corda) Rabenh. Seepage; puddles and streams SV MR
Hapalosiphon pumilus Kirchner ex
Bornet et Flahault
Waterlogged moss tundras MT MR, SPU
Leptolyngbya cf. gracillima (Zopf ex
Hansg.) Anagn. et Koma
´rek
Bottom of shallow ephemeral lakes SV, MT, FJL, Y, T MR, SPU
*Nostoc commune Vauch. ex Born. et
Flah.
Bottom of shallow ephemeral lakes;
seepage; waterlogged moss tundras
SV, FJL, MT, BT, NZ,
PU, Y, SZ, T, NSI
MR, RK, SPU,
KK, RS, CI
Petalonema alatum Berk ex Kirchn Bottom of shallow ephemeral lakes SV, MT SPU
*Petalonema crustaceum C. Ag. ex
Kirchn.
Bottom of shallow ephemeral lakes SV, MT MR, SPU, CI
Phormidium kuetzingianum (Kirchn.)
Anagn. et Koma
´rek
Seepage; puddles and streams SV MR
*Phormidium uncinatum Gom. ex Gom. Bottom of shallow ephemeral lakes;
seepage; puddles and streams
SV, FJL, NZ, PU, Y, SZ,
T
KK
Pseudanabaena cf. minima (G. S. An)
Anagn.
Bottom of shallow ephemeral lakes SV, MT MR, SPU
Scytonema hofmannii C. Ag. ex Born. et
Flah.
Waterlogged moss tundras FJL, NZ, PU RK, KK, RS, CI
Scytonema ocellatum [Dillw.] Lyngb. ex
Born. et Flah.
Waterlogged moss tundras SV, MT, SZ MR, RK, MaR
Symplocastrum friesii [C. Ag.] ex Kirchn. Waterlogged moss tundras SV, MT, BT, FJL, NZ MR, RK, SPU
Tolypothrix distorta Ku
¨tzing ex Bornet et
Flahault
Bottom of shallow ephemeral lakes;
seepage; waterlogged moss tundras
SV, MT, BT, Ch MR, SPU, RS
Tolypothrix saviczii Kossinsk. Bottom of shallow ephemeral lakes;
seepage; waterlogged moss tundras
SV, BT, NZ, PU MR, RK
Trichocoleus sociatus (W. West et G.
S. West) Anagn.
Bottom of shallow ephemeral lakes;
seepage; waterlogged moss tundras
SV MR, KK, MaR
Hydrobiologia (2018) 811:119–137 129
123
Table 4 The typical species of aerophytic habitats in various regions of Arctic and Hypoarctic
Species Ecology Distributions
Arctic Hypoarctic
Aphanocapsa fusco-lutea Hansg. Crusts on rocky outcrops; on wet soil;
epiphytic on the mosses
SV, BT, T, Ch MR, RS
Aphanocapsa grevillei (Berk.) Rabenh. Crusts on rocky outcrops; wet rocks;
crusts on bare spots; wet soil
SV, NZ, MT, BT, PU, T MR, SPU, RS
Aphanocapsa muscicola (Menegh.) Wille Crusts on rocky outcrops SV, BT, SZ, T, Ch, NSI MR, SPU, RS
Aphanocapsa parietina Na
¨g. Crusts on rocky outcrops SV, BT, T MR, SPU
Calothrix parietina Thur. ex Born. et
Flah.
Crusts on rocky outcrops SV, BT, MT, PU, SZ MR, SPU, KP
Chroococcus cohaerens (Bre
´b.) Na
¨g. On wet rocks; on soil SV, MT, BT, PU MR, SPU
Chroococcus pallidus (Na
¨g.) Na
¨g. On wet rocks SV MR
Chroococcus spelaeus Erceg. On wet rocks; on soil SV MR
Cyanothece aeruginosa (Na
¨g.) Koma
´rek Crusts on rocky outcrops; on soil SV, FJL, NZ, BT, PU, Y,
T, Ch
MR, RK, SPU,
KK, CI
Desmonostoc muscorum (C. Ag. ex Born.
et Flah.) Hrouzek et Ventura
On soil PU, T MR, SPU
*Gloeocapsa alpina (Na
¨g.) Brand On wet rocks on which water from
snow fields falls
SV, FJL, MT, BT, PU,
SZ
MR, RK, SPU,
RS, KP
Gloeocapsa atrata Ku
¨tz. On wet rocks on which water from
snow fields falls
SV, NZ MR, RK,
Gloeocapsa compacta Ku
¨tz. On wet rocks on which water from
snow fields falls
SV, BT, Y, SZ, T MR, SPU
Gloeocapsa kuetzingiana Na
¨g. On wet rocks on which water from
snow fields falls
SV, Y, T MR, MaR
Gloeocapsa ralfsii (Harvey) Ku
¨tz. Wet rocks, on the soil SV
Gloeocapsa sanguinea (C. Ag.) Ku
¨tz. Wet rocks, on the soil SV, FJL, NZ MR
Gloeocapsa violascea (Corda) Rabenh. Wet rocks, on the soil SV MR
*Gloeocapsopsis magma (Bre
´b.)
Koma
´rek et Anagn.
Wet rocks SV, BT, PU, Y, SZ MR, RK, SPU,
KP, CI
Kamptonema animale (C. Ag. ex Gom.)
Strunecky
´et al.
In soil FJL, BT, Y, T SPU, KK, RS, CI
Leptolyngbya boryana (Gom.) Anagn. et
Koma
´rek
Crusts on bare spots; in soil SV, BT, PU, Y, T, SZ MR, KK, RS, CI
Leptolyngbya foveolarum (Rabench. ex
Gom.) Anagn. et Koma
´rek
Crusts on bare spots; in soil SV, FJL, BT, NZ, PU, Y,
T, SZ
MR, SPU, KK,
RS, Ch, KP, CI
Microcoleus autumnalis (Trev. ex Gom.)
Strunecky et al.
Ornithogenic habitats, on soils SV, FJL, NZ, BT, PU, T,
Ch, NSI
MR, KK, RS,
MaR, CI
*Microcoleus vaginatus Gom. ex Gom. Crusts on bare spots SV, BT, SZ MR, RK
Microcoleus favosus (Gomont) Strunecky
et al.
Crusts on bare spots SV, FJL, T SPU, KK
Nostoc commune Vauch. ex Born. et Flah. Crusts on bare spots, on soils, rocks,
epiphytic on the mosses
SV, FJL, MT, BT, NZ,
PU, Y, SZ, T, NSI
MR, RK, SPU,
KK, RS, CI
Nostoc punctiforme (Ku
¨tz. ex Hariot)
Hariot
In soil SV, FJL, NZ, BT, MT,
PU, T
MR, SPU
Nostoc microscopicum Carm. ex Born. et
Flah.
Crusts on bare spots SV, BT, PU, T MR, SPU, RS,
MaR
130 Hydrobiologia (2018) 811:119–137
123
near snowfields. Further downstream species of Lep-
tolyngbya appear. Small pebbles in the stream bed
form a good habitat for Dichothrix gypsophila. This is
also common in ephemeral ponds and small lakes.
Epilithon in streams also includes species of
Ammatoidea,Aphanocapsa,Chamaesiphon, and Toly-
pothrix (Table 2). The bed of small streams is often
covered by Microcoleus autumnalis which is one of
the most common Arctic species.
Streams of southern Hypoarctic regions that are fed
by ground springs have a high transparency. These are
a good habitat for Tolypothrix tenuis,T.distorta,
Nostoc coeruleum,Calothrix braunii Born. et Flah., C.
clavata,Calothrix parietina,Dichothrix gypsophila,
Gloeotrichia pisum and Rivularia haematites.
Terrestrial habitats
Terrestrial habitats support a greater diversity and
abundance of cyanoprokaryotes with progression from
South to North. A decrease in competition from higher
plants and an increase in the range of ecological niches
could explain this.
Subaerophytic habitats
These are transitional between aquatic and aerophytic
habitats, typically being banks of water bodies,
flooded areas of slopes and terraces and moss tundra
wetlands. They are the most frequently occurring
habitats in high latitudes and support the highest
diversity of cyanoprokaryotes. Extensive mats (from 2
to 3 cm thick) are formed at the bottom of widespread,
shallow, ephemeral lakes. These are dominated by
Phormidium uncinatum which forms an upper layer
and Leptolyngbya cf. gracillima and Pseudanabaena
cf. minima, which form a bottom layer (Table 3). Mats
dominated by Petalonema species (P. alatum and P.
crustaceum) are less frequent.
Continuous snow melt during summer produces
abundant runoff which results in waterlogging of
upper soil horizons under permafrost conditions.
Those habitats are called seepage (Koma
´rek et al.,
2012). Here, Gloeocapsa kuetzingiana,G. sanguinea,
G. violacea and species that are often recorded in
puddles and streams (Chroococcus turgidus,Micro-
coleus autumnalis,Oscillatoria tenuis,Phormidium
kuetzingianum,P. uncinatum) are found.
Epiphytic on mosses in waterlogged moss tundra
are Chroococcus turgidus, Symplocastrum friesii,
Hapalosiphon pumilus, Fischerella muscicola,Apha-
nocapsa muscicola,Scytonema ocellatum,S. hofman-
nii,Microcoleus vaginatus,Nostoc punctiforme.
Nostoc commune is probably the most common
species for all tundra habitats and especially in wet
tundra. It is one of the most common species of the
Table 4 continued
Species Ecology Distributions
Arctic Hypoarctic
Petalonema incrustans [Ku
¨tz.] Koma
´rek Crusts on rocky outcrops SV
Phormidiochaete nordstedtii (Born. et
Flah.) Koma
´rek
Crusts on rocky outcrops SV MR
Phormidium ambiguum Gom. In soil SV, BT, PU, NZ, Y, SZ,
T
MR, SPU, KK,
MaR, CI
*Pseudanabaena frigida (Fritsch) Anagn. Crusts on rocky outcrops, on soils SV, BT, FJL MR, RK
*Scytonema ocellatum [Dillw.] Lyngb. ex
Born. et Flah.
Crusts on bare spots SV, MT, BT, SZ MR, RK, RS
Stigonema informe Ku
¨tz. ex Born. et Flah. On wet rocks SV, BT, PU MR, RS
*Stigonema minutum [C. Ag.] Hass. ex
Born. et Flah.
On wet rocks; crusts on bare spots SV, FJL, MT, BT, PU,
SZ
MR, RK, SPU,
KP, CI
*Stigonema ocellatum [Dillw.] Thur. ex
Born. et Flah.
On wet rocks; crusts on bare spots SV, BT, PU, Y, T, SZ MR, RK, SPU,
RS, KP, CI
Tolypothrix tenuis Ku
¨tz. ex Born. et Flah. On wet rocks; crusts on bare spots SV, FJL, NZ, MT, BT,
PU, Y, SZ, T, Ch
MR, RK, SPU,
KK, RS
Hydrobiologia (2018) 811:119–137 131
123
Arctic which can be found everywhere due to its
adaptability to a wide range of habitats from bare
ground of glacier nunataks to the bottom of rocky
outcrops and small ponds. In wet moss tundras, its
colonies can form a continuous cover over several
square meters. Nostoc colonies can cover moss
surfaces as well as grow within moss cushions. They
could also be found in small ponds and water filled
depressions. The study on genetic variation using 16S
rRNA sequencing and AFLP methods of different
colonies in the studied regions confirmed that all the
specimens belong to Nostoc commune (Patova et al.,
2015).
Aerophytic habitats
Aerophytic cyanoprokaryotes are inhabitants of rocky
substrates and soil surfaces. Elevated rocky surfaces of
different origins and geology are widespread in the
Arctic and Hypoarctic. Combined with a lack of
competition from lichens and vascular plants, this
stimulates species richness of cyanoprokaryotes.
Greatest abundance is observed on wet rocks receiving
water from snow fields. Loose rocks are easily drained
and remain dry most of the summer which makes them
a hostile environment which is not colonized by
cyanoprokaryotes. Under typical Arctic conditions,
the most common thin crusts on wet rocks are of
species of Gloeocapsa and Chroococcus (Table 4). In
Hypoarctic regions, the most frequent crusts are of
Stigonema ocellatum, S. minutum, and S. informe with
associated Gloeocapsopsis magma and Gloeocapsa
violascea.
Cyanoprokaryota crusts on soil surfaces vary in
composition and can occupy large areas due to the
high occurrence of bare spots in the Arctic regions.
Those habitats are from 1 to 10 m
2
or 20–90% of the
area in the communities. Typical species of wet soils
are Aphanocapsa grevillei,Leptolyngbya boryana,
Microcoleus favosus,M. vaginatus,Nostoc commune,
N. punctiforme,Petalonema crustaceum, Stigonema
ocellatum,S. minutum,Scytonema ocellatum, Toly-
pothrix tenuis, and T.distorta.
Species often found at relatively high abundance in
soils are Chroococcus cohaerens,Cyanothece aerug-
inosa,Desmonostoc muscorum,Kamptonema ani-
male,Leptolyngbya boryana,Leptolyngbya
foveolarum,Phormidium ambiguum,Nostoc puncti-
forme,N. linckia, and N. microscopicum. In ornitho-
genic habitats, such as downslope from bird colonies,
species-richness is 4–5 species, but Microcoleus
autumnalis is always found.
The presently known diversity of cyanoprokaryotes
in the Eurasian Arctic and Hypoarctic comprises 603
species (Table 5). The Arctic has 80% of this total. In
the Hypoarctic, 71% are observed. This could be
attributed to the smaller area and the reduced range of
environmental conditions (Fig. 2).
89% of species in the Arctic are found in the tundra
zone while polar deserts have only 32%. The diversity
of polar deserts in comparison with the total Arctic and
Hypoarctic species is only 26%.
The harsh environment of polar deserts supports
fewer species than Arctic tundra in which 456 species
have been observed. This increased diversity can be
attributed to the wider range of habitats that are
favorable for cyanoprokaryotes.
The species richness within subclasses is similar in
all zones. Oscillatoriophycidae (40%) is dominant in
the total species list whilst Synechococcophycideae
(32%) and Nostocophycideae (27%) are similar. The
proportion of Nostocophycideae species increases in
Hypoarctic. In the tundra zone and the Hypoarctic,
species richness within orders is greatest in the
Synechococcales and Nostocales. In polar deserts,
there is an increase in the proportion of Chroococcales
Table 5 The numbers of
Cyanoprokaryota species in
different zones
Zone Number of species % of total number of species
Polar deserts zone 156 25.9
Tundra zone 456 75.6
Arctic 482 80
Hypoarctic 428 71
Total 603 100
132 Hydrobiologia (2018) 811:119–137
123
and a decrease in the proportion of Nostocales
(Fig. 4). This is due to the low diversity of Anabaena
and Dolichospermum and the increase in diversity of
Gloeocapsa and Chroococcus species.
Undoubtedly, Cyanoprokaryota floras of the Arctic
and Hypoarctic are still unevenly and incompletely
studied. Murmansk region (359 species) and Spitsber-
gen archipelago (314 species) are the most fully
studied. They also have the greatest similarity of
species composition (Sørensen index of [50%). Rel-
atively well-studied floras of other regions have
100–300 species as well as high similarity in species
composition. It can be predicted that important
additions to knowledge of species occurrence for all
studied regions will result from an expansion of
research to new areas. A significant increase in the
knowledge of diversity of Arctic Cyanoprokaryota
would also result from the application of the tech-
niques of molecular genetics to investigate morpho-
logically similar species and others which are difficult
to place within the current taxonomic system. Some
researchers discuss a possible endemism of Arctic and
bipolar species (e.g., Koma
´rek et al., 2012).
Subaerophytic cyanoprokaryotes had the highest
species diversity (300 species) of all ecological
groups. Cyanoprokaryota diversity changes differ-
ently for aquatic and terrestrial environments in a
latitudinal gradient from polar deserts to Hypoarctic
tundra. One of the main observed environmental
patterns is a notable reduction in diversity of typical
aquatic species from south to north, and in contrast, an
increase in diversity of subaerophytic and aerophytic
species in the north. An increasing area of the
terrestrial ecosystem is occupied by cyanoprokaryotes
with progression from the Hypoarctic to polar deserts.
The main reason appears to be the reduced competi-
tion from higher plants.
The most widespread species of the Arctic and
Hypoarctic are indicated in the species lists given in
Tables 2,3, and 4.
Spitsbergen and Franz Josef Land archipelagos and
Polar and Subpolar Urals are typical mountain areas of
the Arctic. Cyanoprokaryota floras of these regions are
characterized by epilithic species of Gloeocapsa and
Chroococcus as well as by the same species compo-
sition of subaerophytic cyanoprokaryotes and the high
number of species growing on primitive soils (species
of Leptolyngbya spp., Pseudanabaena spp., Micro-
coleus spp.).
Perspectives and future directions
The diversity of Cyanoprokaryotes in the Eurasian
part of the Arctic and Hypoarctic is similar to that of
the Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands (537 species)
(https://data.aad.gov.au), of Sweden (558) and of the
Czech Republic (505), all being regions where
detailed studies have been made (Willen, 2001; Kas
ˇ-
tovsky
´et al., 2009). However, these regions all have
less environmental diversity than the studied regions
Fig. 4 Comparison of species richness within each order of cyanobacteria in the two Arctic zones and the Hypoarctic
Hydrobiologia (2018) 811:119–137 133
123
of the Arctic and Hypoarctic. We suggest that further
research on Cyanoprokaryota in the Arctic and
Hypoarctic, including modern molecular studies,
would significantly increase the known species and
indicate which of these are endemic.
This review has indicated the high diversity of
Cyanoprokaryota in the Arctic and Hypoarctic and
that species occupy a wide range of aquatic and
terrestrial habitats where they form dominant com-
munities. To the south, the pattern is reversed and
aquatic cyanoprokaryotes grow in abundance and
cause blooms but in terrestrial habitats cyanoprokary-
otes are of greatly reduced importance.
A special feature of the Eurasian Arctic and
Hypoarctic is the limited number of dominant species.
However, these are not special species for high-
latitude regions as they are also found in the southern
boreal zone.
Further study is required of the ecological prefer-
ences of individual species and their role in the
formation of microbial communities in aquatic and
terrestrial ecosystems of high latitudes. An integrated
study of Cyanoprokaryota biodiversity, ecology, and
geography in the Arctic and Hypoarctic will enlarge
knowledge of the structural and functional diversity of
ecosystems and history of biota in the Eurasian region.
Acknowledgements This study was conducted with the
support of grants from Russian Foundation for Basic Research
Nos. 15-04-06346, 15-29-02662. We thank Anna Patova
(Ludwig-Maximillian University, Germany) for help in
translation of the article.
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... In these ecosystems, cyanobacteria have been reported as dominant phototrophs because of their ability to tolerate the abiotic stresses such as low temperature and ultraviolet radiation in these regions of Earth (Vincent 2007). Cyanobacterial species such as Aphanocapsa fusco-lutea, A. grevillei, Chroococcus cohaerens, C. spelaeus, Desmonostoc muscorum, Gloeocapsa ralfsii, G. sanguinea, G. violacea, Kamptonema animale, Leptolyngbya boryana, L. foveolarum, Microcoleus autumnalis, Nostoc commune, N. punctiforme, and Phormidium ambiguum were reported from aerophytic habitats in Hypoarctic and Arctic regions, and these were on the soil surface and inside the soil layer (Davydov and Patova 2018). Cyanobacterial diversity in the Arctic was found to be higher as compared to the Antarctic regions (dry valleys) (Zakhia et al. 2008). ...
... Cyanobacterial diversity in the Arctic was found to be higher as compared to the Antarctic regions (dry valleys) (Zakhia et al. 2008). Chroococcus and Gloeocapsa were found to be dominant in the crust in the Arctic conditions, whereas Stigonema ocellatum, S. minutum, and S. informe with associated Gloeocapsopsis magma and Gloeocapsa violascea were found to be most frequent species in crusts in hypoarctic regions (Davydov and Patova 2018). Gloeocapsopsis magma, Leptolyngbya foveolarum, Nostoc commune, Scytonema hofmannii, Stigonema minutum, and S. ocellatum were reported as permanent species of BSC in the mountain tundras of the Polar and Subpolar Urals . ...
Chapter
Cyanobacteria are the ancient group of photosynthetic prokaryotes having pronounced variations in their physiological capacities, cellular differentiation strategies, and choice of habitats. They are the inventors of oxygenic photosynthesis on this planet and hence have played a crucial role in the evolution of biodiversity on Earth by gradually changing the atmospheric chemistry to be suitable for the evolution of eukaryotes. This conversion of atmosphere from anaerobic to an aerobic one was started by cyanobacteria through oxygenic photosynthesis, which finally supplied oxygen to the atmosphere for ~1.5 billion years leading to greater diversification of life on the Earth. Cyanobacteria inhabit a wide range of terrestrial and aquatic environments varying from the hot springs to polar region and other extreme environments. Their long-standing evolutionary history might be the reason for their success in acclimatization and sustenance in such diverse habitats. A high tolerance level of free sulfide and low oxygen, tolerance to lethal ultraviolet radiations, and the capacity to use H2S in place of H2O as a photoreductant are some of the various features of cyanobacteria that have aided in supporting their long history on this planet. Still, the picture regarding evolution and diversification of this ecologically and biotechnologically important group of photoautotrophs is not very clear. In this chapter, we present an overview of structural and genomic evolution of cyanobacteria and their distribution in diverse habitats on Earth.
... In spite of the progress in the cyanobacterial phylogeny, their taxonomy is still undergoing revision. Simple filamentous forms of Cyanobacteria such as Leptolyngbya s.l. with narrow trichomes thrive in most types of terrestrial habitats [1]. High adaptive capacity, immense dispersal abilities, and relatively fast growth rate [2] facilitate their frequent occurrence in the biological soil crusts and subaerophytic wet wall assemblages of algae. ...
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Cyanobacteria are crucial components of biological soil crusts of polar landscapes and carry out many functions in subaerial environments. Simple untapered filamentous cyanobacteria are typically in the terrestrial biotopes. They appear to be a group with an abundance of cryptic taxa. We isolated 23 strains of cyanobacteria from the different habitats of the Arctic and temperate zone, from 10 locations in order to characterize their morphological and genotypic diversity. Phylogenetic analyses were conducted on the 16S and 16S–23S ITS rRNA gene regions using Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood. A morphological comparison of the isolated strains with similar known species, as well as its phylogenetic analyses, revealed that they belong to three species of the genus Phormidesmis (P. nigrescens, P. pristley, and P. communis)—and to the previously unknown genus of Leptolyngbyaceae. Using an integrative approach, we provide here a description of a new taxon Apatinema gen. nov.
... Due to their efficient adaptive capacity, cyanobacterial colonies form frequent biofilms in different terrestrial habitats (Gorbushina, 2007;Rossi and De Philippis, 2015;Davydov and Patova, 2018). Different cyanobacterial species often were noted on infertile substrates such as desert sand or volcanic ash, at the stone-soil interface, and in endolithic niches in all Earth biomes (Jaag, 1945;Weber, Wessels and Büdel, 1996;Büdel, 1999;Mur, Skulberg and Utkilen, 1999;Pentecost and Whitton, 2000;Golubic and Schneider, 2003). ...
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This work presents data obtained as a result of studying the composition of cya-nobacteria in lithobiotic communities on various substrates (Ruskeala marble, rapakivi-granite, granite gneiss) in different light conditions on the territory of the Karelian Isthmus: Leningrad Oblast, Republic of Karelia, and South Finland. The species composition of cyanobacteria was revealed, and the species composition on certain types of substrates was analyzed. A total of 49 species of cyanobacteria were noted for the Republic of Karelia (13 of which were not previously recorded in this territory). The detailed taxonomic and environmental characteristics of species are given. Changes in the species diversity of cyano-bacteria in connection with specific habitats are shown. The type of substrate, the degree of moisture, and illumination are noted as the main factors determining the diversity of cyanobacteria in lithobiotic communities.
... Introduction. Cyanoprokaryota, also called "blue-green algae" or cyanobacteria, are widespread microorganisms which dwell in fresh and saline waters, as well as in soils, snow and even in desert habitats [ 1,2 ]. They are the only chlorophototrophic prokaryotes that are able to perform oxygenic photosynthesis, to photooxidize water and to evolve oxygen via two RCs, Photosystem I and Photosystem II [ 3 ]. ...
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The cyanoprokaryote Chroococcus R-10, which was isolated from a hot spring in south-west Bulgaria (28 оС), was introduced to laboratory cultivation for the first time. In this research we tried to estimate the optimal conditions for the best growth and accumulation of its extracellular polysaccharides and the light-harvesting phycobiliproteins. The results showed that high biomass yield was observed when the alga was cultivated in the range of 26 – 35 оС regardless of the light intensity. The most suitable conditions for growth and polysaccharide accumulation are a temperature of 26 ºC and unilateral irradiation of 132 μmol photons m-2 s-1. High light intensity in combination with high temperatures reduced the total amount of phycobiliproteins as expected. The oxygen evolution properties were used as a sensitive signal for PSII operation which confirmed once again the physiological advantage of the optimal growth temperature conditions. Using the newly estimated optimum growth parameters, we also managed to achieve maximal biomass yield of 10.3±0.3 g.dm-3, polysaccharide viscosity of 4.9±0.2 m Pa.cm3 g-1 and phycobiliprotein yield of 0.8±0.1 g.dm-3. Тhe large quantities of the produced polysaccharide increase the strain’s potential for future biomedical studies such as anticancer, antibacterial, and antifungal.
... Cyanobacteria are ranked first on the planet in resistance to extreme factors (Rampelotto, 2013). Cyanobacteria are characterized by a high ecological plasticity, so they occur in various, often even extreme habitats (Soares et al., 2013;Davydov, 2014;Pełechata et al., 2016), namely, in the marine environment (Hoffman, 1999;Engene et al., 2013;Arabadzhy-Tipenko, 2020), freshwater (McGregor et al., 2007;Okello et al., 2009;Okhapkin, 2015), soils (Davydov & Patova, 2018;Shekhovtseva & Mal'tseva, 2015;Maltseva et al., 2017;Maltsev & Maltseva, 2018), the biological soil crust, snow, cryoconites, etc. (Gaysina et al., 2019). The stress to which algae may be subjected is divided into two types: limiting stress caused by insufficient supplies of resources (such as insufficient light or nutrient deficiencies), and destructive stress (as a result of damage caused by adverse conditions) (Davison & Pearson, 1996). ...
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The article is focused on a hypothesis verification: the higher plants, microalgae and cyanobacteria may be used in bioindication of steppe ecosystem restoration dynamics after fires. On the territory of the Askania Nova biosphere reserve (Ukraine) 4 stationary polygons were investigated: SP1 – steppe area which had not been exposed to fire for 20 years preceding our study, as well as areas where single fires occurred in 2001 (SP2), 2005 (SP3), and a site where fires occurred in 2001 and 2004 (SP4). The investigation revealed the dynamics of height and projected area of the higher vegetation according to seasons during two years (2010 and 2011), as well as abundance and biomass of microalgae and cyanoprokaryotes in the soil layer by the layer of the depth to 15 cm. It was found that the effects of pyrogenic load remain evident for several years after the fires, manifesting in decrease of the height and projected area of herbage, the number and biomass of algae and cyanobacteria in the soil, especially to the depth of 5 cm. Multivariate general linear models were used to test the significance of the dependence of quantitative characteristics of vegetation, microalgae, and cyanoprokaryotes on environmental predictors (season, year, soil layer, and fire). In the model, 75.2% of the grass height variability and 91.6% of the grass projected area variability could be explained by the predictors under consideration. In the series SP1 → SP2 → SP3 → SP4 the grass height and projected area decreased. The differences in the projected area of the grass stand were most evident in spring. The model explained 89.1% of the variation in abundance and 91.6% ofthe variation in biomass of Bacillariophyceae. The abundance of Bacillariophyceae was greater in the upper soil layer than in the lower layer and decreased with depth. The abundance of this group of algae decreased in the series SP1 → SP2 → SP3 → SP4 at depths of 0–5 and 5– 10 cm. Changes in abundances of Chlorophyta, Streptophyta, Heterokontophyta (Xanthophyceae and Eustigmatophyceae) equaling 47.6% could also be explained by the model. The abundance of this group of algae was greatest in the upper soil layer. In the uppersoil layer, the maximum abundance of Chlorophyta, Streptophyta, and Heterokontophyta (Xanthophyceae and Eustigmatophyceae) was recorded for Polygon SP1 and the minimum for Polygon SP3. Within the model, 48.0% of the variation in biomass of Chlorophyta, Streptophyta, and Heterokontophyta (Xanthophyceae and Eustigmatophyceae) was explained by the environmental predictors. The biomass trend was coherent with the population trend. A special feature was that there was a significant increase in biomass at 10–15 cm depth at Polygon SP3 compared to other polygons at this depth. The model was able to explain 61.8% of the variation in abundance and 66.7% of the variation in cyanobacteria biomass. The highest abundance of cyanobacteria was found in the upper soil layer of polygon SP1. Somewhat lower numbers of cyanobacteria were at polygons SP2 and SP4, and the lowest were found in the upper soil layer at polygon SP3. In turn, the highest number of cyanobacteria was found particularly at this polygon in the 5–10 cm layer. The biomass in the 0–5 cm layer was coherent with the abundance pattern of this group. The research results confirmed that the quantitative characteristics of the higher vegetation (height and projected area) as well as of microalgae and cyanobacteria (abundance and biomass) may be used in bioindication of the dynamics of postpyrogenic processes in steppe ecosystems.
... Because of this, cyanobacteria often represent the predominant phototrophic component in terrestrial habitats of these areas (Jungblut & Vincent 2017). Recent studies of multiple Arctic regions demonstrate that cyanobacterial diversity is quite high (Elster et al. 1999;Davydov 2010Davydov , 2018Jungblut et al. 2010;Patova et al. 2015;Pushkareva et al. 2016;Davydov & Patova 2018). However, current knowledge of the distribution and diversity of polar cyanobacteria is extremely limited, due to the remoteness of the study areas. ...
Article
A cyanobacterial strain isolated from the Svalbard archipelago was studied using morphological, ecological, and molecular approaches. The morphology of natural populations fit well the description of the Leptolyngbya s.l. however, in culture, they formed specific nodules that prevented affiliation to this genus. Further phylogenetic analyses including the 16S rRNA gene and 16S-23S ITS region revealed that the strain corresponds to the genus Nodosilinea. Based on this total evidence approach, we provide here a description of the new taxon Nodosilinea svalbardensis sp. nov.
... Cyanophyte research in Russia has a long and rich history (Davydov & Patova 2017). One of the ground-breaking works was Alexander Elenkin's monograph (Elenkin 1947). ...
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Stenomitos is a recently established cyanobacterial genus, some species of which appear to be cryptic. Here we describe two new species in this genus, Stenomitos kolaensis sp. nov. isolated from the Al-Fe humic podzols of a boreal forest near Nikel town, Murmansk region, Russia and S. hiloensis sp. nov. isolated from a basaltic seep wall on Akeola Road, Hilo, Hawaii, USA. Phylogenetic analyses were conducted on the 16S and 16S-23S ITS rRNA gene regions using Bayesian Inference, and Maximum Likelihood. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S-23S ITS rRNA region resulted in both S. kolaensis and S. hiloensis forming separate clades from other Stenomitos lineages. Antarctic strains of Stenomitos frigidus (previously reported as “Leptolyngbya frigida”) show that species to be polyphyletic and in need of revision. The structure of the conserved ITS regions (Box-B, D1-D1ʹ, V2 and V3 helices) provided support for separation of the species, and the p-distances among aligned ITS regions further confirmed that a number of species exist within the genus. S. kolaensis and S. hiloensis can be distinguished from other described Stenomitos species (S. rutilans and S. tremulus) by their geographical distribution, habitat preference, 16S rRNA phylogeny, and differences in the secondary structure of the 16S-23S ITS region.
Article
New knowledge has been obtained about the diversity and functional characteristics of cyanoprokaryotes associated with sphagnum mosses in bog complexes of the boreal zone of the European North and the Subpolar Urals. 19 species of diazotrophic cyanoprokaryotes were identified. The quantitative characteristics of nitrogen-fixing cyanoprokaryotes in epiphytic groups of sphagnum mosses and their seasonal changes were studied. It was revealed that Nostoc paludosum, N. punctiforme, Microchaete tenera form the basis of the dominant complexes of cyanoprokaryotes, actively fixing nitrogen in the studied communities. It was shown that N2 fixation in communities of the same type in the studied geographic regions had similar values. For a floodplain bog in the taiga zone, seasonal measurements of N2 fixation and quantitative indicators of cyanoprokaryotes associated with the sphagnum mosses Sphagnum riparium and S. angustifolium were carried out. N2 fixation in the season was more dependent on temperature conditions. On average, from 1.2 to 12.3 thousand colonies of nitrogen-fixing cyanoprokaryotes were recorded per 1 cm2 of sphagnum moss sod. The maximum values of the rates of N2 fixation, measured by the method of acetylene reduction, were noted in the range of 0.55–3.59 mg C2H4 m–2h–1. The maximum values of seasonal N2 fixations were 3,5 g C2H4 m–2 for S. angustifolium and 4,6 g C2H4 m–2 for S. riparium.
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This study provides new results from an inventory of cyanobacterial species from the Northern Polar Ural Mountains. The article also compiles all existing published data on the cyanobacterial diversity of the region. This ecoregion is located in a unique geographical position in the transition between the sub-Arctic and low Arctic zones and heterogeneous natural conditions. Likely, the unexplored biodiversity of this area’s terrestrial cyanobacteria is high. In total, 52 localities were studied, with 232 samples collected. Cyanobacterial samples were studied under a light microscope. Species were identified based on morphological characteristics only. A total of 93 species of cyanobacteria were identified in different habitats; 70 species were found on wet rocks, 35 on the shores of water bodies, 27 in slow streams, and 21 on waterfalls. In total, 37 species are reported as part of the Ural flora for the first time, while three species (Chroococcus ercegovicii, Gloeocapsopsis cyanea, Gloeothece tepidariorum) were detected in Russian territory for the first time. The composition of the cyanobacterial flora of the Polar Urals was compared with the flora of the nearby Arctic and sub-Arctic regions. According to the Sorensen similarity index, the Polar Urals’ flora is more like the flora of Nenets Autonomous Okrug.
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Arctic ecosystems contain a variety of habitats that are colonized by cyanobacteria. They are of fundamental ecological importance; they contribute to both carbon and nitrogen fixation as well as frequently acting as ecosystem engineers. The exploration of cyanobacteria in the Svalbard Archipelago began in the nineteenth century. A previously published list of cyanobacteria from the Svalbard Archipelago (Skulberg in: Elvebakk and Prestrud (eds) Terrestrial and limnic algae and cyanobacteria, Norsk Polarinstitutt, Skrifer, Oslo 1996) included 89 cyanobacterial species. Since then, several articles have been written and knowledge about the diversity of cyanobacteria has increased. This study summarizes the results of the inventory of Cyanobacterial species in the Svalbard Archipelago. The cyanobacterial flora of Svalbard was analyzed based on our data and literature records. Cyanobacterial samples were studied under a light microscope. Species were identified based on morphological characteristics only. As a result of this analysis, we compiled an annotated list of the cyanobacteria of Svalbard. A total of 292 species of cyanobacteria were recorded in the archipelago. 84 of these species are reported here for the first time. This makes Svalbard's flora the richest in cyanobacteria of any area in the Eurasian Arctic. Information on the distribution, description of habitats, and substrate preferences of the cyanobacteria was included for all taxa. The composition of the Cyanobacterial flora of Svalbard was compared with the flora of other Arctic and sub-Arctic regions, revealing that the flora of Svalbard exhibited typical Arctic features. For instance, the proportions of the main Cyanobacterial orders and families are the same in Svalbard and the rest of the Eurasian Arctic. The Cyanobacterial composition in the Arctic and sub-Arctic areas conforms to the general pattern of declining species diversity with increasing latitude.
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Filamentous types from the order Oscillatoriales, particularly the species Phor-midium autumnale, have widely diverse morphotypes, which dominate in Arctic aquatic microbial mats and wet soils. We cultivated 25 strains of Ph. autumnale from Svalbard and compared them with available strains from surrounding regions. The comparison of strains, based on 16S rDNA and 16S-23S rDNA intergenic spacer sequences, revealed the similar- ity of strains from Ellesmere Island, the Canadian Arctic and Abisko, Sweden with strains from Svalbard. The rate of colonization of Ph. atumnale from aquatic habitats is relatively high and we suggest geese as a main transmission vector from surrounding lands. Strains of Ph. autumnale were positioned in the phylogenetic tree according to their occurrence in similar habitats. An apparent clustering factor is the duration of availability of water in lakes and long-lasting streams in contrast to rapid and repeated desiccation in soil and on wetted rock in the spray zone of waterfalls. Strains that grow in very cold waters just above the melting point of snow or ice form a distinct genetic group. The strains investigated in this study show morphological similarity in the shape of the trichomes of the studied specimens. Overall, the cell diameter, except for terminal cells, of our strains varied between 3 and 10 μm. Comparison of 16S rDNA sequences of the genus Ph. autumnale with the previ- ously published definition of the species Microcoleus vaginatus revealed the identity of these two species.
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Substrates created by human have a significant impact on Arctic terrestrial environment. These substrates are new potential niche for microbial biota, which may have several essential chemical agents supporting microbial growth. Wood, concrete, brick, ceramic and other different building materials, which have been introduced by human in this isolated environment, are colonizedwith terrestrial and aero-terrestrial microorganisms living in the natural niches near the substrates like soil, rocks, etc., but these materials newlyintroduced to Svalbard terrestrial ecosystems can also work as vectors for invasion of new species into the environment. We have collected different types of artificial substrates mainly in the region of Petuniabukta bay and studied the species composition of microbial phototrophs living there. A total of 25 taxa of cyanobacteria and algae were documented on different types of substrates like brick walls, concrete, glass, iron, wood and plastic. A commonality in species diversity was observed with similar substrates in temperate climatic regions. Fottea stichococcoides, Sphaerococcomyxa olivacea, Polysphaera composita and Diplosphaera chodatii were first time recorded from Svalbard Archipelago.
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The study of polar deserts cyanoprokaryotes up to now is few. Foremost this is connected with difficulty visiting of the area. The paper presents the results of a study of сyanoprokaryota on the southern coast of Innvika cove (Fotherbyfjorden bay, North-East Land Island, Spitsbergen archipelago). A total of 74 taxa were observed in various habitats of investigated area. Nine species are reported for the first time for Spitsbergen flora. Gloeocapsopsis magma (20 observations), Nostoc commune (19), Microcoleus autumnalis (17) were the most common species in the investigated samples. The most number of species (42) was found on wet rocks. The similarity Sorensen index between wet rock species, seepage species and pools species is very high. It can mean that for many species the only necessary preference in habitat is a rock substrate and wetting. Most similar are the flora of the Innvika area and flora of the west part of Oscar II Land (61%).
Article
The influence of environmental factors on the nitrogen fixation activity in soil and vegetation samples from different types of plant communities from the Sassen Valley (78°N, 16°E), Svalbard, Norway, was measured under controlled laboratory conditions using the acetylene reduction assay throughout the summers of 1997 and 2000. Samples for study were chosen from six sites along a 2-km-long transect representing different types of arctic vegetation. The influence of temperature, soil water content, and light intensity on acetylene reduction rates was studied. Samples from all sites showed low and almost constant acetylene reduction rates between 0 and 10°C. Above 10°C the activity of all samples increased rapidly and reached its maximum at about 25 and 32°C for the samples with free-living cyanobacteria and moss-associated cyanobacteria, respectively. There was a significant water-dependent increase of acetylene reduction activity for all types of vegetation. The samples showed a clear response to varying light conditions, i.e. a rapid decrease in acetylene reduction rates when light intensity decreased from 140 to 80 μmol m–2 s–l depending on the type of vegetation.
Article
Samples of the Cyanobacteria and algae flora of the tundra surrounding the Hornsund fiord were collected from various types of habitats, differing in terms of moisture content, trophy, soil type and vegetation. Over 150 species of Cyanobacteria and algae were identified, including 72 species never observed before in Svalbard. The character and prevailing species compositions for particular habitat types were formulated, e. g. eutrophic habitats - Prasiola crispa (Lightf.) Menrgh. and Phormidium autumnale (Agardh.) Trevisan ex Gomont, for oligotrophic sites - Nostoc commune Vaucher and Nostoc punctiforme (Kutzing) Hariot.
Article
A survey of the terrestrial and limnic Svalbard flora of algae and cyanobacteria is made based on the literary records. The list includes 766 species in addition to some insufficiently determined taxa and some subspecific taxa. Cyanobacteria (68species), diatoms (393 species), Chlorophyceae (85 species) and desmids (162 species) represent the most species-rich groups. The catalogue is provisional, and the names and author citations of taxa are given as published in the original literature cited. Ankyra judai, Gymnodinium uberrimum, Katablepharis ovalis, Monoraphidium komarkovae, and Rhodomonas lacustris are reported as new to Svalbard. The phycological knowledge of the Svalbard archipelago is still in its infancy, creating an open field for continued investigations on diversity and phytogeographical relationships.