An investigation of cyanobacterial microflora in the northern, deglaciated part of James Ross Island in the NW part of the Weddell Sea, Antarctica , was conducted during the Antarctic summer season 2005-2006. Five main types of habitats with dominant cyanobacterial assemblages were analyzed (soils, seepages, streams, wetted rocky walls and lakes), and main ecological variables were measured (pH, temperature, intensity of global radiation, conductivity and nutrients), as a background for further ecological and ecophysiological studies. The definable traditional cyanobacterial morphospecies were identified.
Tonnacypris glacialis (G.O. Sars, 1890) is a meiobenthic species widely distributed in Arctic freshwater lakes. Field study of its life cycle as well as the laboratory experiments showed clearly that only one generation of this ostracod species occurs during the vegetation season, and that the condition necessary for the next generation to appear is eggs freezing.
The Hornsund region is characterised by a topoclimatic variation, which results principally from the local orography, the vicinity of open sea and the two contrasting environments: non-glaciated and glaciated. The specific types of atmospheric circulation determine the local thermal differences. The west coast is characterised by the most favourable thermal conditions, where air temperature is largely determined by foehn processes. The temperature at the Baranowski Station is 0.8°C higher on average than that of the Polish Polar Station on the northern shore of Hornsund . The temperature in the northern shore of the fjord happens to be higher than that on the west coast, which is attributed to the NW cyclonic inflow of cool Arctic air masses. During intermediate weather, when ground frost-thaw takes place, the northern shore of Hornsund is warmer by 0.5°C ; whereas, during moderately frosty weather, it is warmer by 0.2°C than the west coast. The differences result from the effect of the warmer fjord waters on the surrounding air temperature. During moderately warm weather, more favourable conditions occur near the Baranowski Station, expressed by the mean temperature difference of 0.9°C. The greatest temperature difference of 1.5°C on average is normally recorded during warm weather.
This paper describes the spatial differentiation of topoclimatic conditions in the vicinity of the Arctowski Station (King George Island, Antarctica) during the summer season of the 2006/2007. The measurement stations were located in the Point Thomas oasis as well as on the Ecology Glacier and Warszawa Icefield. The paper analyses meteorological elements such as air temperature, air humidity (eight sites) and wind direction and velocity (three sites). Significant topoclimatic diversities resulting from denivelation, exposure, ground properties and local air circulation were recorded in the study area.
Surface phytoplankton samples were studied quantitatively and qualitatively in February 1996 - November 1998 and January 2003 - November 2005 at the shore and in the center of Admiralty Bay, King George Island. Phytoplankton assemblages showed spring-summer peaks (maxima 4.0-5.2×106 cells l-1) associated with small variations in low atmospheric pressure, and low velocity winds. They were dominated by nano-sized (<20 µm) flagellates and picoplankton (~2 µm). The prevalent nanoflagellates were either Prasinophyceae, Cryptophyceae, or Prymnesiophyceae. Diatoms were next in abundance. Of the seven spring-summer diatom blooms, five had initiated at the shore (maximum 9.8×105 cells l-1; November 1998). They were significantly greater than in the open water, and did not spread into the bay centre. Two observed open water blooms did not reach the shore. Diatoms formed up to 44% of the total cells in the period 1996-98; they only formed <5% in 2003-05. Shore and open water populations differed by diatom dominance structure. Pennates (Fragilariopsis spp., F. cylindrus, Pseudo-nitzschia spp.), and benthic species were prevalent at the shore; centrics (Thalassiosira spp., Chaetoceros socialis) were most common offshore. In 2003-05 diatoms were relatively impoverished in Chaetoceros spp. and the larger (>20 µm) Fragilariopsis spp. Nano-sized Thalassiosira spp. were the winter dominants. Diatom species dominance structure may change at each of the two sites within a month (e.g. shore site: F. cylindrus dominant in October ’98; T. gravida in November ’98). Dinoflagellates showed summer increases associated with diatom blooms. Variations in phytoplankton cell concentrations, the species structures between the shore and open waters, and between seasons appear to be related to physical factors: changes in wind velocity and direction, inflow of waters from the Bransfield Strait, ice melting and changes in atmospheric pressure.