Suspended matter, phytoplankton and light attenuation were investigated in various North East Greenland, Svalbard and Siberian river mouths in 1992-1994. The amount of mineral suspensions well correlated with freshwater discharge in the case of tidal glacier bays, while such correlation in Siberian rivers and pack ice meltwater was not found. Freshwater phytoplankton species were found in Siberian estuaries only and in two other ecosystems marine and ice phytoplankton species prevailed. The light attenuation connected with freshwater discharge seems to be a key factor limiting primary production in coastal Actic waters in the summer. The amount of glacial suspensions well correlated with the salinity drop in the case of Svalbard, while Siberian river estuaries produced very turbid waters with the suspension loads not correlated to freshwater or depth.
Starostinella nordica gen. et sp. n. is described from the uppermost Permian (Kapp Starostin Formation) of the Kapp Starostin (Isfjorden) in West Spitsbergen. The new genus is attributed to Trachypsammiidae Gerth - a family incertae sedis among Cnidaria. Members of the Trachypsammiidae have been previously associated with different higher rank taxa within the Cnidaria, or their skeletons were interpreted as a result of symbiosis of a cladochonoidal organism (Tabulata) with an indeterminate hydroid or stromatoporoid. S. nordica gen. et sp. n. seems to support the latter assumption. Hydrocoralla of S. nordica have a simpler structure than those of other Trachypsammiidae and are branching like those of Cladochonus. Their thick-walled, horn-shaped hydrocorallites are surrounded with a very thick cortical zone of sclerenchyme organized into trabecular microstructure. The proper corallite wall is fibro-radial in structure, sharply distinct from the outer cortical zone.
Mountain soils derived from massive rocks were studied in the northwestern Wedel Jarlsberg Land. Main soil properties were examined for collected samples. Soils were classified as lithosols with common loamy and silty composition, and small amount of colloidal fraction. Soils were mostly alkaline due to high content of CaCO3. Much more organic substance occurred at westerly- than easterly-exposed hills and located close to a sea. Examined soils contained much soluble forms of Ca, Mg and occasionally Na, little of P and K. Density of plant cover corresponded to contents of organic substance.
The list of shallow—water molluscs: chitons (2 species), gastropods (33 species) and bivalves (36 species) of Isfjorden is presented. Distribution, frequency and domination structure are discussed and zoogeographical analysis is presented.
Mapping and analysis of air photos enabled preparation of a photogeological map of the Hansbreen-Sofiekammen region in a scale of 1 : 10,000. Glacial, slope and marine landforms and sediments were distinguished. Supplied with thermoluminescence and radiocarbon data, a morphogenetic evolution of the area could be presented. Four Pleistocene and Holocene glacier advances were distinguished. Seven raised marine beaches result from the Pleistocene and the Holocene uplift of the land.
Average duration of a thermal winter in Hornsund has been determined for 216 days. Average soil temperature at depth of 5 cm in winter is equal —9.8°C. During a spring that lasts 35 days only, soil temperatures at depth of 5 cm indicate distribution nearest to a normal one. Soil temperature distribution in winter substantially differs from the one in spring.
Relief of Svalbard is an effect of varied morphogenetic, exogenic and endogenic processes. Tectonic and glacioisostatic movements of the Earth crust have occurred many a time in this region. Glacial, marine and periglacial features are particularly common. During the Late Quaternary the western Nordenskiöld Land underwent several sea transgressions, followed by glacier advances. Basing on erratics of crystalline rocks transported by sea ice, past sea levels have been established up to 250 m a.s.l. Marine terraces above 60 m a.s.l. date back to the Late Pleistocene, the lower ones are of the Holocene age.
Research on permafrost in the Abisko area of northern Sweden date from the 1950s. A mean annual air temperature of −3°C in the Abisko mountains (i.e. 1000 m a.s.l.) and −1°C beyond the mountain area at an altitude of around 400m suggests that both moun− tain and arctic permafrost occur there. Several geophysical surveys were performed by means of resistivity tomography (ERT) and electromagnetic mapping (EM). Wherever pos− sible the geophysical survey results were calibrated by digging tests pits. The results show that permafrost occurs extensively in the mountain areas, especially those above 900m a.s.l. and also sporadically at lower altitudes. At 400 m a.s.l. permafrost may be up to 30 m thick. Its thickness and extent are determined largely by the very variable local rock and soil con− ditions. Fossil permafrost is also likely to occur in this area.
The authors make a review of relics of Russian Hunting Stations on the Dunöyane (Down Islands), a group of small islets to the north of the mouth of the Hornsund fiord. They relate to the relics of the station from Store Dunöya and to the well known story about the groups of Russian hunters that were killed in 1819. Remnants of dwelling-houses, baths, monumental votive crosses, graves a.s.o. on Fjörnholmen are relics of a large basic stations situated very close to a convenient anchorage. Undoubtedly, it was working mainly during the second half of the 18th century.
Topography and toponymies of Dunöyane were discussed in brief. The location of Lammas Islands was considered. The author recognized it as a trace of discovery of Dunöyane by Hudson in 1607. Historical data on human activity in this region was presented with a closer look at the murder of 10 Russians in 1819 and at Norwegian economic exploitation in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The paper presents the first physicochemical and microbiological studies conducted in the northern area of Svalbard (Spitsbergen). Ten sediment samples were collected from the bottom of the longest fjord in the region, Wijdef jorden. Bottom sediments from ten lakes located along the shores of Wijdefjorden and Woodfjorden were also sampled. Organic matter content (LOI), water content, temperature, pH, and salinity of the sediments were determined. The quantity of aerobic bacteria cultured on various growth media at 4 ° C, 14 ° C, and 37 ° C ranged from 10 2 to 10 6 cfu/g of wet sediment mass, depending on the type of sampling station (fjord or lake). The number of bacteria did not co rrelate with organic matter content. Out of the 37 bacterial strains isolated from Wijdefjorden, 48% and 70% revealed ureolytic and proteolytic activity, respectively. The proportion of freshwater strains with ureolytic and proteolytic activity was 32% and 55%, respectively. Antibiotic resistance testing indicated that bacterial strains from the bottom sediments of the lakes were resistant to 8 antibiotics (out of the 18 investigated). Possible sources of this resistance are discussed. Using 16S DNA analysis, bacterial isolates from the lakes were identified as Pseudomonas sp., whereas frequently occurring strains in bottom sediment of the fjord were Pseudoalteromonas sp.
An early Permian (late Artinskian–Roadian) cladid crinoid (Catacrinidae gen. et sp. indet.) is reported for the first time from the V ø ringen Member of the Kapp Starostin Formation of Spitsbergen. The specimen is partly articulated and preserves a considerable part of its stalk and a complete cup, but only the proximal portions of its arms. Thus, it cannot be identified with any degree of certainty at the generic level. Despite this, our finding is important as it constitutes one of the youngest records of catacrinid crinoids to date and considerably extends the palaeogeographic distribution of this group.
The purpose of this study was to present the current state of avifauna in the vicinity of Polish Polar Station, at Hornsund (SW Spitsbergen). During four seasons (2003-2006) ten bird species were recorded as breeding there. Among them colonial little auk and Arctic tern were most abundant. Six additional species were noted during the breeding season but none of them bred there and their visits in the study plots were a consequence of their nesting nearby study area. Remaining 11 species were recorded during migration. The most pronounced changes over the last 35 years has been a considerable increase in number of barnacle geese exploiting the tundra as their foraging and resting area.
Although the terrestrial marginal zones of some glaciers on Spitsbergen are relatively well described, we are largely ignorant about the morphology of their submarine forefields. Initial reconnaissance of the forefields of the Aavatsmark and Dahl glaciers in the Kaffiøyra region and soundings made in that of the Hans Glacier (southern Spitsbergen ) indicate the occurrence of sea-floor push-moraines which can be as much as 3 m high. Their lateral separation is considered to denote annual recession rates. They appear to result from cyclical annual advances of ice-cliffs during winters when the deposits are risen up at the contact of the ice with the sea-floor. The development of the major forms may be related to surge. There is some evidence that certain elements in the sea-bed morphology date from the Little Ice Age (LIA).
The ostracod fauna were examined from the Kapp Starostin Formation sequences (Upper Permian) from West Spitsbergen (Svalbard). The ostracod taxa are mainly confined to 3 superfamilies: Kirkbyacea, Healdiacea and Bairdiacea. 11 taxa are identified. One new species, Kindlella bellsundi is proposed. The ostracod assemblage dominated by kirkbyacean taxa is related to open shelf marine environment.
Complex analysis ofgeomorphological glacial processes in forefields of retreating glaciers in the southern Bellsund region was undertaken. Field studies and archival cartographic materials indicate continued glacial retreat, at least since the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Its average present rate of about 20 m/y is rather high and no moraine ridges are formed, except for the fluted moraines. Forefields of large glaciers are characterized by typical relief and sediments of frontal deglaciation only. Intensity and extent of glacial forefield remodelling depends mainly on activity ablation waters. At present glaciofluvial erosion predominates.
This paper reports on 29 species of lichenicolous fungi collected in the Hornsund region and Sørkapp Land area, Spitsbergen. New to science are Hystrix gen. nov., Slellifraga gen. nov., Dactylospora cladoniicola sp. nov., Hystrix peltigericola sp. nov., Stellifraga cladoniicola sp. nov. and Zwackhiomyces macrosporus sp. nov. A further 15 species are new to Svalbard.
Septal neck-siphuncular complex has been redescribed In Triassic (Carnian) Stolleyites tenuis (Stolley). Ammonites whose septal necks change orientation from retrochoanitic through intermediate to prochoanitic may be divided into two categories: dorsoprogressive and ventroprogressive. In the former category, the initial changes in the direction of septal necks orientation occur dorsally; in the latter, the ventral side exhibits more progressive changes. Among forms with siphuncular complex adjacent to the ventral wall, i.e., without a septum between the neck and ventral wall in the medial plane, the changes towards prochoanitic septal neck may begin in the ventrolateral part. The circumsiphonal invagination in those forms did not include the ventral part and their proper interpretation cannot rely on the medial plane only. Primary lamination and primary fibrous structure of the siphuncular tube had been described, as well as the microstructure of the distal tip of cuff and auxiliary deposit.
Changes taking place in weathered bedrock and vegetation of the ground moraine of Werenskiold glacier during about 50 years are presented. These results are based on phytosociological survey and analysis of the population structure of Saxifraga oppositifolia in 20 experimental fields and the analysis of physical and chemical features of the soils. In the process of succession, with chemical features not much changed and spongy structure just beginning, the number of vascular plants did not increase. In the process of succession the gradual increase in the density of S. oppositifolia population was observed. The size of its individuals and the share of flowering individuals also increased.
Quantitative data on meiobenthos distribution in four biotopes of the intertidal zone are presented. Differences in taxonomic composition and meiofauna abundance are influenced by the morphology of beaches and their sediment structure.
Chlorophyll α, phytoplankton, suspensions and zooplankton beneath the fast ice have been studied in Spitsbergen fjords (Hornsund, Bellsund, Sassenfjord, Gronfjord and Kongsfjord) in 1982, 1984/85,1987 and 1988. Observations on ice associated Polar cod and wildlife have been collected simultaneously. There were no typical sympagic communities observed at the West Spitsbergen fast ice. Exception was spring 1982 and 1988 when drifting ice from Barents Sea contributed to the fjords fauna. Fast ice on the investigated fjords was poor in adjacent zooplankton (biomass below 0.06 g/m3). Ice phytoplankton reflects the autumn situation and no specific communities of algae have been found. Chlorophyll α amount and organic sedimentation from ice and from the adjacent water were very similar (0.4 to 1.7 mg/m3 chlorophyll and 8 to 10 g d.w./m2/day sedimenling matter). The diet of Polar cod reflected the food items occurrence, Calanus has been the most common food. N o specific concentration of seabirds have been observed at fjords ice.
53 soil samples collected in the Bellsund Region in Western Spitsbergen were examined. An acid-resistant strain difficult to identify was isolated and recognized as Mycobacterium friburgensis. 54.7% of isolated strains were acid-resistant and growing at 25˚C only. They were microorganisms at borderline of Mycobacteria and Actinomycetes. Other microorganisms isolated in the studied soil samples were bacilli (55.7%) and coccaceae (15.4%).
In contrast to Antarctica, the Arctic was for a long time deprived of an adequate system of multilateral international scientific cooperation. That gap was filled in 1990 by the foundation of a non-governmental International Arctic Science Committee (IASC). In this article, the origin, structure, operation and perspectives of that Committee are presented.
Studies were performed in the summer of 1989 in the vicinity of the Polish Polar Station at Hornsund, Svalbard, in an attempt to characterize the functioning of selected tundra soils in terms of bioenergetics. The intensity of bioenergetical processes in the soil was evaluated by the rates of O2 consumption and CO2 production, measured in the laboratory under controlled hydrothermic conditions. Soils metabolic processes are markedly correlated with soil water content and dependent upon soil structure, water capacity and character of plant cover. The strongest correlation was observed in the more aerated soils with small water capacity and without vegetation. The respiratory quotient (RQ) decreased with the growth of soil moisture content. Soil metabolic activity began directly after the summer melting of the ground, when the soil temperature reached 0°C, and ceased in autumn, when temperatures fell below 0°C again.
We assessed culturable soil microfungal diversity in various habitats around Hornsund, Spitsbergen in the High Arctic, using potato dextrose agar ( PDA) medium. Thermal growth classification of the fungi obtained was determined by incubating them in 4 ° Cand 25 ° C, permitting separation of those with psychrophilic, psychrotolerant and mesophilic characteristics. In total, 68 fungal isolates were obtained from 12 soil samples, and grouped into 38 mycelial morphotypes. Intergenic spacer regions of these morphotypes were sequenced, and they represented 25 distinct taxonomic units, of which 21 showed sufficient similarity with available sequence data in NCBI to be identified to species level. Soil under ornithogenic influence showed the highest species diversity, including sequences assigned to Mortierella macrocystis, M. elongata, Mortierella sp., Cudoniella sp., Varicosporium elodeae , Beauveria bassiana , Geomyces pannorum , Penicillium sp. and Atradidymella muscivora . Fourteen taxa were classified as psychrophilic, seven mesophilic, and four psychrotolerant.