Science and earth science

Polish Polar Research

Content

Polish Polar Research | 2005 | vol. 26 | No 2 |

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Abstract

Measurements were made of organic fluxes at a coastal sediment at Signy Island , South Orkney Islands, Antarctica , between December 1990 and March 1992. The deposition rate of organic matter to the sediment was measured at the same time with a maximum sedimentation rate of 306 mg C m–2 d–1. The rates of sedimentary organic input were small during winter ice cover, and the organic content of the sediment declined during this period as available organic matter was depleted. Fresh organic input occurred as soon as the sea-ice melted and ice algal biomass was deposited to the sediment; and was sustained during the spring after ice break-up by continued primary production in the water column. The proportion of available carbon in surface sediments was measured during a seasonal cycle using Pseudomonas aeruginosa as an indicator organism over the 0–1 cm depth horizon. Variations in the amount of organic matter deposited to the sediments and the proportion of available carbon were observed during the seasonal cycle. Seasonal variations of benthic activity in this coastal sediment was regulated by the input and availability of organic matter, and not by seasonal water temperature, which was relatively constant between –1.8 and 0.5°C .

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Authors and Affiliations

Tony R. Walker
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Abstract

The paper presents the results of taxonomical investigation of the genus Cladonia Hill ex P. Browne from King George Island . Individuals belonging to this lichen genus were studied using methods of classical herbarium taxonomy supported by chemical analysis. Fourteen species have been recognized in the study area, with C. asahinae J.W. Thomson being reported from King George Island for the first time, and C. cervicornis subsp. mawsonii reported as new for the South Shetland Islands. The occurrence of C. cariosa is confirmed for the Antarctic region. The diagnostic characters, ecology and important remarks referring to particular species are briefly presented. An updated key for identification of the species from King George Island and neighbouring islands of South Shetlands is included.

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Authors and Affiliations

Piotr Osyczka
Maria Olech
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Abstract

The marine psychrophilic and endemic Antarctic yeast Leucosporidium antarcticum strain 171 synthesizes intracellular b-fructofuranosidase, and intra- and extracellular a-glucosidases. Each enzyme is maximally produced at 5°C , while the strain’s optimum growth temperature is 15°C . Invertase biosynthesis appeared regulated by catabolic repression, and induced by sucrose; the enzyme was extremely unstable ex vivo, and only EDTA, Mn2+, and BSA stabilized it for up to 12 h after yeast cell lysis. Thermal stability of the invertase was also low (30 min at temperatures up to 12°C). The optimum temperature for invertase activity was 30°C , and optimum pH was 4.55 to 4.75. The extracellular a-glucosidase was maximally active at 35°C and pH 6.70–7.50, and stable for 30 min up to 20°C.

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Authors and Affiliations

Marianna Turkiewicz
Marzena Pazgier
Stuart P. Donachie
Halina Kalinowska
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Abstract

The shallow water benthic fauna was collected in Kongsfjord, West Spitsbergen. Sampling was conducted along two main environmental gradients: vertical gradient (depth 5–50 m) and horizontal gradient (sedimentation regime) along the fjord axis. A small rectangular dredge was used. Altogether 169 taxa were identified and four macrofaunal associations were distinguished. Bottom type and distance from the tidal glaciers seem to be the main factors responsible for species distribution. The Soft Bottom I Association occupying the fine mud of the Kongsbreen glacial bay consisted mostly of Crustacea with high dominance of scavenging amphipod Onisimus caricus. Bivalves prevailed in the Soft Bottom II Association, located further away from the main glacier outflows. The barren rocky shelf, deprived of vegetation by a sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis was inhabited by the Rocky Shelf Association dominated by decapods. The last distinguished association (the Kelp Association) occurred on the hard bottom overgrown with macroalgae. The gastropod Margarites helicinus and amphipods Ischyrocerus spp. made up 60% of the individuals collected there.

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Authors and Affiliations

Honorata Kaczmarek
Maria Włodarska-Kowalczuk
Joanna Legeżyńska
Marek Zajączkowski

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