Polar Biology

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

List of Papers (Total 213)

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 ...

Distribution of algal aggregates under summer sea ice in the Central Arctic

The sea ice cover of the Arctic Ocean has changed dramatically in the last decades, and the resulting consequences for the sea-ice-associated ecosystem remain difficult to assess. Algal aggregates underneath sea ice are of great importance for the ice-associated ecosystem and the pelagic-benthic coupling. However, the frequency and distribution of their occurrence is not well ...

Mapping the lithic colonization at the boundaries of life in Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica

The endolithic microbial communities of the Antarctic represent a borderline lifestyle in the most hostile ice-free areas of the continent. The extreme adaptation of microbes in these communities renders them very sensitive to environmental changes. To date, the actual distribution of these communities has never been investigated; yet, this information would define the geographic ...

The influence of vent systems on pelagic eukaryotic micro-organism composition in the Nordic Seas

Deep-sea hydrothermal vents and cold seeps are biological hot spots with chemolithotrophic bacterial production sustaining both benthic and pelagic organisms. Although efforts have been made to understand the diversity and function of the bacterial composition of these systems, first-level consumers, pelagic single cell heterotrophic organisms, which represent an important link ...

Physiological responses to temperature in Merizodus soledadinus (Col., Carabidae), a subpolar carabid beetle invading sub-Antarctic islands

Recent human activities and rising air temperature have increased the vulnerability of sub-Antarctic islands to alien species. At the Kerguelen Islands, the predaceous ground beetle Merizodus soledadinus is the only invasive insect originating from the southern cold temperate area (native from Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego and Falkland Islands). This austral origin raises the ...

Pathways of alien invertebrate transfer to the Antarctic region

Alien species pose an increasing threat to the biodiversity of the Antarctic region. Several alien species have established in Antarctic terrestrial communities, some representing novel functional groups such as pollinators and predators, with unknown impacts on ecosystem processes. We quantified the unintentional introduction of alien invertebrates to the Antarctic region over a ...

Sex determination in Antarctic notothenioid fish: chromosomal clues and evolutionary hypotheses

In fish, the determination of sex can be controlled by genetic factors, environmental factors or a combination of both. The presence of heteromorphic sex-related chromosomes is widely acknowledged as strongly indicative of genetic control of sex determination (GSD) acting over other sex control systems. Heteromorphic sex-related chromosomes have been observed in a minority of ...

Supplementary diet components of little auk chicks in two contrasting regions on the West Spitsbergen coast

The complete diet composition structure of the most numerous planktivorous sea bird, little auk (Alle alle), in the European Arctic, is still not fully recognized. Although regular constituents of little auk chick diets, the copepods, Calanus glacialis and C. finmarchicus have been previously relatively well described, more taxa were frequent ingredients of the bird’s meals. ...

At the rainbow’s end: high productivity fueled by winter upwelling along an Arctic shelf

Herein we document findings from a unique scientific expedition north of Svalbard in the middle of the polar night in January 2012, where we observed an ice edge north of 82°N coupled with pronounced upwelling. The area north of Svalbard has probably been ice-covered during winter in the period from approximately 1790 until the 1980s, a period during which heavy ice conditions have ...

Ecology of testate amoebae (Protists) in mosses: distribution and relation of species assemblages with environmental parameters (King George Island, Antarctica)

Microbial communities living in mosses are known to constitute early indicators of ecosystem disturbances, but little is known about their response to environmental factors in the Antarctic area. This paper presents the first major study on testate amoebae from different species of mosses occurring on King George Island (Antarctica). The objective of the study was to investigate ...

Ace Lake: three decades of research on a meromictic, Antarctic lake

Ace Lake (Vestfold Hills, Antarctica) has been investigated since the 1970s. Its close proximity to Davis Station has allowed year-long, as well as summer only, investigations. Ace Lake is a saline meromictic (permanently stratified) lake with strong physical and chemical gradients. The lake is one of the most studied lakes in continental Antarctica. Here, we review the current ...

Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) survival rates and their relationship to environmental indices in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica

Seabird life history is typified by low fecundity, high adult survival rates, and relatively long lives. Such traits act as buffers, enabling persistence of populations under variable environmental conditions. Numerous studies, however, have suggested strong sensitivity of seabirds to environmental variability. In the Antarctic Peninsula region, for example, Adélie penguin ...

Trophic structure of the macrobenthic community of Hornsund, Spitsbergen, based on the determination of stable carbon and nitrogen isotopic signatures

Hornsund is a cold-water fjord in southwestern Spitsbergen, Svalbard Archipelago, with a resident biota that exhibit typical low-temperature Arctic features. Carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotopic signatures of macrobenthic fauna and its potential food sources were measured in summer 2008 to delineate the trophic structure of the bottom community and to identify its principal ...

Nutrient limitation of periphyton growth in arctic lakes in south-west Greenland

Many arctic lakes are oligotrophic systems where phototrophic growth is controlled by nutrient supply. Recent anthropogenic nutrient loading is associated with biological and/or physico-chemical change in several lakes across the arctic. Shifts in nutrient limitation (nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), or N + P) and associated effects on the growth and composition of algal communities ...

Diverse trends in shell weight of three Southern Ocean pteropod taxa collected with Polar Frontal Zone sediment traps from 1997 to 2007

The impact of ocean acidification on key ocean calcifiers is predicted to be imminent, particularly in high-latitude ecosystems. Long-term field observations are essential to ground truth predictions of change in regional ecosystems. Here, we report on aragonitic pteropods collected to sediment traps at 800 m depth at 54°S, 140°E in the Polar Frontal Zone (PFZ) of the Southern ...

Neither season nor sex affects the cost of terrestrial locomotion in a circumpolar diving duck: the common eider (Somateria mollissima)

Locomotion accounts for a significant proportion of the energy budget in birds, and selection is likely to act on its economy, particularly where energy conservation is essential for survival. Birds are capable of different forms of locomotion, such as walking/running, swimming, diving and flying, and adaptations for these affect the energetic cost [cost of locomotion (CoL)] and ...

Weak population genetic differentiation in the most numerous Arctic seabird, the little auk

Quantifying patterns of genetic diversity and differentiation among populations of Arctic birds is fundamental for understanding past and ongoing population processes in the Arctic. However, the genetic differentiation of many important Arctic species remains uninvestigated. Here, phylogeography and population genetics were examined in the worldwide population of a small seabird, ...

Structure of bryozoan communities in an Antarctic glacial fjord (Admiralty Bay, South Shetlands)

Bryozoans are among the most important groups of the Southern Ocean benthic macrofauna, both in terms of species richness and abundance. However, there is a considerable lack of ecological research focused on their distribution patterns and species richness on smaller scale, especially in the soft bottom habitats of Antarctic glacial fjords. The aim of this study was to describe ...

Variation in faecal corticosterone metabolites in an Arctic seabird, the Little Auk (Alle alle) during the nesting period

Glucocorticoids participate in the control of whole body homoeostasis and an organism’s response to stress. Corticosterone, which is the principal glucocorticoid in birds, has been shown to increase in response to different energetic demands and perturbations that individuals have to cope with. In this study, a non-invasive method to examine the corticosterone secretion by ...

Do human activity and infrastructure disturb domesticated reindeer? The need for the reindeer’s perspective

In recent decades, human–Rangifer (reindeer and caribou) interactions have increasingly been studied from a scientific perspective. Many of the studies have examined Norwegian wild reindeer or caribou in North America. It is often questioned whether results from these studies can be applied to reindeer in managed herds, as these animals have been exposed to domestication and are ...

Snow conditions as an estimator of the breeding output in high-Arctic pink-footed geese Anser brachyrhynchus

The Svalbard-breeding population of pink-footed geese Anser brachyrhynchus has increased during the last decades and is giving rise to agricultural conflicts along their migration route, as well as causing grazing impacts on tundra vegetation. An adaptive flyway management plan has been implemented, which will be based on predictive population models including environmental ...