Latest version published by Antarctic Biodiversity Information Facility (ANTABIF) on Mar 19, 2019 Antarctic Biodiversity Information Facility (ANTABIF)

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As part of the Antarctic Site Inventory (e.g. Lynch et al. 2012, Naveen and Lynch 2011), we have developed a database and gathered photographic information on lichen richness for sites that are frequently visited by tourists on the Antarctic Peninsula.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 5,420 records.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


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How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

P Casanovas, HJ Lynch, WF Fagan, R Naveen (2013) Understanding lichen diversity on the Antarctic Peninsula using parataxonomic units as a surrogate for species richness. Ecology 94 (9), 2110-2110


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Antarctic Biodiversity Information Facility (ANTABIF). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY 4.0) License.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: a2e308bf-e9ec-4651-906e-956c963df0ca.  Antarctic Biodiversity Information Facility (ANTABIF) publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research.


Antarctic Peninsula; lichens; parataxonomic units; citizen science; detectability.; Occurrence


Paula Casanovas
  • Metadata Provider
  • Author
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
University of Canterbury
School of Biological Sciences
8041 Christchurch
Heather Lynch
  • Author
Associate Professor
Stony Brook University
113 Life Sciences Bldg, Ecology & Evolution Department
11794 Stony Brook
New York
Ron Naveen
  • Author
Founder and President
Oceanites Inc
P.O. Box 15259
20825 Chevy Chase
William Fagan
  • Author
University of Maryland
3205 Bio-Psych building
20742 College Park

Geographic Coverage

Antarctic Peninsula

Bounding Coordinates South West [-68.84, -73.28], North East [-58, -41.33]

Taxonomic Coverage

lichens (parataxonomy)

Temporal Coverage

Start Date 2011-11-10

Project Data

No Description available

Title Understanding lichen diversity on the Antarctic Peninsula using parataxonomic units as a surrogate for species richness
Funding US National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs (Award No NSF/OPP – 739515). NASA headquarters under the NASA Earth and Space Fellowship Program – grant NNX10AN55H.
Study Area Description Antarctic Peninsula (including the South Shetland Islands)
Design Description Expert collection of specimens in the field and further determination of species is the best method for determining species richness. However, the relative paucity of botanists working in Antarctica makes this approach impractical for broad-scale surveys of Antarctic floral biodiversity. Lichens are the dominant macrophytes of terrestrial Antarctica and, as such, play a fundamental part of the ice-free terrestrial ecosystem. Many distinct ice-free terrestrial habitats in the Antarctic are not represented in the current network of Antarctic protected areas. However, it is difficult to identify appropriate areas for conservation because comprehensive data on distributional patterns of Antarctic flora are not available, and existing data for most Antarctic lichen species are not compiled. Consequently, cost-effective survey methods and surrogates for the prediction of species richness are needed to accelerate assessments of local biodiversity and help select areas for conservation. A combination of a photographic “citizen scientist” approach for the collection of data, and the use of parataxonomic unit (PU) richness as a surrogate for species richness, might be a possible solution to effectively collect preliminary information and rapidly build databases on species diversity. We have developed a database and gathered photographic information on lichen occurrences for sites that are frequently visited by tourists. We test the identification capabilities with a reference dataset of Antarctic lichen images from the U.S. National Herbarium, and showed that all species used in this test can be detected, and that for 74% of the images, all classifiers were able to identify the genus of the specimen. Twenty-nine sites were photographically surveyed by researchers and tourists between 2009/10 and 2011/12 in the Antarctic Peninsula region. We estimated PU richness as a proxy for species richness for each of the 29 sites surveyed, and provide two examples of potential applications. These surveys provide preliminary information for identifying areas for protection and priorities for future research. More detail will be available at "Understanding lichen diversity on the Antarctic Peninsula using parataxonomic units as a surrogate for species richness", data Paper accepted in Ecology.

The personnel involved in the project:

Paula Casanovas
  • Author

Collection Data

Collection Name Antarctic Peninsula lichen photodocumentation
Collection Identifier citizen scientists
Parent Collection Identifier Antarctic Site Inventory
Specimen preservation methods No treatment
Curatorial Units Count 1,762 +/- 0 digital specimens (from photographs)

Additional Metadata

Alternative Identifiers a2e308bf-e9ec-4651-906e-956c963df0ca