Nematoda, Tardigrada, Rotifera and Crustacea composition in different freshwater habitats on Spitsbergen (Arctic) and King George Island (Antarctic) was presented. In all surveyed groups more genera and species were recorded from Spitsbergen than from King George Island. Habitats richest in taxa were moss banks and thaw ponds, whereas streams were poorest in species. In all groups in both regions cosmopolitan species dominated, but higher number of endemic species was recorded on King George Island. Regarding species composition in surveyed groups it can be suggested that freshwater habitats on Spitsbergen are more similar to each other than those on King George Island.
Traps to catch microfauna transported by wind were installed on already colonised by plants area, in the vicinity of the glacier. After 6-week-exposition 859 individuals of microfauna were caught, of which Nematoda constituted 71%, Tardigrada 22% and Rotifcra 7%. Number of microfauna individuals caught depended on distance from the already colonised areas and presence of plant parts, together with which animals can be transported more easily. Microfauna connected with vegetation, which is transferred together with plant parts, was transported in higher numbers. Probably these taxa (i.e. Diphascon within tardigrades and Dorylaimidae within nematodes) colonise new habitats at first, but other species dominate later in freshwater bodies.