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Abstract

The thermal state of permafrost is a crucial indicator of environmental changes occurring in the Arctic. The monitoring of ground temperatures in Svalbard has been carried out in instrumented boreholes, although only few are deeper than 10 m and none are located in southern part of Spitsbergen. Only one of them, Janssonhaugen, located in central part of the island, provides the ground temperature data down to 100 m. Recent studies have proved that significant warming of the ground surface temperatures, observed especially in the last three decades, can be detected not only just few meters below the surface, but reaches much deeper layers. The aim of this paper is evaluation of the permafrost state in the vicinity of the Polish Polar Station in Hornsund using the numerical heat transfer model CryoGrid 2. The model is calibrated with ground temperature data collected from a 2 m deep borehole established in 2013 and then validated with data from the period 1990-2014 from five depths up to 1 m, measured routinely at the Hornsund meteorological station. The study estimates modelled ground thermal profile down to 100 m in depth and presents the evolution of the ground thermal regime in the last 25 years. The simulated subsurface temperature trumpet shows that multiannual variability in that period can reach 25 m in depth. The changes of the ground thermal regime correspond to an increasing trend of air temperatures observed in Hornsund and general warming across Svalbard.
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Abstract

The aim of the study was to compare cyanobacterial and algal assemblages occurring in ornithocoprophilous habitats formed under the influence of two seabird colonies (mixed colony of piscivorous Uria lomvia and Rissa tridactyla and planktivorous Alle alle) nesting on the southwest side of Hornsund (Spitsbergen). Various influences of the bird colonies (e.g. surface trophy, treading) lead to the formation of ornithogenic habitats with quantitatively and qualitatively diverse cyanobacterial and algal assemblages. Only 6 species common to both habitats were identified, but due to their different proportions the similarity ended there. Cyanobacterial and algal assemblages of both ornithogenic habitats also react rather differently to the intensity of the bird colonies' influence. The assemblages located directly beneath piscivorous bird nests were characterized by a larger number of species, which decreased the farther from the colony it was. Cyanobacterial and algal assemblages located directly next to planktivorous bird nests were species poor, but species richness increased at locations farther from their direct influence. The obtained results confirmed that bird colonies characterized by different diet and behavior influenced the formation of two separate, quantitatively and qualitatively different cyanobacterial and algal assemblages. Species such as Eucapsis sp., Gleocapsopsis sp., Gloeothece sp., Woronichinia sp., Hematococcus sp. were characteristic for algae and cyanobacteria assemblages in the vicinity of piscivorous bird colonies, whereas Aphanocapsa sp., Gloeothece sp., Komvophoron minutum, Pseudanabaena sp., Gloeocystis sp. 2 occurred in the vicinity of planktivorous bird colonies.
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