The paper deals with Recent and relic phosphatic soils of ornithogenic origin which occur in ice free oasis of the maritime Antarctic Zone (Antarctic Peninsula and King George Island regions). These soils form on rocky and clay weathering covers within and around of penguin rookeries. Their morphology strongly depends on penological character of a substrate and climatic differentiation of a region. They are built of a surface layer of guano and underlying zone of a phosphatized rock. Except organic matter and unstable urates, the guano contains calcium phosphates (fluorapatite somtimes brushite) and magnesium-amonium phosphate (struvite). The phosphatized zone consists of phosphatic- silicate clays in which occur diversified aluminium-iron phosphates bearing potassium and ammonium ions (leucophosphite, minyulite, taranakite, amorphous aluminium phosphate). The guano layer is strongly reduced by erosion and weathering in ornithogenic relic soils left by penguins in areas abandoned by them during Holocene. Formation of a humus horizon of a plant origin may be observed under a vegetation cover in the relic soils. Clays of the phosphatized zone in these areas are transformed in the processes of chemical and mechanical weathering, by mass movements and frost processes.
Research in Hornsund (SW Spitsbergen) aimed to determine time distribution of heat flux in various soils of Arctic periglacial zone in spring and summer. Typical soils were analysed: tundra gleyey cryogenic soil (Pergelic Cryaquent), tundra peaty soil (Pergelic Histosot) and arctic desert soil (Pergelic Cryorthent). Research sites were located in low plains not covered with ice, near a sea, at 7—13 m a.s.l. Heat flux in soils was measured and recorded automatically every 60 s throughout a whole observation period and concurrently at three sites. In spring and summer intensive heat accumulation was observed in all examined soils. Independently on the weather, a cryogenic gleyey soil received greatest heat throughout a day. Environmental conditions have distinct influence on heat resources in soils.
On the basis of elemental composition, optical properties in the visible region, infrared spectra and thermal analysis (TG, DTG, DTA), humic acids of tundra soils in Spitsbergen are found to be more similar to fulvic acids than to humic acids of soils from other soil-climatic zones. The authors claim that it results from climatic conditions (low temperature, considerable humidity, alternation of freezing and thawing) and specific biochemical composition of tundra plants (predominance of plants devoid of lignin) which constitute substratum of the studied humic acids.
Mountain soils derived from massive rocks were studied in the northwestern Wedel Jarlsberg Land. Main soil properties were examined for collected samples. Soils were classified as lithosols with common loamy and silty composition, and small amount of colloidal fraction. Soils were mostly alkaline due to high content of CaCO3. Much more organic substance occurred at westerly- than easterly-exposed hills and located close to a sea. Examined soils contained much soluble forms of Ca, Mg and occasionally Na, little of P and K. Density of plant cover corresponded to contents of organic substance.
The dynamics of some features of arctic soils and their connection with air-water relations are presented. Investigations of 5 selected profiles were carried out in 1987. Considerable dynamics of moisture, redox potential (Eh) and oxygen diffusion rate (ODR) during the summer season were confirmed. Oscillations of these features in individual profiles and sometimes in their horizons were distinguished.
Results of field investigations in 1986 in Calypsostranda, southern coast of Bellsund, are presented. Soils of dry, wet and very wet tundra were studied. Strong skeleton, presence of carbonates, neutral or alkaline reaction, low content of available phosphorus and potassium, high content of organic carbon (in mineral soils) are the most characteristic properties of investigated soils. Regularities in vertical distribution of some components were distinguished.
Monthly and dekadal mean soil temperatures were evaluated with a use of measurements at depths of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cm, collected during the expeditions 1978—1986 and additionally at depths of 80 and 100 cm during the expeditions 1980—1986. Fourier analysis revealed a phase shift of 1 to 2 dekads between neighboring measurement depths.
On the ground of continuous records of air and soil temperature at standard levels, changes of soil temperature against changes of air temperature have been analyzed at thick and without snow cover. The first example concerns a six-day winter thaw, and the second one a four-day autumn cooling. A particular influence of energy advection has been noted. A delay of changes of soil temperature was found to increase with depth in relation to air temperature. A hypothesis on correlation between air temperature at a height of 5 cm and soil temperature at a depth of 5 cm has been verified.
Oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production in some Arctic soils were measured in different thermic and humidity conditions. Testing temperatures was following: 4, 8 and 12°C. The rate of metabolic processes was temperature and humidity dependent. In the temperature of 4°C the metabolic processes intensity was negatively correlated with humidity, however in higher temperatures the higher was the humidity the higher was also the intensity of metabolic processes. The interaction of humidity and temperature is probably to great extent responsible for low rate of decomposition processes of organic matter in polar conditions.
Average duration of a thermal winter in Hornsund has been determined for 216 days. Average soil temperature at depth of 5 cm in winter is equal —9.8°C. During a spring that lasts 35 days only, soil temperatures at depth of 5 cm indicate distribution nearest to a normal one. Soil temperature distribution in winter substantially differs from the one in spring.
Studies were performed in the summer of 1989 in the vicinity of the Polish Polar Station at Hornsund, Svalbard, in an attempt to characterize the functioning of selected tundra soils in terms of bioenergetics. The intensity of bioenergetical processes in the soil was evaluated by the rates of O2 consumption and CO2 production, measured in the laboratory under controlled hydrothermic conditions. Soils metabolic processes are markedly correlated with soil water content and dependent upon soil structure, water capacity and character of plant cover. The strongest correlation was observed in the more aerated soils with small water capacity and without vegetation. The respiratory quotient (RQ) decreased with the growth of soil moisture content. Soil metabolic activity began directly after the summer melting of the ground, when the soil temperature reached 0°C, and ceased in autumn, when temperatures fell below 0°C again.
During summer seasons of 1982 and 198S the authors collected observations on rate of soil thawing under and around shallow tundra lakes. Two lakes were studied: A on the terrace 10 m a.s.1. in northern Kafliöyra whereas B at about 40 m a.sJ. in southern margin of Sarsdyra. The lakes indicated considerable variation of water lavels (10—20 m) caused by limited water bodies (to 40—80%) at the end of the observation period. Soil thawing was studied in sections across lake basins and to 20 m around them. A thawing rate was found greater under the lakes than in their surroundings and it was noted to be in the same time the quicker the larger was the lake. Studies of the lake B proved also that increase in the reservoir depth made a greater rate and depth of summer thawing. This process varied also considerably in time. At the beginning of a polar summer the dry soil of elevated tundra thaws sooner while permafrost under water reservoirs gets conserved. Later on (in August) a quick aggradation of active layer in noted under the lake. A heat accumulated in water bodies prolongs the soil thawing as well.
Metal contents in the tundra soils (Gelic Regosols, Gelic Gleysols, Gelic Cambisols) of the maritime lowland of Kaffiöyra, in the western Spitsbergen seashore are presented in this publication. The average heave metal contents in samples collected from the depth layer 0—130 cm are follows: Fe 2.9%, Mn 392 ppm, Zn 75 ppm, Cu 23.4 ppm, Ni 24.1 ppm, Co 7.4 ppm, Pb 12.5 ppm, Cd 0.24 ppm. The surface soil layer 0 to 25 cm is poorer in Ca and Mg than the underlying layer 25 to 130 cm. The heave metal contents like Fe, Mn, Ni and Co, are also somewhat lower in the upper layer. The enrichment indices of Pb and Cd are equal in the surface soil layer 1.16 and 1.23 respectively. Correlation coefficients between each studied element and organic carbon, and, on the other hand, soil separates < 20 μm and < 2 μm are very low.
Changes taking place in weathered bedrock and vegetation of the ground moraine of Werenskiold glacier during about 50 years are presented. These results are based on phytosociological survey and analysis of the population structure of Saxifraga oppositifolia in 20 experimental fields and the analysis of physical and chemical features of the soils. In the process of succession, with chemical features not much changed and spongy structure just beginning, the number of vascular plants did not increase. In the process of succession the gradual increase in the density of S. oppositifolia population was observed. The size of its individuals and the share of flowering individuals also increased.
53 soil samples collected in the Bellsund Region in Western Spitsbergen were examined. An acid-resistant strain difficult to identify was isolated and recognized as Mycobacterium friburgensis. 54.7% of isolated strains were acid-resistant and growing at 25˚C only. They were microorganisms at borderline of Mycobacteria and Actinomycetes. Other microorganisms isolated in the studied soil samples were bacilli (55.7%) and coccaceae (15.4%).
There were tested microorganisms in differents soils at Admiralty Bay region. The physiological groups of microorganisms were restricted by the kind of organic matter. There were found in ornithogenic soils in higher number the following groups of microorganisms; proteolytic bacteria, uric acid and L-asparagine ammonifying bacteria, chitin degrading bacteria, lecithin degrading bacteria and calcium phosphate dissolving bacteria. The nitrifying bacteria were found in lower horizons of ornithogenic soils in higher number. The nitrogen fixing bacteria were found in mineral soils covered by plant associations, only. The spore-forming bacteria were detected in ornithogenic soils and in soil influenced by man.
Although the utilization of pesticides accounted for the group of persistent organic pollutants was banned years ago, a count of pesticides are still directly or indirectly a source of contamination in Europe. One of them, simazine is still allowed for use in the United States. Aim of this experiment was development of soil remediation method which could be utilized for degradation triazine class pesticides – simazine was an example used. A method for soil remediation based on ozonation processes in fluidized bed was successfully utilized for removal of simazine from contaminated soil. For the study soil highly contaminated with simazine up to the concentration of 0.05% w/w was used. Determination of the pesticide levels in soil was performed using extraction and gas chromatography. The method allowed 80% reduction of pesticide concentration level. The degradation of pesticide was accompanied with changes of physicochemical parameters of soil, i.e., decrease of pH and a increase of nitrates concentration. Despite changes in physicochemical properties of the soil, the developed method proved to be highly effective and can be successfully applied on an industrial scale.
Aluminium is one of the main soil components. Usually it is a part of non-toxic aluminosilicates but in low pH values its mobility is higher and - especially in monomeric form is toxic for plants. Selenium is an essential element necessary for animals and humans. Its compounds have anticancer and anti mutagenic character. However, its high uptake from environment, e.g. with food or water could lead to various diseases including embryonic deformity, decreased hatchling survival and death to aquatic organisms. Soil contamination with aluminium leads to disturbances in plant growth as a result of low calcium and magnesium uptake. High concentrations of selenium lead to its accumulation in plant tissues what is the beginning of selenium fate in food chain. In this work a cultivated layer of soils located near five industry plants in the town of Opole (southern Poland) were investigated. Aluminium and selenium content in soils is an effect of two factors: its natural occurrence in rocks (natural content) and human activity - especially chemicals from agriculture, industrial and transport pollutants. Aluminium was determined in the range of 3440 to 14804 mg/kg d.w. Obtained results of selenium concentration covered the range from 27.1 to 958.1 μg/kg d.w. These results are slightly higher than concentrations noted in natural or non-polluted soils, but still low. These amounts of selenium could have more positive than negative effects. Aluminium and selenium concentrations were discussed concurrently with base soils parameters, such as pH, EC and granulometric fractions composition.
Peat soils (FAO — Gelic Histosols) in the southern Bellsund coast area occur on slopes and terraces. They are formed in places favourable for plant growth, i.e. adequately moistened and fertilized largely with bird excrements. These formations belong to moss peats which are generally decomposed weakly and moderately to about 0.5 m depth. Their content of organic matter is equal to about 30-90%, but it is higher in terrace peats. The latter are more acidified than slope peats. The reaction both of slope and terrace peat soils is as a rule, slightly acid or neutral, and CaC03 content does not exceed 10%. As regards the content of macroelements, that of Al is the highest followed by Ca, Fe, Mg and P. Little K and Ti, and only traces of Na are found. Microelements occur in the following sequence: Mn, Zn, Cu, Cr, Ni, Pb, Co, Cd. Particularly Mn, Zn as well as Cu and Cd were found in a higher concentration. Slope peat soils are richer in macro- and microelements than terrace ones, e.g. 4 times in the case of Mg. Peat soils poor in ash parts (up to 25% ash), contain the fewest elements. Some regularities concern also a vertical distribution of the particular profiles but only with regard to terrace peat soils.
Soil-plant conditions in selected valleys typical for Bellsund Region are varying from hardly favourable (Skilvika), to favourable (Calypsostranda) and medium (Lyellstranda). Plant growth and development of a soil cover are favoured by grain size composition (loamy sands and light loams), quick warming-up of a soil, relative stability of a ground, location and shape of valleys, etc. Unfavourable soil-plant conditions result from too light or too heavy grain size composition, considerable dynamics of ground mechanical features and high compactness of a soil. Varying contents of carbonates and alkaline reaction (except for almost neutral reaction in organic horizons) were typical for the studied soils. Thickness of humus horizons as well as contents of organic C vary at the three studied sites. Significant is high concentration of easily available Ca and Mg, sometimes also of Na.
The results of several years of studies concerning the role of penguin rookeries in the functioning of the land ecosystems in the maritime Antarctic are summarized. The origins of phosphatic ornithogenic soil in the areas of currently active penguin rookeries arc presented. In the maritime Antarctic occurs relatively fast microbiological decomposition and mineralization of large amounts of excrements carried into coastal area by penguins during breeding period. Chemically aggressive water solutions of guano react with underlaying rocks. This process brings about the occurrence of wide zones of phosphatization. These processes cause the appearance of the series of phosphate minerals whose composition and properties depend on the changing physical and chemical conditions of the soil environment. It has been discovered that in the rookeries for various reasons abandoned by penguins phosphates are still present in large amounts and, gradually changed and washed out, have been for hundreds, or even thousands years a source of nutrients for plants growing in poor Antarctic land ecosystems. These soils came to be called the relic ornithogenic soils of the maritime Antarctic. The stages of plant colonization in the abandoned penguin rookeries were traced. The differences in the fate of the organic matter carried out from the sea to the coastal area by sea-birds in various climatic zones were discussed.
Species diversity of Collembola was studied in the vicinity of Polish Polar Station, Hornsund area, West Spitsbergen. A list of 32 species has been compiled, and their distribution over microlandscapes and microhabitats in the study area has been presented.
Communities of soil invertebrates were studied in 4 types of tundra ecosystems on Spitsbergen (Hornsund area) during the vegetative season of 1989. Taxonomic composition, density and biomass of soil fauna were evaluated in the sites along a gradient of increase in the biogenic impact of bird colonies, i.e. in polygonal tundra, mossy/lichenous tundra, Calliergon stramineum moss association, and mossy associations near a colony of Little Auks (Alle die). Average total biomass of soil invertebrates increased in this site sequence from 1.1 to 25.0 g wet weight x m-2 (mainly due to collembolans and nematodes). Seasonal dynamics of all groups of soil meso- and macrofauna (Nematoda, Enchytraeidae, Aranei, Acarina, Collembola, Coleoptera, Diptera larvae) is presented and discussed.
Studies on the thermics, humidity and refreezing rate of two types of periglacial soils of the marine lowlands of the Hornsund area (SW Spitsbergen) were carried out during spring ablation of the snow cover (1.06.—30.06.1987). Structural soil and peat soil (moss community) were chosen. The soils were studied in places almost completely devoid of the snow cover. A considerable differentiation of temperature in vertical profile and of humidity of surface layer in both soils were found. The dynamics of ground water table and the course and depth of spring refreezing of both soils were also different. The differences reflect the different origin of soils and consequently, their different grain-size distribution, physical properties and morphology of both types of soils as well as their water balance.
A high content of fluorine was found in ornithogenic soils around penguin rookeries on King George Island. South Shetland Islands. Fluorine is inherent in 0.11% in krill (Euphausia superba). eaten by penguins. Fluorine content in penguins excreta increased approximately to 0.43%. and after decomposition and leaching to 1.03%. The concentration grew during mineralization of organic matter in guano (up to 2.2%). In a surface layer of guano fluorine occurred in apatite. A phosphatization was noted in a subsurface zone as the result of a reaction between guano leachates and weathered volcanic rocks. In the upper part of this zone near the large rookeries a fluorine occurred in minyulite (aluminium phosphate containing potassium and fluorine) and fluorine content here reached 3.5%. Sometimes fluorine was also bound with amorphous aluminium phosphate (up. to 2.0%). formed as a result of incongruently dissolving of minyulite in pure water.