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Number of results: 44
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Abstract

Thirty-two species of echinoderms from epibenthic sledges, dredges, scuba diving, and other samples (in total: 467 samples and c. 20 000 specimens) from fjords and coastal waters off Spitsbergen were analysed between 1996 and 2014. The most numerous group of echinoderms in the coastal waters off Spitsbergen is brittle stars (78% of the total individuals). The echinoderms do not form any clear assemblages according to depth or distance from glacial sedimentation and substrate. Some species prefer hard bottom (Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis) or water free from glacial suspensions (Ophiopholis aculeata). In contrast to the species listed above, we also found opportunistic species such as the starfish Urasterias lincki and the brittle star Ophiocten sericeum. These two species are distributed quite uniformly, regardless of the environmental factors. The majority of the species prefer a soft bottom below 200 m.
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Abstract

Dynamic climate changes have become noticeable in recent decades, especially in the vulnerable region of the West Antarctic. The relatively simple food web of this area relies on krill – Euphausia superba . Presumably, as a result of climatic fluctuations, a de− crease in the number of this crustacean has been recorded, followed by an increase in the population of the gelatinous zooplankter Salpa thompsoni . In the research presented herein, population and morphometric analyses of Salpa thompsoni have been conducted. Specimens for this research were collected from the Drake Passage, using a Bongo net in the summer season of 2010. It has been found that the horizontal distribution of this gelatinous zooplankter was significantly irregular (Kruskal−Wallis test, p < 0.001). In the northern part of the investigated area, both blastozooids and oozooids were recorded, which confirms the dynamic development of this species. The central part of the Drake Passage was characterized by the dominance of blastozooids, with embryos found at different stages of the development. Only in the region of the South Shetland Islands, the salpid population was characterized by reduced or even stopped reproduction. The immense reproductive efficiency observed in the Salpa thompsoni population was mostly induced by the favourable thermal conditions. These observations may suggest that the ongoing climat changes in the West Antarctic will promote the population expansion of this species.
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Abstract

Remains of a vast Roman pottery production complex were found on the shore of the Plemići Bay (Općina Ražanac, Zadar county) in 2012, and confirmed by geophysical survey. Ground-penetrating radar measurements revealed outline of a rectangular building that finds analogies with Roman storehouses (horreum). The area occupied by remains of the Roman pottery workshop was covered by immense soil-debris flows. Three geological exposures located to the north of the remains of the Roman building were documented using lithological and malacological analysis, and magnetic susceptibility measurements. The profiles revealed at least three generations of slope sediments, formed in result of intensive soil or debris flows in a dry climate, most probably in 5th c. AD. In the next, wet phase sediments were transported downslope and deposited on the Roman structures after 5th c. AD. Environmental conditions at Pelmići were supply with paleoclimate evidence from the Adriatic region. At ca. 1.5 cal. BP lake levels in the eastern Adriatic area were drastically reduced, probably because of strong decrease in humidity, correlated with the so-called North Atlantic Bond event 3. The drought was followed by a humid episode, also attested at the Plemići archaeological site.
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Abstract

How environmental conditions influence current distributions of organisms at the local scale in sensitive High Arctic freshwaters is essential to understand in order to better comprehend the cascading consequences of the ongoing climate change. This knowledge is also important background data for paleolimnological assessments of long-Term limnoecological changes and in describing the range of environmental variability. We sampled five limnologically different freshwater sites from the Fuglebergsletta marine terrace in Hornsund, southern Svalbard, for aquatic invertebrates. Invertebrate communities were tested against non-climatic environmental drivers as limnological and catchment variables. A clear separation in the communities between the sites was observed. The largest and deepest lake was characterized by a diverse Chironomidae community but Cladocera were absent. In a pond with marine influence, crustaceans, such as Ostracoda, Amphipoda, and calanoid Copepoda were the most abundant invertebrates. Two nutrient-rich ponds were dominated by a chironomid, Orthocladius consobrinus, whereas themost eutrophic pond was dominated by the cladoceran Daphnia pulex, suggesting decreasing diversity along with the trophic status. Overall, nutrient related variables appeared to have an important influence on the invertebrate community composition and diversity, the trophic state of the sites being linked with their exposure to geese guano. Other segregating variables included water color, presence/absence of fish, abundance of aquatic vegetation and lake depth. These results suggest that since most of these variables are climate-driven at a larger scale, the impacts of the ongoing climate change will have cumulative effects on aquatic ecosystems.
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Abstract

Rock glaciers are lobate or tongue-shaped landforms which consist of rock debris and have either an ice core or an ice-cemented matrix. Characteristics such as the landscape setting, morphology, material and current geomorphological state are universally used to classify rock glaciers. In Antarctica, rock glaciers have only been surveyed on the Antarctic Peninsula, Ellsworth Mountains and in Victoria Land. This paper presents the first data on the identification and description of rock glaciers in the Jutulsessen nunataks, Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica. The rock glaciers in the Jutulsessen exhibit a variety of morphologies and states. Our data suggests that the rock glaciers in Brugdedalen and Jutuldalen are active, while the features at Vassdalen and Grjotlia are considered inactive, and a feature at Grjotøyra is considered relict. The described rock glaciers do not fit into existing classification systems and appear to be different to alpine, Arctic and Andean rock glaciers. They further present examples that fit both the ‘glaciogenic’ and ‘permafrost’ development theories.
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Abstract

This article comprises an analysis of the variability of meteorological conditions on Kaffiøyra (NW Spitsbergen, Svalbard) in 2013–2017 in connection with atmospheric circulation and the extent of sea ice. The obtained results were compared with the results of observations made at the Ny-Ålesund station. Due to the situation of the area in the polar region and the large amount of clouds, especially in summer, the annual sum of incoming solar radiation was small, amounting to an average of 2,237.8 MJ.m-2 per year. The mean air temperature in the considered period was -2.0°C. Its extreme values ranged from 15.2°C to -23.8°C. In the annual course, the highest mean temperature occurred in July (6.5°C), and the lowest in March (-7.8°C). The mean relative humidity of air was high (83%). The prevailing wind directions were from south and north sectors and this coincided with the orientation of Forlandsundet. The mean wind speed was 3.6 m.s-1. In the summer season in 1975–2017, a statistically significant air temperature increase was observed, reaching 0.28°C/10 years. The high variability of local weather conditions was caused mainly by atmospheric circulation and the impact of sea ice was much smaller in comparison.
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Abstract

This work aims to comprehensively describe the current state of the concept of green infrastructure. It is thus meant to fill in a gap in Polish literature as no comprehensive works concerning green infrastructure have been published in our country even though we have witnessed several such works in other places in the world. The book is mostly addressed to urban planners, spatial planners and landscape architects and it focuses on issues related to developing strategies or green nalyzingture network designs. It is difficult to establish when (and by whom) the term “green infrastructure” was actually coined. The performed literature search indicates that various authors attribute its beginnings to different publications. There is, however, much more consensus regarding the origins of the idea of green infrastructure. Among the concepts regarded as the bases for the notion of green infrastructure we can discern two principal ones: the concept of ecological networks and the concept of greenways (in the US). In Poland, such concepts included the Ecological System of Protected Areas (in Polish: Ekologiczny System Obszarów Chronionych) and System of Open Spaces (in Polish: System terenów otwartych). There is some disagreement regarding the origins of green infrastructure in cities. Analysis of defi nitions of green infrastructure seen in both scientific publications as well as guides and formal documents leads to a single conclusion – we should accept the diversity of interpretations and approaches. A similar diversity in approaches can also be found when looking at the presented typologies. By analyzing the rationale behind the typologies, we can discern three major criteria used by the authors: land cover, land use and ecological value, which is usually associated with formal protection of specifi c areas. The principles of green infrastructure development can be divided into planning-related (multi-functionality, connectivity, multi-scale approach, multi-object approach, cost-effective approach) and governance-related (strategic approach, integration, social inclusion, transdisciplinarity, stakeholder inclusion). Green infrastructure provides people with a multitude of more or less measurable benefits. For the last several years they have been identified and quantified using a concept of ecosystem services. These services are always provided in certain confi gurations, which means that it is only possible to obtain the benefits if the services generating those benefi ts are not contradictory to each other. For several years now, the European Commission has been conducting research on the scope, possibilities and methods of implementing the concept of green infrastructure in the member states. However, the EU’s offi cial position on this subject was declared only in 2013 via Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Green Infrastructure (GI) — Enhancing Europe’s Natural Capital. In both EU member states and the United States, non-governmental organizations are the main advocates of the concept of green infrastructure. They have been recently joined by governmental and self-government agencies. The case studies of already developed strategies and designs of the concept of green infrastructure presented in this book illustrate a great diversity of approaches. It is particularly noticeable in the way of identifying specific components and principles of planning and implementation of green infrastructure networks. These differences come mainly from the varying scale of development, adopted interpretations of the notion of green infrastructure as well as specifi c natural, social and sometimes economic conditions in particular areas. Based on the knowledge and experience gathered from the analysis of those cases, we can point out the following problems that Polish planners need to face in order to develop and implement green infrastructure for Polish rural communes, cities and regions: • good selection of the formula and defi nition of green infrastructure that is appropriate for the scale, specifi c conditions of the area, needs of the inhabitants and ambitions of the authorities; • good identification of areas with potential for green infrastructure development that is appropriate for the scale and problems of a specific area (city, village, region) • identification of the scope and degree of confl ict between ecosystem services provided by individual components of green infrastructure; • development of a spatial concept that includes the problem of the inherent conflict between the expected benefits (especially regulation and maintenance versus cultural) coming from individual components of green infrastructure; • proposal of appropriate instruments for implementing the concept and resolving the problem of its coexistence with other concepts of shaping the ecological structure of cities, rural communes and regions in Poland. Summing up, the concept of green infrastructure can be viewed as the ultimate synthesis of all former ideas dealing with the development of ecological structure of cities, open landscapes and regions. In most European countries, apart from Great Britain, the concept of green infrastructure is currently in its implementation phase. Therefore, its true – not paper – history is about to begin and it will probably look diff erent in every country. It will be aff ected by various traditions of development planning, the already developed concepts, degree of involvement of the authorities and – probably above all – the will of those that expect quantifiable benefits from green infrastructure.
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Abstract

The reports of Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change indicate that the growing emission of greenhouse gases, produced from the combustion of fossil fuels, mainly carbon dioxide, leads to negative climate changes. Therefore, the methods of mitigating the greenhouse gases emission to the atmosphere, especially of carbon dioxide, are being sought. Numerous studies are focused on so-called geological sequestration, i.e. injecting carbon dioxide to appropriate geological strata or ocean waters. One of the methods, which are not fully utilized, is the application of appropriate techniques in agriculture. The plant production in agriculture is based on the absorption of carbon dioxide in the photosynthesis process. Increasing the plant production directly leads to the absorption of carbon dioxide. Therefore, investigation of carbon dioxide absorption by particular crops is a key issue. In Poland, ca. 7.6 mln ha of cereals is cultivated, including: rye, wheat, triticale, oat and barley. These plants absorb approximately 23.8 mln t C annually, including 9.8 mln t C/yr in grains, 9.4 mln t C/yr in straw and 4.7 mln t C/yr in roots. The China, these cereals are cultivated on the area over 24 mln ha and absorb 98.9 mln t C/yr, including 55 mln tC/yr in grains, 36 in straw, and 7.9 mln t C/yr in roots. The second direction for mitigating the carbon dioxide emission into the atmosphere involves substituting fossil fuels with renewable energy sources to deliver primary energy. Cultivation of winter cereals as cover crops may lead to the enhancement of carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere in the course of their growth. Moreover, the produced biomass can be used for energy generation.
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Abstract

Significant retreat of glaciers terminating in Hornsund Fjord (Southern Spits− bergen, Svalbard) has been observed during the 20th century and in the first decade of the 21st century. The objective of this paper is to present, as complete as possible, a record of front positions changes of 14 tidewater glaciers during this period and to distinguish the main factors influencing their fluctuations. Results are based on a GIS analysis of archival maps, field measurements, and aerial and satellite images. Accuracy was based on an assessment of seasonal fluctuations of a glacier’s ice cliff position with respect to its mini− mum length in winter (November–December) and its maximum advance position in June or July. Morphometric features and the environmental setting of each glacier are also presented. The total area of the glacier cover in Hornsund Fjord in the period of 1899–2010 diminished approximately 172 km 2 , with an average areal retreat rate of 1.6 km 2 a −1 .The recession rate increased from ~1 km 2 a −1 in first decades of the 20th century up to ~3 km 2 a −1 in years 2001–2010. The latest period was more thoroughly studied using optical satellite images acquired almost every year. The importance of glacier morphology and hypsometry, as well as fjord bathymetry and topography is analyzed. Large glacier systems with low slopes terminating in deeper waters are retreating faster than small steep glaciers terminating in shallower water. A relation between mean annual air temperature and aerial retreat rate of tidewater glaciers was found for long time scales. A sudden temperature in − crease, known as the early 20th century warming in Svalbard, and an increase in temperatures during recent decades are well reflected in deglaciation rate. Influence of sea water temperatures on calving and retreat of glaciers was considered and is significant in short−time intervals of the last decade. Surge events are non−climatic factors which com − plicate the record. They are reflected in front advance or fast retreat due to a massive calving depending on the relation between ice thickness and water depth. Despite the influence of many factors, the response of tidewater glaciers to climate change is evident. The average linear retreat rate of all the tidewater glaciers in Hornsund amounted to ~70 ma −1 in 2001–2010 and was higher than the average retreat of other Svalbard tidewater glaciers (~45 ma −1 ). Thus, glaciers of this basin can be considered as more sensitive to climate than glaciers of other regions of the archipelago.
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Abstract

Nature reserves are one of the most important measures in saving biodiversity, however, during the climate change, a real danger arises, that these territories would not be able to fulfill the objectives. In order to mitigate negative effects of climate change in protected areas it is necessary to create and apply management programs, based on future ecosystems needs. The main aim of presented study was to evaluate sensitivity of rare and vulnerable species to climate change in order to suggest measures for better management of nature reserves in the future. According to scientific literature, 12 biological and ecological plant characteristics determining sensitivity of species (limiting factors) have been detected. 73 plant species that are protected in Lithuanian reserves were evaluated qualitatively according to limiting factors of climate change. As the result, it was offered to apply additional protection measures to 47 species in the light of climate change. Groups of plant species that should be affected highly negatively or highly positively were identified. 16% of plant species protected in nature reserves were evaluated as very sensitive to climate change and the condition of these plants may worsen. On the other hand, 14 plant species were given as least sensitive to negative effects and future climate is more favorable to species growth and spread than the existing. The highest danger is predicted for Silene chlorantha (Willd.) Ehrh., and the best condition is predicted for Mentha longifolia (L.) Huds. Dactylorhiza incarnata (L.) Soó. The study also gives recommendations for the protection of rare plants in the future. Different management measures are taken into account: mitigation of the direct effect of climate change (I), improvement of an existing level of rareness (II), respecting the relation to physical and biological environment (III), consideration of spread and geographical limits (IV). Three management intensity levels were suggested according to species sensitivity.
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