Polar Biology

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

List of Papers (Total 214)

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 considered ...

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 equivalent ...

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 ...

First report of Laternula elliptica in the Antarctic intertidal zone

Many Antarctic marine invertebrates are considered to be highly stenothermal, subjected to loss of functionality at increased temperatures and so at high risk of mortality in a rapidly warming environment. The bivalve Laternula elliptica is often used as a model taxon to test these theories. Here, we report the first instance L. elliptica from an intertidal site. Genetic analysis ...

Large-scale patterns in community structure of benthos and fish in the Barents Sea

Biogeographical patterns have an ecological basis, but few empirical studies possess the necessary scale and resolution relevant for investigation. The Barents Sea shelf provides an ideal study area, as it is a transition area between Atlantic and Arctic regions, and is sampled by a comprehensive survey of all major functional groups. We studied spatial variation in species ...

Temperature-dependent metabolism in Antarctic fish: Do habitat temperature conditions affect thermal tolerance ranges?

Climatic warming is most pronounced in the polar regions. For marine ectotherms such as fish, temperature is a key abiotic factor, influencing metabolic processes. Species distribution and abundance are driven by reproduction and growth, which depend on available energy exceeding baseline maintenance costs. These routine metabolic costs make up a large part of the energy ...

Morphological and ecological evidence for two sympatric forms of Type B killer whale around the Antarctic Peninsula

Killer whales (Orcinus orca) are apex marine predators in Antarctica, but uncertainty over their taxonomic and ecological diversity constrains evaluations of their trophic interactions. We describe two distinct, sympatric forms sharing the characteristic pigmentation of Type B, the most common around the Antarctic Peninsula. Laser photogrammetry revealed nonoverlapping size ...

Freeze–thaw cycles have minimal effect on the mineralisation of low molecular weight, dissolved organic carbon in Arctic soils

Warmer winters in Arctic regions may melt insulating snow cover and subject soils to more freeze–thaw cycles. The effect of freeze–thaw cycles on the microbial use of low molecular weight, dissolved organic carbon (LMW-DOC) is poorly understood. In this study, soils from the Arctic heath tundra, Arctic meadow tundra and a temperate grassland were frozen to −7.5 °C and thawed once ...

Low organotin contamination of harbour sediment in Svalbard

Arctic sea routes are opening up for maritime transport due to sea ice retreat leading to increasing human activities in the Arctic and concomitant pressures on the environment. Organotin compounds are used in antifouling paints of large seagoing vessels and are known to leach into the marine environment and accumulate in sediments and biota. As organotin levels in Svalbard ...

From the worm’s point of view. I: Environmental settings of benthic ecosystems in Arctic fjord (Hornsund, Spitsbergen)

As a consequence of ongoing climate warming, nearly all tidal glaciers in Arctic are retreating; hence, the seascape of glacial fjords is changing in many aspects. We took the example of Hornsund, the well-studied Svalbard fjord, with over 30 years of almost continuous observations of marine system. Recent data were collected during summer oceanographic surveys between 2001 and ...

Changes in the lichen biota of the Lions Rump area, King George Island, Antarctica, over the last 20 years

Climate changes observed in recent years in the maritime Antarctic have affected the tundra vegetation, including plant communities in which lichens are a dominant component. The results of comparative studies (1988 and 1990 vs. 2007 and 2008) on the dynamics of the lichen biota within the Antarctic Specially Protected Area No. 151 (King George Island, Antarctica) minimally ...