Polar Biology

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

List of Papers (Total 210)

The role of summer precipitation and summer temperature in establishment and growth of dwarf shrub Betula nana in northeast Siberian tundra

It is widely believed that deciduous tundra-shrub dominance is increasing in the pan-Arctic region, mainly due to rising temperature. We sampled dwarf birch (Betula nana L.) at a northeastern Siberian tundra site and used dendrochronological methods to explore the relationship between climatic variables and local shrub dominance. We found that establishment of shrub ramets was ...

Aspects of reproductive biology of wild-caught polar cod (Boreogadus saida) from Svalbard waters

Polar cod (Boreogadus saida) is considered a key species in the Arctic marine ecosystems. Yet detailed or even basic knowledge regarding its biology and adaptations, especially during the polar night, is in many cases poor. Data are presently unavailable in Western literature on the gonad development of polar cod and its reproductive biology in wild specimens. Accordingly, gonad ...

Characteristics of ammonia oxidation potentials and ammonia oxidizers in mineral soil under Salix polaris–moss vegetation in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard

Although nitrification is a unique and important process in the nitrogen cycle with respect to ammonium consumption and nitrate production, limited information on this process is available for high-Arctic soils. We elucidated the ammonia oxidation potentials (AOPs) and characteristics of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA) in mineral soils under climax vegetation, ...

The influence of a seabird colony on abundance and species composition of water bears (Tardigrada) in Hornsund (Spitsbergen, Arctic)

Seabirds in the Arctic are known to link marine and terrestrial ecosystems. They feed in the sea and breed on land, where they deposit enormous amounts of guano. Soil in the vicinity of seabird colonies is much more enriched with nutrients as compared to areas beyond their impact, which positively affects primary and secondary production. Water bears (Tardigrada) are ...

First assessment of the rocky intertidal communities of Fildes Bay, King George Island (South Shetland Islands, Antarctica)

Studies on Antarctic intertidal fauna are comparatively scarce compared to those from the sublittoral and the deep sea. In order to contribute to filling this gap in knowledge, during the 2006 BENTART Spanish Antarctic Expedition, we conducted a quantitative and qualitative study on the fauna inhabiting the intertidal rocky platform of Fildes (=Maxwell) Bay, King George Island ...

Comparative absorption and tissue distribution of 14C-benzo(a)pyrene and 14C-phenanthrene in the polar cod (Boreogadus saida) following oral administration

The Arctic is an important sink for organic pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) long-range transported from industrial regions. With the retreat of sea ice and increasing anthropogenic activities such as the oil and gas industries, local sources of PAHs are expected to increase both through operational and accidental discharges. There is a need to increase ...

Observations of floating anthropogenic litter in the Barents Sea and Fram Strait, Arctic

Although recent reports indicate that anthropogenic waste has made it to the remotest parts of our oceans, there is still only limited information about its spread, especially in polar seas. Here, we present litter densities recorded during ship- and helicopter-based observer surveys in the Barents Sea and Fram Strait (Arctic). Thirty-one items were recorded in total, 23 from ...

Modeling the transport and fate of euphausiids in the Ross Sea

Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) and crystal krill (Euphausia crystallorophias), important components of the Ross Sea food web, differ in their population distribution. The objective of this study was to determine whether these differing distributions result primarily from differences in spawning locations, larval development times, and transport by the Ross Sea circulation. To ...

A first report on coexistence and hybridization of Mytilus trossulus and M. edulis mussels in Greenland

Semi-sessile Mytilus mussels are used as indicators of climate changes, but their geographic distribution is not sufficiently known in the Arctic. The aim of this study was to investigate the taxonomic status and genetic differentiation of Mytilus populations in a Northwest Greenlandic fjord at Maarmorilik, impacted by contaminations from a former mine. In this study, mussels were ...

Microbial community changes along the Ecology Glacier ablation zone (King George Island, Antarctica)

In recent years, glacial surfaces have received much attention as microbial habitats of diverse photoautotrophic and heterotrophic cells. Supraglacial ecosystems are annually covered and uncovered by snow. The aim of this study is to investigate the microbial community response to changing environmental conditions in a transect following the receding snow line on the surface of ...

Widespread intra-specific genetic homogeneity of coastal Antarctic benthic foraminifera

Benthic foraminifera are a major component of the Antarctic biota. Coastal foraminiferal morphospecies are widely distributed in Antarctic waters. The question is whether these morphotypes are genetically identical or, rather, they represent a cohort of cryptic species. Here, we compared genetically nine benthic foraminiferal morphospecies from Admiralty Bay (South Shetlands) and ...

Phytosociology of snowbed and exposed ridge vegetation of Svalbard

Arctic vegetation still lacks a uniform system to classify its plant communities, the current arrangement of the phytosociological data being difficult to interpret. However, using modern methods, it has proved possible to organize the current data to create a suitable system based on numerical algorithms (detrended correspondence analysis and cluster analysis) and traditional ...

Germination capacity of five polar Caryophyllaceae and Poaceae species under different temperature conditions

A compilation of the literature relating to the germination of five species of polar vascular plants, Cerastium alpinum, Colobanthus quitensis, Silene involucrata, Deschampsia antarctica and Poa annua, indicates that optimal temperature conditions for seed germination have never been identified for some of them, and the results reported for the remaining species are largely ...

An Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) hotspot: population characteristics, abundance and vertical structure explored from a krill fishing vessel

Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba) aggregate in various ways depending on a range of biological and physical factors. In some areas, typically associated with bathymetric features such as shelf edges and canyons, they may aggregate densely to form hotspots. Despite the importance of such hotspots, their development over time in demographic composition and spatial distribution is ...

First insights into the deep-sea tanaidacean fauna of the Ross Sea: species richness and composition across the shelf break, slope and abyss

Tanaidaceans belong to the most severely underestimated groups of benthic macrofauna of the Southern Ocean. Here, we analyze 11 samples collected with a small-meshed epibenthic sled in the summer season of 2008, in the Ross Sea, at the shelf break, slope and abyss (365–3490 m). The material was obtained during a RV Tangaroa voyage as part of the New Zealand International Polar ...

Temporal and spatial variation of phytoplankton in Admiralty Bay, South Shetlands: the dynamics of summer blooms shown by pigment and light microscopy analysis

We conducted an integrated study of phytoplankton taxonomic composition, biomass and physicochemical properties of the water in Admiralty Bay, South Shetlands. The aim of the study was to provide detailed information on phytoplankton composition and diversity related to relevant environmental conditions. High-performance liquid chromatography pigment analysis and microscopy were ...

A big storm in a small body: seasonal changes in body mass, hormone concentrations and leukocyte profile in the little auk (Alle alle)

Birds undergo pronounced physiological changes during the reproduction, which may be linked to their parental efforts. Examining these changes may supply information about the birds’ energy expenditure during the particular phases of breeding and help to understand birds’ decisions about their subsequent parental investments. In this study, we measured a number of variables, i.e. ...

In situ monitoring of microclimate and metabolic activity in lichens from Antarctic extremes: a comparison between South Shetland Islands and the McMurdo Dry Valleys

Lichens are the dominant organisms in terrestrial Antarctic ecosystems and show a decline in species number, coverage, and growth rate from the maritime Antarctic (62°S) to the McMurdo Dry Valleys (78°S). While Livingston Island (maritime Antarctica) is a hot spot for lichen biodiversity, the McMurdo Dry Valleys (continental Antarctica) are known as one of the most extreme ...

Photosynthetic light requirements and vertical distribution of macroalgae in newly ice-free areas in Potter Cove, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

In Potter Cove, Antarctica, newly ice-free areas appeared due to glacial retreat. Simultaneously, the inflow of sediment increased, reducing underwater photosynthetically active radiation (PAR, 400–700 nm). The aim of this study was to determine the photosynthetic characteristics of two macroalgal species colonizing three newly ice-free areas, A1, A2 and A3, with increasing degree ...

Distribution, habitat and trophic ecology of Antarctic squid Kondakovia longimana and Moroteuthis knipovitchi: inferences from predators and stable isotopes

Cephalopods have a key role in the marine environment though knowledge of their distribution and trophic ecology is limited by a lack of observations. This is particularly true for Antarctic species. Toothfish species are key predators of cephalopods and may be viewed as ideal biological samplers of these species. A total of 256 cephalopod lower beaks were identified from the ...

Biological traits of a sub-Antarctic nototheniid, Patagonotothen ramsayi, from the Burdwood Bank

The rock cod Patagonotothen ramsayi (Regan 1913) is the most abundant species of the genus Patagonotothen, occurring along the Patagonian shelf. It plays an important role in the demersal food web both as prey and predator, showing an increasing importance for the local finfish and squid trawl fisheries. Age structure and the reproductive traits were investigated from the ...

Elevated levels of ingested plastic in a high Arctic seabird, the northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis)

Plastic pollution is of worldwide concern; however, increases in international commercial activity in the Arctic are occurring without the knowledge of the existing threat posed to the local marine environment by plastic litter. Here, we quantify plastic ingestion by northern fulmars, Fulmarus glacialis, from Svalbard, at the gateway to future shipping routes in the high Arctic. ...

A small unmanned aerial system for estimating abundance and size of Antarctic predators

Quantifying the distribution and abundance of predators is integral to many ecological studies, but can be difficult in remote settings such as Antarctica. Recent advances in the development of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), particularly vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft, have provided a new tool for studying the distribution and abundance of predator populations. We ...