Polar Biology

http://link.springer.com/journal/300

List of Papers (Total 210)

Sipunculan fauna in the Pacific Arctic region: a significant component of benthic infaunal communities

The Sipuncula show low species diversity in the Arctic Ocean, but they often occur in very high numbers and biomass, and can dominate shelf benthic communities. We describe here the patterns of sipunculan diversity, abundance, biomass, and species distribution in the Pacific Arctic, and the relation of those patterns to controlling environmental factors. Five species (including two ...

Species pool structure explains patterns of Antarctic rock-encrusting organism recruitment

Understanding the population dynamics of benthic communities is impossible without understanding the processes related to their initial development, including recruitment. In polar areas, encrusting organisms, such as bryozoans, polychaetes, sponges and ascidians, are amongst some of the most species-rich and abundant groups of macrofaunal organisms, yet knowledge about their ...

Decreased cryogenic disturbance: one of the potential mechanisms behind the vegetation change in the Arctic

During the last few decades, the Arctic has experienced large-scale vegetation changes. Understanding the mechanisms behind this vegetation change is crucial for our ability to predict future changes. This study tested the hypothesis that decreased cryogenic disturbances cause vegetation change in patterned ground study fields (non-sorted circles) in Abisko, Sweden during the last ...

Integrative redescription of a common Arctic water bear Pilatobius recamieri (Richters, 1911)

Tardigrada are a group of microscopic metazoans that inhabit a variety of ecosystems throughout the world, including polar regions, where they are a constant element of microfauna with densities exceeding hundreds of individuals per gram of dry plant material. However, despite a long history of research and their ubiquity in tundra ecosystems, the majority of tardigrade species ...

Biology of the king crab Paralomis birsteini on the continental slope off the western Antarctic Peninsula

Predatory king crabs (Lithodidae) structure benthic communities in their native habitats and cause shifts in the composition of benthic assemblages when introduced to new environments. Cold temperatures have apparently excluded skeleton-breaking predators from the continental shelf around Antarctica for millions of years, but recent increases in sea temperatures off the western ...

Low abundance and high species richness: the structure of the soft-bottom isopod fauna of a West Antarctic glacial fjord

Isopods belong to the most speciose groups of the Antarctic benthic fauna, although the knowledge on their diversity and small-scale distribution patterns is still limited. Here we analyze the diversity of the isopod fauna in the Admiralty Bay, a glacial fjord on the King George Island. The basin is located in the region of the Antarctic Peninsula, the fastest warming area of the ...

Zooplankton excretion metabolites stimulate Southern Ocean phytoplankton growth

Warming over Antarctica is leading to changes in the zooplankton communities inhabiting the Southern Ocean. It has been observed that zooplankton not only regulates phytoplankton through grazing, but also through the recycling of nutrients that are essential for phytoplankton growth. In this way, the effects of warming on zooplankton populations will change the amount or proportion ...

The potential role of Antarctic krill faecal pellets in efficient carbon export at the marginal ice zone of the South Orkney Islands in spring

Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) play a central role in the food web of the Southern Ocean, forming a link between primary production and large predators. Krill produce large, faecal pellets (FP) which can form a large component of mesopelagic particulate organic carbon (POC) fluxes. However, the patchy distribution of krill swarms, highly variable pellet composition, and ...

Assemblages and habitat preferences of soft bottom Antarctic Amphipoda: Admiralty Bay case study

Amphipoda belong to enormously diverse benthic invertebrate groups in the Southern Ocean, playing a very important role in the Antarctic communities. However, in the majority of ecological studies they are identified only to the order level. Rare ecological studies, where amphipods were identified to the species level, concern mainly shallow sublittoral. There is also poor ...

Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) feeding over deep water in the high Arctic

The Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) is a highly adaptive demersal, boreal species with a broad distribution on the continental shelves on both sides of the North Atlantic. However, whether the species also uses adjoining deeper water basins as feeding grounds or migration corridors remain unknown. In this study, we aimed to describe the vertical and horizontal distributions of Atlantic ...

Diversity and abundance of microbial eukaryotes in stream sediments from Svalbard

Microbial eukaryotes are increasingly being recognised for their role in global biogeochemical cycles, yet very few studies have focussed on their distribution in high-latitude stream sediments, an important habitat which influences stream water nutrient chemistry. In this study, we present the first comparison of microbial eukaryotes from two different polar habitats by ...

Distribution and population characteristics of the soil mites Diapterobates notatus and Svalbardia paludicola (Acari: Oribatida: Ceratozetidae) in High Arctic Svalbard (Norway)

The Oribatida of High Arctic Svalbard are faunistically relatively well known, but the distribution, density, stage structure and other population parameters of most species are unknown. Here we focus on two ceratozetid species, Diapterobates notatus (Thorell, 1871) and Svalbardia paludicola Thor, 1930, and investigate the summer density, stage and sex structure, proportion of ...

Challenges and strategies when mapping local ecological knowledge in the Canadian Arctic: the importance of defining the geographic limits of participants’ common areas of observations

Traditional and local ecological knowledge (TEK/LEK) are important sources of information for wildlife conservation. However, there are often limitations and biases in the TEK/LEK methods used. In this study, we examined and implemented strategies to address the limitations and biases we identified while analyzing the mapped observations collected from 27 interviews as part of a ...

Nutrient availability limits biological production in Arctic sea ice melt ponds

Every spring and summer melt ponds form at the surface of polar sea ice and become habitats where biological production may take place. Previous studies report a large variability in the productivity, but the causes are unknown. We investigated if nutrients limit the productivity in these first-year ice melt ponds by adding nutrients to three enclosures ([1] PO4 3−, [2] NO3 −, and ...

Tardigrada in Svalbard lichens: diversity, densities and habitat heterogeneity

Tardigrades in lichens have been poorly studied with few papers published on their ecology and diversity so far. The aims of our study are to determine the (1) influence of habitat heterogeneity on the densities and species diversity of tardigrade communities in lichens as well as the (2) effect of nutrient enrichment by seabirds on tardigrade densities in lichens. Forty-five ...

Research on climate-change impact on Southern Ocean and Antarctic ecosystems after the UN Paris climate conference—“now more than ever” or “set sail to new shores”?

The Paris Agreement, being the main result of the COP21 UN climate conference in 2015, included the ever most clearly defined political statement on anthropogenic climate change and the need for it to be reduced. In an opinion survey, Antarctic ecosystem researchers expressed their views, in which direction science should develop, after their mission to provide evidence for the ...

Migration characteristics of long-tailed ducks (Clangula hyemalis) from the western Canadian Arctic

There are significant deposits of oil and gas in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, and many long-tailed ducks (Clangula hyemalis) spend a large portion of their annual cycle in that region, but little is known about their migration patterns. Consequently, we used satellite telemetry to track movements and reveal migration routes and staging areas of 57 long-tailed ducks from the ...

Distribution, density and abundance of Antarctic ice seals off Queen Maud Land and the eastern Weddell Sea

The Antarctic Pack Ice Seal (APIS) Program was initiated in 1994 to estimate the abundance of four species of Antarctic phocids: the crabeater seal Lobodon carcinophaga, Weddell seal Leptonychotes weddellii, Ross seal Ommatophoca rossii and leopard seal Hydrurga leptonyx and to identify ecological relationships and habitat use patterns. The Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean ...

Habitat modelling of crabeater seals (Lobodon carcinophaga) in the Weddell Sea using the multivariate approach Maxent

The crabeater seal (Lobodon carcinophaga) is the most abundant Antarctic seal and inhabits the circumpolar pack ice zone of the Southern Ocean. Until now, information on important environmental factors affecting its distribution as well as on foraging behaviour is limited. In austral summer 1998, 12 crabeater seals of both sexes and different age classes were equipped with ...

Diatom communities in the High Arctic aquatic habitats of northern Spitsbergen (Svalbard)

As High Arctic environments are particularly sensitive to global and regional climate changes, a growing number of studies have focused on that region. It has been shown that living and fossil diatoms can be successfully used to track environmental changes in polar habitats. Nevertheless, the diatom flora of many Arctic areas remains unknown. The present study set out to examine ...