Water bears (Tardigrada) are known as one of the most extremophile animals in the world. They inhabit environments from the deepest parts of the oceans up to the highest mountains. One of the most extreme and still poorly studied habitats which tardigrades inhabit are cryoconite holes. We analysed the relation between area, depth, elevation and tardigrades densities in cryoconite holes on four glaciers on Spitsbergen. The mean (±SD) of cryoconite area was 1287.21±2400.8 cm2, while the depth was on average 10.8±11.2 cm, the elevation 172.6±109.66 m a.s.l., and tardigrade density 24.9±33.0 individuals per gram of wet material (n = 38). The densities of tardigrades on Hans Glacier reached values of up to 168 ind. cm3, 104 ind. g-1 wet weight, and 275 ind. g-1 dry weight. The densities of tardigrades of the three glaciers in Billefjorden were up to 82 ind. cm2, 326 ind. g-1 wet weight and 624 ind. g-1 dry weight. Surprisingly, although the model included area, depth and elevation as independent variables, it cannot explain Tardigrada density in cryoconite holes. We propose that due to the rapid melting of the glacier surface in the Arctic, the constant flushing of cryoconite sediments, and inter-hole water-sediment mixing, the functioning of these ecosystems is disrupted. We conclude that cryoconite holes are dynamic ecosystems for microinvertebrates in the Arctic.
Paper describes the results of Fe80Si11B9 amorphous ribbon investigation after pulsed laser interference heating and conventional annealing. As a result of interference heating periodically placed laser heated microareas were obtained. Structure characterisation by scanning and transmission electron microscopy showed in case of laser heated samples presence of crystalline nanostructure in amorphous matrix. Microscopy observations showed significant difference in material structure after laser heating – nanograin structure, and material after annealing – dendritic structure. Magnetic force microscopy investigation showed expanded magnetic structure in laser heated microareas, while amorphous matrix did not give magnetic signal. Change of magnetic properties was examined by magnetic hysteresis loop measurement, which showed that the laser heating did not have a significant influence on soft magnetic properties.
Detailed studies on the effects of pulsed laser interference heating on surface characteristics and subsurface microstructure of amorphous Fe80Si11B9 alloy are reported. Laser interference heating, with relatively low pulsed laser energy (90 and 120 mJ), but with a variable number (from 50-500) of consecutive laser pulses permitted to get energy accumulation in heated areas. Such treatment allowed to form two- Dimensional micro-islands of laser-affected material periodically distributed in amorphous matrix. The crystallization process of amorphous FeSiB ribbons was studied by means of scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Detailed microstructural examination showed that the use of laser beam, resulted in development of nanostructure in the heated areas of the amorphous ribbon. The generation of nanocrystalline seed islands created by pulsed laser interference was observed. This key result may evidently give new knowledge concerning the differences in microstructure formed during the conventional and lased induced crystallization the amorphous alloys. Further experiments are needed to clarify the effect of pulsed laser interference crystallization on magnetic properties of these alloys.