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Abstract

A short review of the history of the hepaticological exploration of Antarctica is given in the present paper. An annotated check list of all taxa of hepatics reported from within the Antarctic botanical zone, based on literature data and unpublished records, is included. Altogether 22 species of liverworts, excluding two taxa known only at generic level, representing 18 genera and 13 families, are known to occur in the Antarctic. All species of hepatics, except for Cephaloziella varians which is also known from Greater Antarctica, occur exclusively in the maritime Antarctic region. In the livewort flora of Antarctica, the southern temperate and subantarctic elements are predominant (72.7%) and the bipolar element is remarkably scarce, albeit the bipolar taxa belong to the most widespread and frequent of the impoverished Antarctic hepatic flora. Distribution patterns of all known Antarctic liverworts are briefly discussed and several floristic elements and subelements are recognized.
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