Science and earth science

Polish Polar Research

Content

Polish Polar Research | 2011 | No 3 |

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Abstract

Arctic glaciers depend on supply of moisture, mostly from the Atlantic. The snowline is remarkably high in northeast Siberia, remote from this source. Because of differential solar radiation receipt, local glaciers have a northward−facing tendency throughout the Arctic. This is weaker than in dry mid−latitudes but low sun angles enhance the effects of shading, compensating for the broader range of aspects ( i.e. slope directions) illuminated in summer. Statistics from the World Glacier Inventory and other sources show that mass balance differences between slopes of different aspects give both more glaciers, and lower glaciers, facing the favoured direction: usually North. This is clear, for example, for local glaciers (and for all small glaciers) in central Spitsbergen and in Axel Heiberg Island. Wind effects (drifting snow to leeward slopes) are much less important, except in northwest Europe from Norway to Novaya Zemlya which is under the strong influence of westerly winds, greatest in the Polar and Sub−polar Urals. A thorough analysis is provided of aspect data for local glaciers within and near the Arctic Circle, and of variation in glacier mid−altitude with aspect and position. There is consistency between mean glacier aspect (in terms of numbers) and aspect with lowest glaciers, everywhere except in Wrangel Island.
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Authors and Affiliations

Ian S. Evans
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Abstract

A significant limit to current understanding of cold coast evolution is the paucity of field observations regarding development of rocky coastlines and, in particular, lack of precise recognition of mechanisms controlling rock coast geomorphology in polar climates. Results are presented from a pilot survey of rock resistance using Schmidt Hammer Rock Tests (SHRT) across the recently deglacierized Nordenskioldbreen forefield and coastal zone, in central Spitsbergen, Svalbard. The aim is to improve understanding of the effects of rock weathering on high latitude coasts. SHRT across a field of roches moutonnées of metamorphic rocks, uncovered from ice over the last century and exposed to the operation of littoral processes, demonstrated significant relationships between rock surface resistance and distance from present shoreline, distance from the ice cliff as well as thickness of the snow cover. Sites closest to the present−day shoreline were characterized by lower resistance in comparison with more inland locations. The result support models that advocate intensification of weathering processes in cold region coastal settings.
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Authors and Affiliations

Mateusz Czesław Strzelecki
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Abstract

A total of 142 cods: 60 from the South−East Ground of Bear Island and 82 from the Pomeranian Bay (Baltic Sea) were examined for their ecto− and endoparasites. Twenty different parasite species, comprising one Myxosporea, three Cestoda, four Digenea, seven Nematoda, three Acanthocephala and two Crustacea were found. The parasite component communities comprised 1446 individuals (17 species, six higher taxa) from the Bear Island and 6588 individuals (nine species, three higher taxa) from Pomeranian Bay. The observed parasite host specificity was low, and the intensity in a single fish ranged from one to 279 specimens. The eudominant parasite species were Echinorhynchus gadi , Hemiurus levinseni and Contracaecum osculatum . The dominant parasite communities from the Bear Is − land were nematodes, but acanthocephalans dominated in cod from the Baltic Sea. It appears that one group of parasites, better adapted for the specific conditions of the macrohabitat, has replaced another. The most prevalent parasites were E. gadi , Anisakis simplex , C. osculatum and Hysterothylacium aduncum , and the mean values of crowding were the highest for E. gadi and Pomphorhynchus laevis . The nematode Camallanus lacustris was noted in this host species for the first time. Only six species of parasites were common to cod from both fishing grounds
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Authors and Affiliations

Ewa Sobecka
Ewa Łuczak
Beata Więcaszek
Artur Antoszek
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Abstract

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.
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Authors and Affiliations

Vassil Golemansky
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Abstract

The fossil record of Antarctic Sphenisciformes dates as early as the late Palaeocene Cross Valley Formation, Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula. However, the best known Antarctic locality for early penguin remains (mainly isolated bones) is the Eocene La Meseta Formation that outcrops in the northeast of Seymour Island. The analysis of an unstudied set of specimens collected there by members of the British Antarctic Survey in 1989 has resulted in identification of a distal humerus from the unit Telm3 (early Eocene) of the formation that is the oldest known bone attributable to a medium−sized (in the context of the entire Cainozoic era) penguin. This find suggests that the origin of these birds, in con− junction with an increase in taxonomic diversity of the Eocene Sphenisciformes, was related to the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum (EECO) or, more probably, the early phase of subsequent cooling.
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Authors and Affiliations

Piotr Jadwiszczak
Sandra D. Chapman
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Abstract

Antarctic plants experience UV−B stress and for their survival they have been showing various adaptive strategies. The first line of defence is to screen UV−B radiation before it reaches the cell, then to minimize damage within the cells through other protective strategies, and finally to repair damage once it has occurred. A fifteen days experiment was designed to study lichen: Dermatocarpon sp. and Acarospora gwynnii under natural UV and below UV filter frames in the Indian Antarctic Station Maitri region of Schirmacher Oasis, East Antarctica. Changes in UV absorbing compounds, total phenolics, total carotenoids and chlorophyll content were studied. The change in total phenolics and total carotenoid content was significant in both Dermatocarpon sp. and A. gwynnii indicating that the increase in UV absorbing compounds, total phenolics and total carotenoid content act as a protective mechanism against the deleterious effect of UV−B radiations, whereas the change in chlorophyll content was not significant in both lichen species.
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Authors and Affiliations

Sanghdeep Gautam
Jaswant Singh
Aditya Bhushan Pant

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