The Antarctic Peninsula region has experienced a recent cooling for about 15 years since the beginning of the 21st century. In Livingston Island, this cooling has been of 0.8°C over the 12-yr period 2004–2016, and of 1.0°C for the summer average temperatures over the same period. In this paper, we analyse whether this observed cooling has implied a significant change in the density of the snowpack covering Hurd and Johnsons glaciers, and whether such a density change has had, by itself, a noticeable impact in the calculated surface mass balance. Our results indicate a decrease in the snow density by 22 kg m-3 over the study period. The density changes are shown to be correlated with the summer temperature changes. We show that this observed decrease in density does not have an appreciable effect on the calculated surface mass balance, as the corresponding changes are below the usual error range of the surface mass balance estimates. This relieves us from the need of detailed and time-consuming snow density measurements at every mass-balance campaign.
Two fungal strains, isolated from Livingston Island, Antarctica (Penicillium commune 161, psychrotolerant and Aspergillus glaucus 363, mesophilic) were investigated for a relationship between growth temperature and oxidative stress response. Cultivation at temperatures below - (10 and 15°C and 10 and 20°C for P. commune and A. glaucus, respectively) and above (25°C and 30°C for P. commune and A. glaucus, respectively) the optimum caused significant difference in growth and glucose uptake in comparison with the control cultures. Enhanced level of reserve carbohydrates (glycogen and trehalose) was determined under cultivation at different temperatures from the optimal one. While the highest content of trehalose was found in the exponential phase, glycogen accumulation was observed in the stationary phase when growth conditions deteriorate. The growth at temperature below- and above-optimum caused strain-dependent changes in two antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT). While SOD activity in the psychrotolerant strain increases with decreasing of growth temperature, the mesophilic A. glaucus demonstrated marked reduction of it at below- and above-optimal temperature. Decreasing trend of CAT activity was observed in both strains below the optimal temperature indicating a lack of antioxidant protection from this enzyme under the cold stress conditions.