The fora of sub-Antarctic archipielagos shapes one of the world’s most spectacular and least disturbed environments.
The remoteness of these areas gives this flora three main characteristics: i) paucity of species; ii) wide distribution of endemic species throughout the sub-antarctic; iii) wide ecological amplitude of species through a range of habitats in a single island.
This presents one of the most interesting arenas in which to study biogeographic patterns linked to dispersal and the drivers of propagules. This stands in stark contrast to the Arctic circle in the Northern Hemisphere, given the very different land to water ratios present in these two polar regions, highlighting the huge distances and small areas between the sub-Antarctic islands.
Below you can find photos of the whole flora of Prince Edward archipelago, an extremely remote archipelago in the Southern Ocean. The indigenous vascular plant flora is composed of 21 species, 20 of which are included here (I just miss a photo of Hymenophyllum peltatum, in case anybody can help 🙂 )
If you want to know more, our paper with a recent update on the indigenous vascular fora of sub‑Antarctic Marion Island can be found here.