Demographic population structure and fungal associations of plants colonizing High Arctic glacier forelands, Petuniabukta, Svalbard

  • Jakub Těšitel Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Branisovska 31, 370 05 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
  • Tamara Těšitelová Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Branisovska 31, 370 05 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
  • Alexandra Bernardová Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia, Branisovska 31, 370 05 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
  • Edita Janková Drdová Institute of Experimental Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 165 02 Praha 6, Czech Republic
  • Magdalena Lučanová Faculty of Science, Charles University, Benatska 2, 128 01 Praha 2, Czech Republic
  • Jitka Klimešová Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 379 82 Trebon, Czech Republic
Keywords: Colonizer, deglaciation, endophyte, High Arctic, Olpidium, succession

Abstract

The development of vegetation in Arctic glacier forelands has been described as unidirectional, non-replacement succession characterized by the gradual establishment of species typical for mature tundra with no species turnover. Our study focused on two early colonizers of High Arctic glacier forelands: Saxifraga oppositifolia (Saxifragaceae) and Braya purpurascens (Brassicaceae). While the first species is a common generalist also found in mature old growth tundra communities, the second specializes on disturbed substrate. The demographic population structures of the two study species were investigated along four glacier forelands in Petuniabukta, north Billefjorden, in central Spitsbergen, Svalbard. Young plants of both species occurred exclusively on young substrate, implying that soil conditions are favourable for establishment only before soil crusts develop. We show that while S. oppositifolia persists from pioneer successional stages and is characterized by increased size and flowering, B. purpurascens specializes on disturbed young substrate and does not follow the typical unidirectional, non-replacement succession pattern. Plants at two of the forelands were examined for the presence of root-associated fungi. Fungal genus Olpidium (Fungus incertae sedis) was found along a whole successional gradient in one of the forelands.

Keywords: Colonizer; deglaciation; endophyte; High Arctic; Olpidium; succession.

(Published: 30 April 2014)

Citation: Polar Research 2014, 33, 20797, http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/polar.v33.20797

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Author Biography

Jitka Klimešová, Institute of Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, 379 82 Trebon, Czech Republic
Department of Functional Ecology
Published
2014-04-30
How to Cite
Těšitel, J., Těšitelová, T., Bernardová, A., Janková Drdová, E., Lučanová, M., & Klimešová, J. (2014). Demographic population structure and fungal associations of plants colonizing High Arctic glacier forelands, Petuniabukta, Svalbard. Polar Research, 33. https://doi.org/10.3402/polar.v33.20797
Section
Research/review articles