This paper recapitulates Polish botanical and mycological research on terrestrial and freshwater Antarctic ecosystems carried out between 1977 and 2009. The main results are briefly summarized. The references encompass nearly 200 papers on floristics, taxonomy, biogeography, ecology, cytology, bioc hemistry, physiology and genetics of lichens, mosses, fungi, algae and vascular plants inhabiting soils, rocks and inland waters in the Antarctic.
The ability to grow clonally is generally considered important for plants in Arctic regions but analyses of clonal characteristics are lacking for entire plant communities. To fill this gap, we assessed the clonal growth of 78 plant species in the Petuniabukta region, central Spitsbergen (Svalbard), and analyzed the clonal and other life−history traits in the regional flora and plant communities with respect to environmental gradients. We distinguished five categories of clonal growth organs: perennial main roots produced by non− clonal plants, epigeogenous rhizomes, hypogeogenous rhizomes, bulbils, and stolons. Clonal growth differed among communities of the Petuniabukta region: non−clonal plants prevailed in open, early−successional communities, but clonal plants prevailed in wetlands. While the occurrence of plants with epigeogenous rhizomes was unrelated to stoniness or slope, the occurrence of plants with hypogeogenous rhizomes diminished with increasing stoniness of the substratum. Although the overall proportion of clonal plants in the flora of the Petuniabukta region was comparable to that of central Europe, the flora of the Petuniabukta region had fewer types of clonal growth organs, a slower rate of lateral spread, and a different proportion of the two types of rhizomes.
The rapidly changing Arctic provides excellent opportunities for investigating primary succession on freshly deglaciated areas. Research on the Gåsbreen foreland (S Spitsbergen) traced the succession of particular groups of organisms and species, particularly lichens and bryophytes, and determined the effect of selected abiotic factors on this succession. Fieldwork in 2008, employed a continuous linear transect of phytosociological relevés (1 m2) along the foreland. Data analysis allowed to distinguish five different succession stages and three types of colonisers. Canonical correspondence analysis and a permutation test showed that distance from the front of the glacier and fine grain material in the substrate mostly influenced the distribution and abundance of vegetation, and the steepness of the moraine hills affected the colonisation process, mainly in the older part of the marginal zone.
Diurnal measurements of photosynthetic pr ocesses, effective quantum yield of photosystem II ( F PSII ), photosynthetic electron transport rate (ETR) were done in three domi− nant species of Arctic tundra ( Silene acaulis , Dryas octopetala , Salix polaris ) in Petunia− bukta, Spitsbergen. Daily courses of net photosynthesis (P N ) were calculated from chloro− phyll fluorescence data and daily photosynthesi s evaluated. The short−term field measure− ments were carried out in summer 2009, and 2010. Fluorometric parameters ( F PSII and ETR) were measured each 5 minutes as well as microc limate characteristics of the site for 10 (2009) and 8 days (2010), respectively. In all species photosynthetic ETR was well related to incident photosynthetically active radiation a nd leaf temperature. In general, D. octopetala exhibited slightly lower ETR than the other two speci es. Estimated maximu m photosynthetic rate (P Nmax ) reached 17.6, 21.4, and 22.9 μmol CO 2 m −2 s −1 for S. polaris , S. acaulis ,and D. octopetala , respectively. Daily photosynthesis reach ed comparable values in all species, D. otopetala , however, exhibited slightly lower values than the other two species both for overcast and fully sunny days (3.9 and 13.4 mmol CO 2 m −2 d −1 , respectively). The range of daily photosynthesis for S. polaris and S. acaulis studied, reached the ranges of 4.6–6.9 and 14.6–15.2 mmol CO 2 m −2 d −1 for overcast and fully sunny day, respectively.
Vegetation was described in various spatial scales in the area of 37.8 km 2 including distinguishing vegetation units, vegetation mapping, recording phytosociological relevés (53), and completing species lists of vascular plants (86), mosses (124) and lichens (40). Phytosociological relevés were elaborated using ordination methods DCA and CCA. The relevés formed clusters corresponding well to a priori assigned vegetation units. Slope and stoniness significantly influenced the vegetation pattern. Despite the high latitude (nearly 80 ° N), the vegetation is rather rich in species. Non−native species do not expand. The moss Bryum dichotomum is reported for the first time from Svalbard archipelago.
Plants adapt to extremely low temperatures in polar regions by maximizing their photosynthetic efficiency and accumulating cryoprotective and osmoprotective compounds. Flowering plants of the family Poaceae growing in the Arctic and in the Antarctic were investigated. Their responses to cold stress were analyzed under laboratory conditions. Samples were collected after 24 h and 48 h of cold treatment. Quantitative and qualitative changes of sugars are found among different species, but they can differ within a genus of the family Poaceae. The values of the investigated parameters in Poa annua differed considerably depending to the biogeographic origin of plants. At the beginning of the experiment, Antarctic plants were acclimatized in greenhouse characterized by significantly higher content of sugars, including storage reserves, sucrose and starch, but lower total protein content. After 24 h of exposure to cold stress, much smaller changes in the examined parameters were noted in Antarctic plants than in locally grown specimens. Total sugar content and sucrose, starch and glucose levels were nearly constant in P. annua, but they varied significantly. Those changes are responsible for the high adaptability of P. annua to survive and develop in highly unsupportive environments and colonize new regions.
The paper presents the results of laboratory tests concerning the cutting process of basket willow by means of disc cutting unit. A disc for cutting wood with diameter of 600mm was used in the tests. The influence of plant’s moisture and the rotary speed of the disc of cutting unit on the unitary energy were determined. The most favorable values of the operating parameters of the cutting unit were selected according to the minimum energy requirement in the cutting process of the tested plant.
Holoparasitic genera within the family Orobanchaceae are characterized by greatly reduced vegetative organs; therefore, molecular analysis has proved to be a useful tool in solving taxonomic problems in this family. For this purpose, we studied all species of the genera Orobanche and Phelipanche occurring in Central Europe, specifically in Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Austria, supplemented by samples mainly from Spain, France, Germany, and Ukraine. They were investigated using nuclear sequences (ITS region) and a plastid trnLtrnF region. The aim of this study was to examine phylogenetic relationships within Orobanche and Phelipanche from Central Europe; we focused on problematic species and aggregates, recent taxonomic changes in these (rank and secondary ranks), and host ranges. The most interesting results concern the exlusion of O. mayeri from O. alsatica aggr. Additionally, following the rules of traditional taxonomy, the correct names and types of some secondary ranks are given and, as a result of this, a new combination below the Phelipanche genus is made (P. sect. Trionychon). The host ranges of the investigated species in Central Europe include 102 species from 12 families, most often from Asteraceae. For this purpose, ca. 400 localities were examined in the field. Moreover, data acquired from the literature and European and Asian herbaria were used.
The main aim of this study was to examine the compression-induced state of stress arising in castings of the guide grates during operation in pusher-type furnaces for heat treatment. The effect of grate compression is caused by its forced movement in the furnace. The introduction of flexible segments to the grate structure changes in a significant way the stress distribution, mainly by decreasing its value, and consequently considerably extends the lifetime of the grates. The stress distribution was examined in the grates with flexible segments arranged crosswise (normal to the direction of the grate compression) and lengthwise (following the direction of force). A regression equation was derived to describe the relationship between the stress level in a row of ribs in the grate and the number of flexible segments of a lengthwise orientation placed in this row. It was found that, regardless of the distribution of the flexible segments in a row, the stress values were similar in all the ribs included in this row, and in a given row of the ribs/flexible segments a similar state of stress prevailed, irrespective of the position of this row in the whole structure of the grate and of the number of the ribs/flexible segments introduced therein. Parts of the grate responsible for the stress transfer were indicated and also parts which play the role of an element bonding the structure.
Creep-resistant parts of heat treatment furnaces are in most cases made from high-alloyed chromium-nickel and nickel-chromium iron alloys, both cast and wrought. This paper presents the types of casting alloys used for this particular purpose, since the majority of furnace components are made by the casting process. Standards were cited which give symbols of alloy grades used in technical specifications by the domestic industry. It has been indicated that castings made currently are based on a wider spectrum of the creep-resistant alloy grades than the number of alloys covered by the standards. Alloy grades recommended by the technical literature for individual parts of the furnace equipment were given. The recommendations reflect both the type of the technological process used and the technical tasks performed by individual parts of the furnace equipment. Comments were also made on the role of individual alloying elements in shaping the performance properties of castings.