Observations from 1978—81, 1983 and 1985 collected at the Polish Polar Arctowski Station (King George Island, South Shetland Islands) were used to calculate frequencies of wind directions in 30° sectors and mean air temperatures observed at each wind direction. Results reveal that all over the year the warmest air masses flow onto the South Shetland Islands from the northwest while the coolest ones from the southeast and east.
226 taxa (180 identified to species) of benthic invertebrates are recorded from Admiralty Bay on the basis of the material collected by Polish Antarctic Expeditions. Main groups concerned are Folychaeta, Mollusca, Amphipoda and Echinodermata. For each species the bathymetric range, the frequency, the abundance and the geographical distribution are given.
Contents of PCBs was investigated using the gas chromatography method in the tissue of four Antarctic migratory birds: Oceanites oceanicus, Larus dominicanus, Catharacta skua and Sterna vittata, and the three penguin species: Pvgoscelis adeliae, P. papua and P. antarctica. Samples were collected at King George Island in February 1978 and, for comparison, in March 1983. The highest PCBs content was recorded in the adipose tissue of O. oceanicus and C. skua (15.7 and 1.2 ppm). Differences in the content of these compounds in the tissue of various penguin species in 1978 was observed. The mean cumulation level of PCBs in the adipose tissue of penguins was higher in 1983 than in 1978. Differences in the level of PCBs contents in the tissue of migratory birds were related to their winter migrations to areas polluted to various degress with PCBs remains. A tendency to the increase of the contamination of penguin tissues with PCBs was observed. This tendency was related to the increase of vhe pollution of the Antarctic environment with these compounds.
Net phytoplankton cell numbers in 50 m water column of Admiralty Bay ranged between 0.2 x 10 5 x m-2 on 24 August 1990 and 2.3 x 10 7 x m-2 on 15 November 1990. Cluster analysis has confirmed the presence of two groups of samples: spring and summer ones (October to April), rich in cells and in species, and, on the other hand, winter samples (June to August) impoverished in algae. Spring and summer fluctuations of diatoms were mainly due to Corethron criophilum, Rhizosolenia alata and its varieties, R. hebetata f. semispina, Thalassiosira spp., Chaetoceros spp., and Nitzschia spp. (Fragilariopsis and Pseudonitzschia groups). The abundance and succession of species in Admiralty Bay reflect seasonal differences in diatom growth; they also reflect mixed populations of the Weddell and Bellingshausen seas entering Admiralty Bay via Bransfield Strait. Striking poverty of algae in some summer samples can most likely be attributed to zooplankton grazing.
The present paper contains a list of 104 taxa of lichens and lichenicolous fungi, found in the Cape Lions Rump, Site of Special Scientific Interest No. 34 (King George Island, Antarctica), with their distribution and ecological analysis. A provisional vegetation map of the area is also provided. During the field survey the data were collected using the cartogram method in a grid of squares 250 x 250 m. The current abundance and spatial distribution of lichen species provides baseline data for long-term monitoring biological changes.
A population survey of southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonina Linnaeus, 1758) was conducted at Nelson Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica, during the 2001 breeding season. Two breeding sites were identified, one of which had not been previously reported. The largest breeding site was located at Duthoit Point, with a total of 128 females, 111 pups and 7 weanlings distributed in 6 harems along 3 km of coast. The new breeding group was observed at Harmony Point, where 3 females with their pups were found. This is the first report on southern elephant seal numbers during the breeding period for the Nelson Island coast.
The lithospheric transect South Shetland Islands (SSI) — Antarctic Peninsula (AP) includes: the Shetland Trench (subductional) and the adjacent portion of the SE Pacific oceanic crust; the South Shetland Microplate (younger magmatic arc superimposed on continental crust); the Bransfield Rift and Platform (younger back-arc basin); the Trinity Horst (older magmatic arc superimposed on continental crust); the Gustav Rift (Late Cenozoic) and James Ross Platform (older back-arc basin). Deep seismic sounding allowed to trace the Moho discontinuity at about 30 km under South Shetlands and at 38—42 km in the northern part of Antarctic Peninsula (Trinity Horst), under typical continental crust. Modified crust was recognized under Bransfield Strait. Geological interpretation based on deep seismic refraction and multichannel reflection soundings, and surface geological data, is presented.
Luticola muticopsis is a characteristic species of polar and subpolar regions. Its morphological variability is not yet precisely described. In the investigated population the cells from capitate to shortened, flat rounded tips were observed. The range of dimensions of specimens was 8.8-40.6 μm x 5.5-17.6 μm, striae 11-22/10 μm; this range considerably exceeded that found in holotype diagnosis.
In the material collected in 26 stations along the course of three creeks in the vicinity of Polish Antarctic Station 183 taxa of algae have been identified: 25 of Cyanophyta, 123 of Bacillariophyceae, 2 of Xanthophyceae, 2 of Chrysophyceae and 31 of Chlorophyta. The highest species diversity was found in the algal community in Creek II (132 taxa), the second place was occupied by the "Petrified Forest Creek" (97 taxa), and the least diversified algal community was that from the "Ornithologists' Creek" (73 taxa).