Polar Biology

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

List of Papers (Total 222)

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...

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...

First step to eradication of Poa annua L. from Point Thomas Oasis (King George Island, South Shetlands, Antarctica)

Poa annua, an alien species reported from the Antarctic continent and many Antarctic and sub-Antarctic islands, was accidentally introduced in the vicinity of the Polish Antarctic Station H. Arctowski. Recently the species has been found entering native plant communities. In almost 30 years it dispersed over 250 m from the site it was first observed and can therefore be...

DNA extracted from faeces as a source of information about endemic reindeer from the High Arctic: detection of Shiga toxin genes and the analysis of reindeer male-specific DNA

DNA extracted from faeces may be a valuable source of information about the animal itself, as well as its microflora. An isolated reindeer population from Svalbard (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus) was tested for the presence of Shiga toxin encoding genes in the collected faecal samples. Even though the reindeers were not interacting with any other ruminants, which are considered...

Zooplankton in Svalbard fjords on the Atlantic–Arctic boundary

Zooplankton abundance and community structures were studied in three west Spitsbergen fjords at the beginning of the warm phase, which seem to have entered in 2006. Sampling was conducted in summer 2007 at stations distributed along transects in Hornsund, Isfjorden and Kongsfjorden. Variations in zooplankton standing stocks and community structures (assessing taxonomic diversity...

Do benthic meiofaunal and macrofaunal communities respond to seasonality in pelagial processes in an Arctic fjord (Kongsfjorden, Spitsbergen)?

This study explores whether the marked seasonality in pelagic productivity and phytodetritus fluxes to the sea bottom in an Arctic fjord is reflected in variability of benthic communities in terms of taxonomic composition and standing stocks. Three stations located along the Kongsfjorden (west Spitsbergen) axis were visited in four seasons (May, August, October and January), and...

Biological soil crusts of Arctic Svalbard and of Livingston Island, Antarctica

Biological soil crusts (BSCs) occur in arid and semi-arid regions worldwide including the Polar Regions. They are important ecosystem engineers, and their composition and areal coverage should be understood before assessing key current functional questions such as their role in biogeochemical nutrient cycles and possible climate change scenarios. Our aim was to investigate the...

The early birds and the rest: do first nesters represent the entire colony?

Climate change studies have detected earlier spring arrival of breeding birds. However, first nest dates (date first nests were found), which commonly provide the metric for earlier arrival, can be biased by population size or sampling effort. Our aims were to determine if: 1) first nest dates and median nest date (date when at least 50 % of all females have nested) were...

Water mass characteristics and associated fauna of a recently discovered Lophelia pertusa (Scleractinia: Anthozoa) reef in Greenlandic waters

The first living sample of Lophelia pertusa from Greenlandic waters was inadvertently collected at 60.3675°, −48.45528°, entangled together with other corals to a seawater sampler and property sensor (CTD) package. We collected in situ photographs taken at two sites in the same area in order to determine whether a reef was present. We identified reef-like structures formed by...

Seasonality of bivalve larvae within a high Arctic fjord

The temporal and spatial distribution of larval plankton of high latitudes is poorly understood. The objective of this work is to identify the occurrence and abundance of pelagic bivalve larvae within a high Arctic fjord (Adventfjorden, Svalbard) and to reveal their seasonal dynamics in relation to environmental variables—temperature, salinity and chlorophyll a—between December...