Adult females of a predatory fish, the blackfin icefish, Chaenocephalus aceratus examined at the South Shetland Islands and South Orkney Islands were by several orders of magnitude more infected with Acanthocephala than the males and immature females. Such phenomenon has not been observed in the neritic zone at South Georgia. Cystacanths of Corynosoma hamanni and Corynosoma pseudohamanni were the dominant parasites in Admiralty Bay, whereas Corynosoma bullosum was the dominant in the open sea off the South Shetland Islands and South Georgia, and in the sub-coastal waters off the South Orkney Islands. However, the dominance of C. bullosum was observed in several hosts in Admiralty Bay and the co-dominance of C. bullosum, C. hamanni, and C. pseudohamanni in one mature female in the neritic zone at the South Shetland Islands. Probably, these fish previously lived in the open sea. Cystacanths of Corynosoma arctocephali and Corynosoma shackletoni occurred in the fish in Admiralty Bay and off South Georgia. The former parasite was present also off the South Orkney Islands. One cystacanth of Andracantha baylisi was found off South Georgia. Two echinorhynchids, Aspersentis megarhynchus and Metacanthocephalus dalmori, occurred in the alimentary tracts of the fish caught in Admiralty Bay and one specimen of Echinorhynchus petrotschenkoi off the South Shetland Islands. The highest infection, amounting to 816 acanthocephalans, was found in a mature female in Admiralty Bay. One cystacanth of C. hamanni occurred in a single immature fish caught in the sub-coastal area off Deception Island.
This study investigated leaf mesophyll cells of Caryophyllaceae plants growing in polar regions – Cerastium alpinum and Silene involucrata from the Hornsund region of Spitsbergen island (Svalbard Archipelago, Arctic), and Colobanthus quitensis from the Admiralty Bay region on King George Island (South Shetland Islands, West Antarctic). Ultra− structural changes were analyzed in mesophyll protoplasts of plants growing in natural Arctic and Antarctic habitats and plants grown in a greenhouse, including plants exposed to short−term cold stress under se mi−controlled conditions. Cell organelles of plants growing in natural polar habitats and greenhouse−grown plants were characterized by significant morphological plasticity. Chloroplasts of plants studied in this work formed variously shaped protrusions and invaginations that visibly increased the contact area between adjacent cell compartments and reduced the distance between organelles. S. involucrata plants grown under greenhouse conditions, tested by us in this wor k, were characterized by highly dynamic cell nuclei with single or multiple invaginations of the nuclear membrane and the presence of channels and cisternae filled with cytoplasm and organelles. Crystalline inclusion proteins were observed in the cell nuclei of C. quitensis between nuclear membranes and in the direct proximity of heterochromatin. Our study revealed significant conformational dynamics of organelles, manifested by variations in the optical density of matrices, membranes and envelopes, in particular in C. quitensis , which could suggest that the analyzed Caryophyllaceae taxa are well adapted to severe climate and changing conditions in polar regions.
During the Polish Antarctic Geodynamic Expeditions, 1979-91, a wide geophysical and geological programme was performed in the transition zone between the Drake and South Shetland microplates and the Antarctic Plate, in West Antarctica. In the Bransfield Strait area, and along passive continental margin of the Antarctic Peninsula, 20 deep seismic sounding profiles were made. The interpretation yielded two - dimensional models of the crust and lithosphere down to 80 km depth. In the coastal area between the Palmer Archipelago and the Adelaide Island, the Earth's crust has a typical continental structure. Its thickness varies from 36 to 42 km in the coastal area, decreasing to about 25-28 km toward Pacific Ocean. In the surrounding of Bransfield Strait, the Moho boundary depth ranges from 10 km beneath the South Shetland Trench to 40 km beneath Antarctic Peninsula. The crustal structure beneath the Bransfield Strait trough is highly anomalous. Presence of a high-velocity body, with longitudinal seismic wave velocities Vp > 7,0 km/s, was detected there in the 6-32 km depth range. This inhomogeneity was interpreted as an intrusion, coinciding with the Deception-Bridgeman volcanic line. In the transition zone from the Drake Passage to the South Shetland Islands, a seismic boundary in the lower lithosphere occurs at a depth ranging from 35 to 80 km. The dip of both the Moho and this boundary is approximately 25° towards the southeast, indicating the direction of subduction of the Drake Plate lithosphere under the Antarctic Plate. Basing on the results of four Polish Geodynamic Expeditions, the map of crustal thickness in West Antarctica is presented.
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.