Science and earth science

Polish Polar Research

Content

Polish Polar Research | 2011 | No 2 |

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Abstract

This review covers aspects of soil science and soil biology of Antarctica with special focus on King George Island, South Shetlands, the martitime Antarctic. New approaches in soil descriptions and soil taxonomy show a great variety of soil types, related to different parent material, mainly volcanic origin, as well as on influences by soil biological processes. The spread of higher rooting plants attract microorga nisms, nematodes and collemboles which in turn build new organic material and change the environment for further successors. Microbial communities are drivers with respect to metabolic and physiological properties indicating a great potential in a changing environment. The literature review also shows a lack of investigations on processes of carbon and nitrogen turnover, despite wide knowledge on its standing stock in different environments. Further , only few reports were found on the processes of humification. Only few data are available which can be regarded as long term monitorings, hence, such projects need to be established in order to follow ecological changes.
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Authors and Affiliations

Manfred Bölter
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Abstract

A new species of lichenized ascomycete, Massalongia olechiana Alstrup et Søchting, sp. nov. (Massalongiaceae) is described from the South Shetland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. The species is distinguished by laminal isidia and 5–7−septate ascospores. The relationships with the other species of the genus are discussed. From Massalongia carnosa , recorded from both the Arctic and the Antarctic, the new species is distinguished by its lack of isidioid squamules and in having pluriseptate ascospores instead of 1−septate ascospores
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Authors and Affiliations

Vagn Alstrup
Ulrik Søchting
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Abstract

Lichens of relict penguin colonies and sites affected by active penguin colonies were investigated in Victoria Land, Ross Sea sector, continental Antarctica. A total of 17 coastal sites, seven in northern and ten in southern Victoria Land, have been investigated across 7 ° of latitude from 71 ° to 78 ° S. Altogether 40 taxa of lichens have been identified. Four of the recorded species are new to the Antarctic – Caloplaca erecta , C. soropelta , C. tominii and Physcia tenella ; two species are new to the Victoria Land area – Lecania nylanderiana and Lecanora polytropa . The first lichen records from Beaufort Island are also provided. Data presented here expand the knowledge on the occurrence, diversity and distribution of Victoria Land lichens.
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Authors and Affiliations

Jerzy Smykla
Beata Krzewicka
Karina Wilk
Steven D. Emslie
Lucyna Śliwa
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Abstract

Our macroscopic observations and microscopic studies conducted by means of a light microscope (LM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) concerning the reproduction biology of Colobanthus quitensis (Caryophyllaceae) growing in natural conditions in the Antarctic and in a greenhouse in Olsztyn (northern Poland) showed that this plant develops two types of bisexual flowers: opening, chasmogamous flowers and closed, cleistogamous ones. Cleistogamy was caused by a low temperature, high air humidity and strong wind. A small number of microspores differentiated in the microsporangia of C. quitensis , which is typical of cleistogamous species. Microsporocytes, and later micro − spores, formed very thick callose walls. More than twenty spheroidal, polypantoporate pollen grains differentiated in the microsporangium. They germinated on the surface of receptive cells on the dry stigma of the gynoecium or inside the microsporangium. A monosporic embryo sac of the Polygonum type differentiated in the crassinucellar ovule. During this differentiation the nucellus tissue formed and stored reserve materials. In the development of generative cells, a male germ unit (MGU) with differentiated sperm cells was observed. The smaller cell contained mainly mitochondria, and the bigger one plastids. In the process of fertilization in C. quitensis only one nucleus of the sperm cell, without cytoplasm fragments, entered the egg cell, and the proembryo developed according to the Caryophyllad type. Almost all C. quitensis ovules developed and formed perispermic seeds with a completely differentiated embryo both under natural conditions in the Antarctic and in a greenhouse in Olsztyn.
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Authors and Affiliations

Irena Giełwanowska
Anna Bochenek
Ewa Gojło
Ryszard Górecki
Wioleta Kellmann
Marta Pastorczyk
Ewa Szczuka
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Abstract

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.
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Authors and Affiliations

Piotr Köhler
Maria Olech
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Abstract

The only record of the Paleogene Antarctic Sphenisciformes comes from the Eocene La Meseta Formation (Seymour Island, Antarctic Peninsula). The analysis of tarso− metatarsi attributed to the genus Anthropornis (“giant” penguins) from the Argentine, Polish and Swedish collections revealed an intriguing heterogeneity within these taxonomically important elements of the skeleton. The unique hypotarsal morphology challenges the current systematics of large−bodied penguins and sheds new light on their evolution.
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Authors and Affiliations

Carolina Acosta Hospitaleche
Piotr Jadwiszczak
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Abstract

The paper presents the first physicochemical and microbiological studies conducted in the northern area of Svalbard (Spitsbergen). Ten sediment samples were collected from the bottom of the longest fjord in the region, Wijdef jorden. Bottom sediments from ten lakes located along the shores of Wijdefjorden and Woodfjorden were also sampled. Organic matter content (LOI), water content, temperature, pH, and salinity of the sediments were determined. The quantity of aerobic bacteria cultured on various growth media at 4 ° C, 14 ° C, and 37 ° C ranged from 10 2 to 10 6 cfu/g of wet sediment mass, depending on the type of sampling station (fjord or lake). The number of bacteria did not co rrelate with organic matter content. Out of the 37 bacterial strains isolated from Wijdefjorden, 48% and 70% revealed ureolytic and proteolytic activity, respectively. The proportion of freshwater strains with ureolytic and proteolytic activity was 32% and 55%, respectively. Antibiotic resistance testing indicated that bacterial strains from the bottom sediments of the lakes were resistant to 8 antibiotics (out of the 18 investigated). Possible sources of this resistance are discussed. Using 16S DNA analysis, bacterial isolates from the lakes were identified as Pseudomonas sp., whereas frequently occurring strains in bottom sediment of the fjord were Pseudoalteromonas sp.
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Authors and Affiliations

Barbara Wojtasik
Iwona Konieczna
Marek Kwinkowski
Dorota Burska
Kamil Nowiński
Paulina Żarnowiec
Wiesław Kaca

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