10 lichen species discovered in Antarctica by Turkish scientist

In the team sent to Antarctica on 28 December 2016 by the Polar Research Application and Research Center of Istanbul Technical University (PolReC), Prof. Dr. Here, Halıcı became involved in studies at research bases on the continent.

During his stay in Ukraine, Czechia and Turkish bases, Halıcı returned to Turkey with 800 samples belonging to 200 different species and continued his studies on lichens in Turkey.

Halıcı told Anadolu Agency (AA) that they are trying to classify the lichen samples they collected from Antarctica with the support of TUBITAK.

Stating that there has been an incredible increase in air temperature in the poles in the last 50 years, Halıcı stated that this increase is about 3 degrees Celsius.

Explaining that the temperature increase can be examined on organisms first, Halıcı emphasized the importance of studies on lichens.


Emphasizing that lichens are among the most dominant organisms of the terrestrial vegetation in Antarctica, Halıcı mentioned that there are around 500 lichens they are working with.

Explaining that he went to Antarctica three times, Halıcı said:

“We collected samples from there. We identify those samples at the species level by DNA barcoding. Studies on lichens have been carried out for 100 years on the continent. Around 500 species have been reported before. With the studies we have done in the last six years, we have 10 new innovations that are new to the scientific world, that is, not described anywhere in the world before. “We identified and named the species there. We also identified around 25-30 species known from other continents but unknown in Antarctica.”


Halıcı, who likened Antarctica to a natural laboratory, defined the region as the place where human influence is the least in the world.

About his latest work, Halıcı said, “Last time, we identified two species. We named one of them as ‘Rhizocaron ozsoyae’. In honor of the name of TÜBİTAK MAM Polar Research Institute Director Prof. Dr. Burcu Özsoy lady. In the second time, we stay away from our home for about three months during Antarctic expeditions. We named it ‘Candelariella ruzgarii’ in honor of my son’s name and brought it to the scientific world.” said.

Emphasizing that they will continue scientific studies on lichens, Halıcı added that it is important to determine the biodiversity of Antarctica.

Source: STAR.COM.TR by www.star.com.tr.

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