Polar Biology

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

List of Papers (Total 222)

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...

Metals in some dominant vascular plants, mosses, lichens, algae, and the biological soil crust in various types of terrestrial tundra, SW Spitsbergen, Norway

Arctic environments are commonly considered to be relatively pristine because of minimal local human activity. However, these areas receive air pollution from lower latitude regions. Our goal was to determine concentrations of metals (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Hg, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in dominant species of vascular plants, mosses, lichens, algae, and in the biological soil crust (BSC...

Variability of polar scurvygrass Cochlearia groenlandica individual traits along a seabird influenced gradient across Spitsbergen tundra

In the resource-limited Arctic environment, vegetation developing near seabird colonies is exceptionally luxuriant. Nevertheless, there are very few detailed quantitative studies of any specific plant species responses to ornithogenic manuring. Therefore, we studied variability of polar scurvygrass Cochlearia groe nlandica individual biomass and leaf width along a seabird...

Hydrographic influences on the summer dive behaviour of Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) in Atka Bay, Antarctica

In order to gain insights into species-level behavioural responses to the physical environment, it is necessary to obtain information from various populations and at all times of year. We analysed the influences of physical environmental parameters on the mid-summer dive behaviour of Weddell seals (Leptonychotes weddellii) from a little-known population at Atka Bay, Antarctica...

The relative contributions of biological and abiotic processes to carbon dynamics in subarctic sea ice

Knowledge on the relative effects of biological activity and precipitation/dissolution of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) in influencing the air-ice CO2 exchange in sea-ice-covered season is currently lacking. Furthermore, the spatial and temporal occurrence of CaCO3 and other biogeochemical parameters in sea ice are still not well described. Here we investigated autotrophic and...

Distribution patterns of polychaete fauna in an Arctic fjord (Hornsund, Spitsbergen)

Polychaetes are one of the most important groups of benthic organisms in marine ecosystems. They dominate on the Arctic shelf and play an important role in ecosystem functioning. This study focuses on the polychaete biodiversity and their distribution patterns in Hornsund, an open glacial fjord, in western Spitsbergen and provides important baseline data for future studies of...

Effect of melting Antarctic sea ice on the fate of microbial communities studied in microcosms

Although algal growth in the iron-deficient Southern Ocean surface waters is generally low, there is considerable evidence that winter sea ice contains high amounts of iron and organic matter leading to ice-edge blooms during austral spring. We used field observations and ship-based microcosm experiments to study the effect of the seeding by sea ice microorganisms, and the...

Visual prey availability and distribution of foraging little auks (Alle alle) in the shelf waters of West Spitsbergen

As diving seabirds use vision underwater, it is presumed they should preferentially select sites where their preferred food items are not only abundant but also clearly visible. To test this, we studied the optical properties of the seawater in the West Spitsbergen Shelf, in combination with zooplankton abundance in the feeding grounds of the planktivorous little auks from the...

Temperature modulates intra-plant growth of Salix polaris from a high Arctic site (Svalbard)

Arctic ecosystems are important carbon sinks. Increasing temperatures in these regions might stimulate soil carbon release. Evidence suggests that deciduous shrubs might counteract these carbon losses because they positively respond to increasing temperature, but their role in ecosystem carbon budgets remains uncertain. Many studies dealing with large-scale tundra greening and...

Distribution patterns of micro- and meso-zooplankton communities in sea ice regions of Lützow-Holm Bay, East Antarctica

In the Southern Ocean, zooplankton research has focused on krill and macro-zooplankton despite the high densities of micro- and meso-zooplankton. We investigated their community structure in relation to different sea ice conditions around Japan’s Syowa Station in Lützow-Holm Bay, in the summers of 2011 and 2012. Zooplankton samples were collected using vertical hauls (0–150 m...

Germinating seeds or bulbils in 87 of 113 tested Arctic species indicate potential for ex situ seed bank storage

Arctic plant species are expected to lose range due to climate change. One approach to preserve the genetic and species diversity for the future is to store propagules in seed vaults. However, germinability of seeds is assumed to be low for Arctic species. We evaluated ex situ storage potential of 113 of the 161 native angiosperms of Svalbard by studying seed ripening and...

Year-round acoustic detection of bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus) in the Beaufort Sea relative to changing environmental conditions, 2008–2010

Bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus) are pan-Arctic pinnipeds that are often seen in association with pack ice, and are known for their long, loud trills, produced underwater primarily in the spring. Acoustic recordings were collected from August 2008 to August 2010 at two locations and a single year (2008–2009) at a third location, in the western Beaufort Sea. Three recorders in...

Seasonality of occurrence and recruitment of Arctic marine benthic invertebrate larvae in relation to environmental variables

The Arctic system is one of the regions most influenced by ongoing global climate change, but there are still critical gaps in our knowledge regarding a substantial number of biological processes. This is especially true for processes taking place during the Arctic winter but also for seasonal processes, such as the dynamics of intra-annual meroplankton occurrence. Here, we...

Potentially pathogenic yeast isolated from the throat and cloaca of an Arctic colonial seabird: the little auk (Alle alle)

Yeasts are a distinctive group of microfungi, but compared to other microorganisms, their ecological function and biodiversity are poorly known. This is especially so where polar ecosystems are concerned. With climate changes and increasing pollution levels in the Arctic, it can be anticipated that there will be an increase in the prevalence and diversity of fungi colonizing live...

Hydroid epifaunal communities in Arctic coastal waters (Svalbard): effects of substrate characteristics

The knowledge of cryptic epifaunal groups in the Arctic is far from complete mostly due to logistic difficulties. Only recently, advances in sample collection using SCUBA diving techniques have enabled to explore delicate hydroid fauna from shallow waters. This study is the first attempt to examine the relationship between substrate property (such as size of rock, morphological...