Two new species of desmosomatid isopods, Eugerdella margaretae sp. n. and Eugerdella celata sp. n. are described from Admiralty Bay, King George Island, South Shetlands. Information is added to the original description of Eugerdella falklandica (Nordenstam, 1933) based on re−examination of the holotype. Both new species are similar to E. falklandica, for example by the body shape, the shape of pleotelson and presence of rows of four horn−like spines on the head. They are distinguished from E. falklandica by the number of setae on pereopod articles. Eugerdella celata sp. n. is distinguished by the presence of ventral spines on pereonites 1–4
The results of investigations on the coccidian parasites of three species of penguins ( Pygoscelis antarctica , P. papua and P. adeliae ), nesting at Livingston and King George Island (South Shetland Islands, the Antarctic) are presented. Three coccidian para− sites: Eimeria pygosceli Golemansky, 2003, Eimeria sp. and Isospora sp. were identified in faecal samples from 360 examined birds. The total prevalence of coccidian parasites was high: about 35% in all of examined penguins. No host specificity was observed. It is attributed due to the close phylogenetic relations, common habitats and nesting territories, similar feeding and reproductive biology of the three penguin species. In more than 20 specimens of investigated penguins a high intensity of oocysts in their guano was observed (80–220 oocysts in one microscopic field at magnification of 150×) an indirect indication of the negative role of the coccidian infections on penguin populations.
Populations of Antarctic hairgrass Deschampsia antarctica Desv. from King George Island exhibit variation in many traits. The reason for that is not evident and could be addressed to variable environmental conditions. Obviously, phenotypic variation could be due to stable or temporal changes in expression pattern as the result of adaptation. Stable changes could be due to mutations or site DNA methylation variation that modified expression pattern. Recently, metAFLP approach was proposed to study such effects. A variant of methylation sensitive AFLP (Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism), based on the isoschizomeric combinations Acc65 I/ Mse I and Kpn I/ Mse I was applied to analyze the sequence and site DNA methylation differences between two D. antarctica populations exhibiting morphological dissimilarities. Both DNA sequence mutations and site methylation pattern alternations were detected among and within analyzed populations. It is assumed that such changes might have originated as the response to environmental conditions that induced site methylation alternations leading to phenotypic variation of D. antarctica populations from South Shetland Islands.
In the material of nearly 2000 individuals of Asteroidea collected in Admiralty Bay, the largest bay of the South Shetlands, 36 species were determined, enriching the list of hitherto known asteroid species of this basin by 17 taxa. One of them, Peribolaster macleani, is recorded for the first time in Western Antarctic. The most frequent and abundant asteroids of Admiralty Bay were Odonlaster validus, Psilaster charcoti, Bathybiaster loripes obesus and Diplasterias brucei. The bathymetric and geographic distribution of all species are discussed.
Properties of a snow cover in the vicinity of Arctowski Station, King George Island (West Antarctica) were studied in 1991. Variations of snow quality and physical transformations were analysed against changes of atmospheric parameters, basing on water equivalent index and repeatable examination of snow pits. Essential dependence of snow cover distribution and snow structure from local climatic features and terrain morphology was found. Thawing occurs in the whole mass of snow, with its contribution of both liquid and gas water phases.
Temperature of superficial water in the Ezcurra Inlet was measured from March 1989 to February 1990, with a use of a mercurial thermometer with accuracy +0.1°C. Temperature was measured usually once a month at selected points. Influence of various factors on temperature of superficial water was preliminarily analysed. Basing on these results, temperature distribution in the mentioned area was determined. Mean yearly temperatures for each station, average space temperatures on measurement days and mean yearly temperatures for the whole area of the Ezcurra Inlet were calculated.
A collection of 15 283 individuals of tanaidacean crustaceans was gathered by successive Polish Antarctic Expeditions in the years 1977-1993 in Admiralty Bay (King George Island, South Shetland Islands). Twelve species belonging to three families are identified in this study. The material is clearly dominated by Nototanais antarcticus (Hodgson, 1902); other common species were Nototanais dimorphus (Beddard, 1886) and Peraeospinosus sp. A. The highest density of tanaids was over 140 000 specimens m-2 , occuring on a muddy bottom in Herve Cove lagoon.
The climatic change on King George Island (KGI) in the South Shetland Islands, Antarctica, in the years of 1948–2011 are presented. In the reference period, a statistically significant increase in the air temperature (0.19 ° C/10 years, 1.2 ° C in the analysed period) occurred along with a decrease in atmospheric pressure (−0.36 hPa/10 years, 2.3 hPa). In winter time, the warming up is more than twice as large as in summer. This leads to decrease in the amplitude of the annual cycle of air temperature. On KGI, there is also a warming trend of daily maximum and daily minimum air temperature. The evidently faster increase in daily minimum results in a decrease of the diurnal temperature range. The largest changes of air pressure took place in the summertime (−0.58 hPa/10 years) and winter (−0.34 hPa/10 years). The Semiannual Oscillation pattern of air pressure was disturbed. Climate changes on KGI are correlated with changing surface temperatures of the ocean and the concentration of sea ice. The precipitation on KGI is characterised by substantial variability year to year. In the analysed period, no statistically significant trend in atmospheric precipitation can be observed. The climate change on KGI results in substantial and rapid changes in the environment, which poses a great threat to the local ecosystem.
Mid-winter rapid rise of temperature in the vicinity of Arctowski Station, King George Island (West Antarctica) was studied in 1991. Depending on circumantarctic migration of cyclones, sudden drop in air pressure and foehn-like phenomenon intensified by local topography occurred. Two such events are described on May 13 and June 28, against meteorological conditions during autumn and winter. Extreme intensification of morphogenetic processes caused degradation of a snow cover, immense meltwater discharge, radical transformation of slopes, effective aeolian activity and dynamic modifications in a sea-shore zone.
The environments of inlets, coves and lagoons varies widely. Climate warming has lead to retreat of glaciers directly entering the sea. In lagoons this is accompanied by exposure of an uncolonized substratum. Colonization processes in these lagoon appear to describe processes which have previously occurred in bays and fjords of glacial origin in the South Shetlands.
Cumacean crustaceans found in 188 qualitative and quantitative samples of zoobenthos collected in Admiralty Bay (King George Island, South Shetlands) by successive Polish Antarctic Expeditions in the years 1977 — 1989 were studied. In over 3000 individuals of these crustaceans 12 taxa were recognized. Eudorella splendida clearly dominated the material. Other common species were Campylaspis maculata and Vaunthompsonia inermis. The highest cumacean density amounted to 2618 ind.m-2 . Clear differences were observed between cumacean faunas of small grain sediment (muddy Ezcurra Inlet) and of mixed, coarser sediments (central part of Admiralty Bay with sand, gravel and mud). The dominance of Eudorella splendida was strongly marked in shallow Ezcurra Inlet whereas in deeper central part of Admiralty Bay the cumacean fauna was much more diversifield.
Net phytoplankton cell numbers in 50 m water column of Admiralty Bay ranged between 0.2 x 10 5 x m-2 on 24 August 1990 and 2.3 x 10 7 x m-2 on 15 November 1990. Cluster analysis has confirmed the presence of two groups of samples: spring and summer ones (October to April), rich in cells and in species, and, on the other hand, winter samples (June to August) impoverished in algae. Spring and summer fluctuations of diatoms were mainly due to Corethron criophilum, Rhizosolenia alata and its varieties, R. hebetata f. semispina, Thalassiosira spp., Chaetoceros spp., and Nitzschia spp. (Fragilariopsis and Pseudonitzschia groups). The abundance and succession of species in Admiralty Bay reflect seasonal differences in diatom growth; they also reflect mixed populations of the Weddell and Bellingshausen seas entering Admiralty Bay via Bransfield Strait. Striking poverty of algae in some summer samples can most likely be attributed to zooplankton grazing.
Luticola muticopsis is a characteristic species of polar and subpolar regions. Its morphological variability is not yet precisely described. In the investigated population the cells from capitate to shortened, flat rounded tips were observed. The range of dimensions of specimens was 8.8-40.6 μm x 5.5-17.6 μm, striae 11-22/10 μm; this range considerably exceeded that found in holotype diagnosis.
In the material collected in 26 stations along the course of three creeks in the vicinity of Polish Antarctic Station 183 taxa of algae have been identified: 25 of Cyanophyta, 123 of Bacillariophyceae, 2 of Xanthophyceae, 2 of Chrysophyceae and 31 of Chlorophyta. The highest species diversity was found in the algal community in Creek II (132 taxa), the second place was occupied by the "Petrified Forest Creek" (97 taxa), and the least diversified algal community was that from the "Ornithologists' Creek" (73 taxa).