This project aimed to isolate and characterize volcanic soil Actinobacteria from Deception Island, Antarctic. A total of twenty−four Actinobacteria strains were isolated using four different isolation media (Starch casein agar, R2 agar, Actinomycete isolation agar, Streptomyces agar) and characterized basing on 16S rRNA gene sequences. Tests for secondary metabolites were performed using well diffusion method to detect antimicrobial activities against eight different pathogens, namely Staphyloccocus aureus ATCC 33591, Bacillus megaterium , Enterobacter cloacae , Klebsiella oxytoca , S. enterica serotype Enteritidis, S. enterica serotype Paratyphi ATCC 9150, S. enterica serotype Typhimurium ATCC 14028 and Vibrio cholerae . Antimicrobial properties were detected against Salmonella paratyphi A and Salmonella typhimurium at the concentration of 0.3092±0.08 g/ml. The bioactive strains were identified as Gordonia terrae , Leifsonia soli and Terrabacter lapilli. Results from this study showed that the soil of Deception Island is likely a good source of isolation for Actinobacteria. The volcanic soil Actinobacteria are potentially rich source for discovery of antimicrobial compounds.
The first records from samples from the IceAGE cruise ME85/3 in 2011 include seven species of Caudofoveata with a distribution range in Icelandic waters. From this first cruise of the project, two new records for Iceland have been registered. Psilodens balduri sp. n. is new to science and Falcidens halanychi , with a known distribution in the American North−Atlantic, is new to Iceland. The current study thus increases the number of known caudofoveate species around Iceland to nine.
During August–September 2011, scientists aboard the R/V Meteor sampled marine animals around Iceland for the IceAGE project (Icelandic marine Animals: Genetics and Ecology). The last sample was taken at a site known as “The Rose Garden” off north− eastern Iceland and yielded a large number of two species of Proneomenia (Mollusca, Aplacophora, Solenogastres, Cavibelonia, Proneomeniidae). We examined isolated sclerites, radulae, and histological section series for both species. The first, Proneomenia sluiteri Hubrecht, 1880, was originally described from the Barents Sea. This is the first record of this species in Icelandic waters. However, examination of aplacophoran lots collected during the earlier BIOICE campaign revealed additional Icelandic localities from which this species was collected previously. The second represents a new species of Proneomenia, which, unlike other known representatives of the genus, broods juveniles in the mantle cavity. We provide a formal description, proposing the name Proneomenia custodiens sp. n. Interestingly, the sclerites of brooded juveniles are scales like those found in the putatively plesiomorphic order Pholidoskepia rather than hollow needles like those of the adults of this species. Cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) DNA barcode sequences are provided for both species of Proneomenia .
The Pleistocene and post−Pleistocene evolutionary history of many North Atlantic intertidal invertebrate species is well known, but the evolutionary history of the deep North Atlantic fauna is poorly understood, specifically whether colonization of the deep North Atlantic paralleled the patterns observed in shallow water. Contemporary pan−Atlantic species distributions could result from several colonization pathways that connected different regions of the Atlantic at different times ( e.g. Arctic, Antarctic or Panamanian path− ways). To test potential colonization pathways we quantified geographic variation in nu− clear and mitochondrial markers from Atlantic samples of Nucula atacellana, a pan−Atlantic deep−sea protobranch bivalve, using N. profundorum in the eastern central Pacific as an outgroup. We combined existing 16S data from North and South Atlantic populations of N. atacellana with new sequences of 16S, COI, and an intron of calmodulin from those populations, and newly sampled populations near Iceland. Population genetic analyses indicated a subtropical expansion via the Central American Seaway. We found no evidence for Transarctic migration to the Atlantic in N. atacellana , which suggests that colonization pathways may differ significantly between shallow− and deep−water fauna.
Brittle stars (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea) comprise over 2,000 species, all of which inhabit marine environments and can be abundant in the deep sea. Morphological plasticity in number and shape of skeletal parts, as well as variable colors, can complicate correct species identification. Consequently, DNA sequence analysis can play an important role in species identification. In this study we compared the genetic variability of the mitochondrial cytochrome c subunit I gene (COI) and the nuclear small subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU, 18S rDNA) to morphological identification of 66 specimens of 11 species collected from the North Atlantic in Icelandic waters. Also two species delimitation tools, Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery (ABGD) and General Mixed Yule Coalescence Method (GMYC) were performed to test species hypotheses. The analysis of both gene fragments was successful to discriminate between species and provided new insights into some morphological species hypothesis. Although less divergent than COI, it is helpful to use the SSU region as a complementary fragment to the barcoding gene.
Five species of Tardigrada were found in two moss samples collected from the Hornsund area (Ariekammen, Spitsbergen) including one new to science. The new species, Isohypsibius karenae sp. n., differs from the other similar congeners mainly by having a different type of cuticular sculpture, a different macroplacoid length sequence, by the presence of lunules and cuticular bars under claws as well as by some morphometric characters. The current study increases the number of Isohypsibius species known from Svalbard to thirteen.
A rich collection of exceptionally preserved Lower Triassic fossil fish remains obtained during the Polish Spitsbergen Expedition of 2005 includes many isolated teeth believed to belong to a saurichthyid actinopterygian. Stable isotope analysis ( d 13 C and d 18 O) of putative Saurichthys teeth from the Hornsund area (South Spitsbergen) acting as a paleoenvironmental proxy has permitted trophic−level reconstruction and comparison with other Lower Triassic fish teeth from the same location. The broader range of d 13 C values obtained for durophagous teeth of the hybodont selachian, Lissodus , probably reflects its migratory behaviour and perhaps a greater feeding diversity. X−ray microcomputed tomography (XMT), a non−destructive technique, is used for the first time in order to elucidate de − tails of tooth histology, the results of which suggest that the method has considerable potential as a future analytical tool.
We assessed culturable soil microfungal diversity in various habitats around Hornsund, Spitsbergen in the High Arctic, using potato dextrose agar ( PDA) medium. Thermal growth classification of the fungi obtained was determined by incubating them in 4 ° Cand 25 ° C, permitting separation of those with psychrophilic, psychrotolerant and mesophilic characteristics. In total, 68 fungal isolates were obtained from 12 soil samples, and grouped into 38 mycelial morphotypes. Intergenic spacer regions of these morphotypes were sequenced, and they represented 25 distinct taxonomic units, of which 21 showed sufficient similarity with available sequence data in NCBI to be identified to species level. Soil under ornithogenic influence showed the highest species diversity, including sequences assigned to Mortierella macrocystis, M. elongata, Mortierella sp., Cudoniella sp., Varicosporium elodeae , Beauveria bassiana , Geomyces pannorum , Penicillium sp. and Atradidymella muscivora . Fourteen taxa were classified as psychrophilic, seven mesophilic, and four psychrotolerant.
This paper presents the first results of measurements of global solar radiation, albedo, ground surface and 2−m air temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed and direction carried out in the central part of Spitsbergen Island in the period 2008–2010. The study site was located on the coastal ice−free zone of Petuniabukta (north−western branch of Billefjorden), which was strongly affected by local topography, character of the ground surface, and sea ice extent. Temporal analysis of the selected meteorological parameters shows both strong seasonal and inter−diurnal variation affected by synoptic−scale weather systems, channelling and drainage effects of the fjords and surrounding glaciers. The prevailing pattern of atmospheric circulation primarily determined the variation in global solar radiation, wind speed, ground surface and 2−m air temperatures. Furthermore, it was found that thermal differences between Petuniabukta and the nearest meteorological station (Svalbard Lufthavn) differ significantly due to differences in sea ice concentrations and ice types in the fjords during the winter and spring months.
Vegetation succession in front of five retreating glaciers was studied using phytosociological relevés (60) located at different distances between the Little Ice Age (LIA) moraines and the present glacier fronts around Petunia Bay. Approximate dating of succession stages was based on a study of the changing position of glacier fronts in the past approximately 100 years. The described succession corresponds to the uni−directional, non−replacement model of succession. All constituent species, except one, present in the nearby old tundra have colonized the glacier forelands since the end of the LIA. The first species appeared about 5 years after deglaciation. The latest succession stages closely resemble the old tundra.
Antarctic plants experience UV−B stress and for their survival they have been showing various adaptive strategies. The first line of defence is to screen UV−B radiation before it reaches the cell, then to minimize damage within the cells through other protective strategies, and finally to repair damage once it has occurred. A fifteen days experiment was designed to study lichen: Dermatocarpon sp. and Acarospora gwynnii under natural UV and below UV filter frames in the Indian Antarctic Station Maitri region of Schirmacher Oasis, East Antarctica. Changes in UV absorbing compounds, total phenolics, total carotenoids and chlorophyll content were studied. The change in total phenolics and total carotenoid content was significant in both Dermatocarpon sp. and A. gwynnii indicating that the increase in UV absorbing compounds, total phenolics and total carotenoid content act as a protective mechanism against the deleterious effect of UV−B radiations, whereas the change in chlorophyll content was not significant in both lichen species.
Two new species of desmosomatid isopods, Eugerdella margaretae sp. n. and Eugerdella celata sp. n. are described from Admiralty Bay, King George Island, South Shetlands. Information is added to the original description of Eugerdella falklandica (Nordenstam, 1933) based on re−examination of the holotype. Both new species are similar to E. falklandica, for example by the body shape, the shape of pleotelson and presence of rows of four horn−like spines on the head. They are distinguished from E. falklandica by the number of setae on pereopod articles. Eugerdella celata sp. n. is distinguished by the presence of ventral spines on pereonites 1–4
Remains referred to Phorusrhacidae from the Cretaceous and Paleogene of the Antarctic Peninsula, and mainly known through informal and succinct descriptions, are reassigned here to other bird lineages recorded in the Antarctic continent. New records of ratites, pelagornithid birds, and penguins are added to the Upper Eocene avifauna of Seymour Island. Moreover, the original allocation for an alleged cursorial seriema−like bird from the Maastrichtian of Vega Island is refuted, and its affinities with foot−propelled diving birds are indicated. The indeterminate Pelagornithidae specimen represents the largest pseudo−toothed bird known so far. It is concluded that there is no empirical evidence for the presence of terror birds in Antarctica.
A new thambematid species, Thambema thunderstruckae sp. n., is described from King George Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctic. Specimens of the new species were collected during two Polish Antarctic Expeditions in 1985 and 2007. It is the first record of this family from the Southern Hemisphere. The new species most closely resembles Thambema golanachum Harrison, 1987 and T. fiatum Harrison, 1987 but can be distinguished from both species by the shape of male pleopod 1, the number of claws on pereopods 2–7 and the setation of pereopod 1 and 2 carpus, respectively. A key to all known genera and species in the family Thambematidae is also provided.
A total of 212 soil profiles were described and assessed for physical and chemical properties during July 2006 as part of an Ecological Land Classification study along the Churchill River in central Labrador. Two major soil types were found in the study area along the Churchill River: Podzols and Organic soils. Podzolic soils covered approximately 60% and Organic soils occurred in 24% of the study area. Approximately 15% of the study area was classified as rock and other unconsolidated material. Summary results and a sub−set of the following soil units (from 10 soil profiles) are presented here and were distinguished according to the Canadian System of Soil Classification (CSSC) (Soil Classification Working Group 1998): Orthic Humo−Ferric Podzol, Placic Ferro−Humic Podzol, Gleyed Humo−Ferric Podzol, Sombric Humo−Ferric Podzol, Gleyed Regosol and Orthic Luvic Gleysol. The basic properties of the soil units identified above included: (i) morpho− logical descriptions of soil profiles with differentiated horizons; (ii) field−texture tests were used to determine classes and physical properties of sands, silts, loams and occurrence of mottles; and (iii) a range of soil chemical composition of different horizons ( e.g. , pH, total organic carbon [TOC] and select metal concentrations) which indicated no anthropogenic contamination above background concentrations in the area.
A new genus and species of heteronemertean from the Antarctic (Bellingshausen Sea), Oligodendrorhynchus hesperides , is described and illustrated. Some morphological features with major systematic significance are following: the mode of branching of the proboscis and its low number of terminal branches; the lack of horizontal lateral cephalic slits but in their place a pair of shallow epidermal depressions; a gelatinous amorphous connective stratum between the outer longitudinal and circular muscle layers; the presence of a rhynchocoelic nerve; isolated fibres of the rhynchocoel circular muscle layer interwoven with bundles of the adjacent body−wall inner longitudinal muscle fibres in the intestinal region. Other anatomical characters which can also be used to distinguish the new taxon from existing heteronemertean species that have a branched proboscis are also discussed.
A 6 km long stretch of the coast of Calypsostranda between Skilvika and Josephbukta, situated on the western side of Recherchefjorden, was investigated. It is made of an accumulative marine terrace at a height of 2–8 m a.s.l. (terrace 1) and width of 40–180 m, divided by a cliffed section in the frontal moraines of Renardbreen. From the character and intensity of changes, the area was divided into 6 zones. The aim was to analyse the dynamics of changes within coastal zone from 1936 to 2007 and to characterise the influence of various morphogenetic factors (marine, fluvial, cryospheric). The important element of this study has been to determine sources and directions of sediment transport. The dynamics of changes of coastal zone in the Calypsostranda region was established from archival maps and precise GPS measurements for the periods: 1936–1960, 1960–1990, 1990–2000, 2000–2005, 2005–2006, 2006–2007. Comparing the extension of shoreline between 1936 and 2007 showed that there was more erosion than accumulation. Nearly 110 000 m 2 of the area of terrace 1 decreased, whereas about 77 000 m 2 appeared. The net balance for 1936–2007 was about −32 700 m 2 , on average over the whole length of the shoreline, it re − treated by 5.7 m (0.08 m a −1 ). The cease of sediment delivery in the extramarginal sandur fans area of Renardbreen caused intensification of marine processes, that made the shore − line retreat by over 100 m. Continuing sediment delivery from the Scottelva catchment, with contribution of material from erosion of the north end of the shoreline studies, caused the aggradation of coastal zone by over 60 m near its mouth.
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
Between 1979 and 2007, various sampling projects from the Polish Arctowski Research Station in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Antarctica, collected a diverse assemblage of pycnogonids, inter alia . Examination of this material has revealed 24 species in 11 genera and six families: all of this material is described. Samples were from poorly− sorted fine−sand to coarse−silt substrata, at depths between 27 and 405 m. The diverse assemblage was of species consistent with the known pycnogonid fauna of these depths in the South Shetlands and the Palmer Archipelago region, and includes a number of species re− corded for only the second time since the types. As typical for Antarctic waters, the predominant and most diverse genus was Nymphon (nine species); the prevalent species was Nymphon eltaninae , not Nymphon australe : implications for the apparent wide−distribution of records of the latter species are discussed. These records increase the biogeographical range of Nymphon subtile and Nymphon punctum from Subantarctic waters to the Scotia Sea
A significant limit to current understanding of cold coast evolution is the paucity of field observations regarding development of rocky coastlines and, in particular, lack of precise recognition of mechanisms controlling rock coast geomorphology in polar climates. Results are presented from a pilot survey of rock resistance using Schmidt Hammer Rock Tests (SHRT) across the recently deglacierized Nordenskioldbreen forefield and coastal zone, in central Spitsbergen, Svalbard. The aim is to improve understanding of the effects of rock weathering on high latitude coasts. SHRT across a field of roches moutonnées of metamorphic rocks, uncovered from ice over the last century and exposed to the operation of littoral processes, demonstrated significant relationships between rock surface resistance and distance from present shoreline, distance from the ice cliff as well as thickness of the snow cover. Sites closest to the present−day shoreline were characterized by lower resistance in comparison with more inland locations. The result support models that advocate intensification of weathering processes in cold region coastal settings.
The aim of this study was to provide an estimation of climate variability in the Hornsund area in Southern Spitsbergen in the period 1976-2100. The climatic variables were obtained from the Polar-CORDEX initiative in the form of time series of daily air temperature and precipitation derived from four global circulation models (GCMs) following representative concentration pathways (RCP) RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 emission scenarios. In the first stage of the analysis, simulations for the reference period from 1979 to 2005 were compared with observations at the Polish Polar Station Hornsund from the same period of time. In the second step, climatic projections were derived and monthly and annual means/sums were analysed as climatic indices. Following the standard methods of trend analysis, the changes of these indices over three time periods - the reference period 1976-2005, the near-future period 2021-2050, and far-future period 2071-2100 - were examined. The projections of air temperature were consistent. All analysed climate models simulated an increase of air temperature with time. Analyses of changes at a monthly scale indicated that the largest increases were estimated for winter months (more than 11°C for the far future using the RCP 8.5 scenario). The analyses of monthly and annual sums of precipitation also indicated increasing tendencies for changes with time, with the differences between mean monthly sums of precipitation for the near future and the reference period similar for each months. In the case of changes between far future and reference periods, the highest increases were projected for the winter months.
Pigments (chloropigments-a and carotenoids) in sediments and macroalgae samples, collected in Hornsund, in July 2015 and July 2016, were analysed (HPLC) in this work. In spite of the aerobic conditions and the periodic intensive solar irradiation in the Arctic environment, neither of which favour pigment preservation in water column and surface sediments, our results indicate that these compounds can provide information about phytoplankton composition, primary production and environmental conditions in this region. The sum of chloropigments-a, a marker of primary production, in the Hornsund sediments varied from 0.40 to 14.97 nmol/g d.w., while the sum of carotenoids ranged from 0.58 to 8.08 nmol/g d.w. Pheophorbides-a and pyropheophorbides-a made up the highest percentage in the sum of chloropigments-a in these sediments, supplying evidence for intensive zooplankton and/or zoobenthos grazing. Among the carotenoids, fucoxanthin and its derivatives (19'-hexanoyloxyfucoxanthin and 19'-hexanoyloxy-4-ketofucoxanthin) contributed the highest percentage, which points to the occurrence mainly of diatoms and/or haptophytes in the water. The pigment markers show that the input of macroalgae to the total biomass could be considerable only in the intertidal zone.