Polar Biology

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

List of Papers (Total 222)

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...