At the ice edge krill undergoes diurnal migrations with the period of 12 hours and amplitude of about 6 meters. The mean depth of krill occurrence is 41 m, shallower then for open waters. In our opinion these migration parameters are characteristic of juvenile adolescent krill dominating at the ice edge.
During SIBEX the acoustically evaluated amount of krill in the Bransfield Strait and Drake Passage was very low with the mean density 3.24 individuals/m2 and 4.29 individuals/m2 accordingly. Any substantial quantities of krill were found North-West from the Elephant Island and North from the King George Island, where the density of krill exceeded 1000 individuals/m2 (about 100 t/nM2]). The total biomass was estimated at 70590 ton in the Bransfield Strait and at 122470 ton in the Drake Passage, which was many times less than during FIBEX 81, especially in the Bransfield Strait.
Using a thin layer chromatography the content and composition of krill lipids was examined in different sex and maturity stages. The content of lipids decreased in the following sequence: immature males — females with eggs — juvenile specimens — spent females — mature males. In females the differences concerned mainly phospholipids and waxes, in males — triacylglicerols; this fact proves the different utilisation of lipids for reproduction in both sexes.
A composition of lipids of some Antarctic Crustacea (Euphausia superba. E. triacantha. Thysanoessa macrura and Mysidacea gen. sp. indet.) caught in the Admiralty Bay (South Shetlands) was compared. Lipids of E. superba differed in low content of waxes that evidences for different management of lipids than in other examined Crustacea.
The photo-oxidability of lipids taken from 32 samples of krill from different dates of catch has been examined for photooxidation. Relations were indicated between the rate of accumulation of peroxides in the process of lipids, exposure and content of lipids in krill, its iodine value and amount number of carotenoids.
On the basis of acoustically registered cross-sections of krill aggregations, regular, irregular and layer forms were distinguished. Regular forms are most frequently observed during spring and in the day time, while irregular forms are most frequent during summer and night hours. The density histograms made for two hour intervals clearly show the day-night difference, but the seasonal (spring, summer) difference is less pronounced. Mean density of swarm is lowest during the night and reaches a maximum in early morning hours. The mean volume backscattering strength values (Sv) for spring and summer are nearly identical. We suggest that regular forms correspond to foraging swarms and irregular forms to feeding swarms as described by Hamner (1984).
An attempt at assessing the correlation between the content of fluoride in the Antarctic krill from various fishery and its.biological condition was carried out Fluoride was determined with the Dolan method, which was modified by the present authors. No statistically significant correlation was found between the degree of sexual maturity and fluoride content. There was no decisive statistical relation between the body weight and body length of individuals and the content of fluoride in the Antarctic krill.
Concentration of Zn, Cu, Cd, Pb and Co have been determined in Antarctic water (South Shetland Islands) and in krill exoskeletons with the help of atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Concentrations of these metals both in sea-water and in krill exoskeleton are in order Zn > Cu > Cd > Ni > Pb > Co. Comparing concentrations of these metals in sea-water to their concentrations in krill exoskeleton, the factors have been calculated giving a list of metals in the order of krill chitin ability, which is Ni > Cu > Zn > Cd > Pb > Co accumulation. The highest accumulation factors for Ni and Cu point out to the special role played by these metals in krill life.
The amount and composition of lipids m some Antarctic animals were studied. The material consisted of crustaceans (Euphausia superba, Paramoera sp., Orchomene sp.), tunicates (Salpa thompsoni) and vertebrates (Notothenia rossi marmorata and Hydrurga leptonyx). The author's data are discussed on the background of available literature information.
In the investigated area the overall abundance of krill was small and was increasing with the distance from ice. However, with the data available, it was not possible to decide whether this increase was related to the ice border or was a part of a larger scale phenomenon. The depth distributions as well as the mean values of krill depth were similar to those of open water both in this study and reported in literature.
The highest infestation by phoronts (resting stages) of Apostoma ciliates forms 1, 2, is restricted to the 3-th and 4-th pairs of E. superba thoracic limbs. They occur mostly on meropodites of endopodite and plumose setae of exopodite. The trophonts (trophic stage) of those Apostoma are present in large numbers in krill's tissue. The life cycle of those histophagous Apostoma include also free-living stage - tomit. Swarm formed by krill seems to be a reason for the common and extensive infestation by protozoans.
Results of hydroacoustic investigations of krill biomass carried out in the South Shetland Island region between October 1986 and January 1987 are presented. A considerable difference in the krill biomass between Antarctic spring and summer was recorded. Initially observations were conducted close to Elephant Island, in the period just after the retreated of compact ice cover. Krill then aggregated only in swarms, the density of which frequently exceeded 100 t nM-2 . In the region of Polygon I (30—31 October 1986) the total estimated biomass was 26899 t, in the region of Polygon II (6—10 November 1986) it was 25827 t. Investigations were repeated in January 1987 obtaining 112372 t in the Bransfield Strait and 390309 t in the region of Elephant Island. The results are presented in tables and maps.
On the basis of hydroacoustic observations it is shown that migrations of krill during spring are stronger than during summer. Migrations of krill are described by the function: H(t) = A + Bcos((2ᴨt/T + φ ) + C c o s ( 2 ᴨt/T + φ ), where: H is depth of the mass center of krill biomass, A — mean depth of krill occurrence, В — amplitude of migrations with period T! = 24 h, С — amplitude of migrations with period T2 = 12 h, (φ1, φ2 — phases of migration process with T, = 24 and T2 = 12 hours. Parameters of the equation are the following: spring — A = 62.2 m, В = 19.5 m, С = 4.6 m, φ1 = 0.1 h, φ2 = 0 . 1 5 h; summer — A = 75.8 m, В = 0.5 m, С = 3.6 m, φ1 = 1.8 h, φ2 = 6.4 h.
In the investigated area krill occured in low abundance. It was recorded mainly above the shelf and above the continental slope close to the Palmer Archipelago and near the northern shores of Elephant Island. In the central part of the Bransfield Strait E. superba was caught in especially small quantities. In general krill of small size occurred, the size decreasing from the west to the east. Mature krill was dominan in the western part of the investigated area, whereas juveniles in the eastern part. Gravid females were caught very rarely.
Lipolytic activity was assayed in samples of Antarctic krill frozen in different conditions and in its liquid digesta with synthetic (tributylglycerol, esters of 2-naphtol and fatty acids C3, C9 , C14 and C18 ) and natural (olive oil) substrates. It was testified that the lipolytic activity is several-fold higher in the crustaceans with high food intake than in those with an empty digestive tract. Krill lipases show higher activity against esters of unsaturated fatty acids that against analogous derivatives of saturated ones and 10-fold higher affinity tributylglycerol (Km = 1.12 mM). Their maximal activity is at pH 6.4 and 37°C. E. superba lipases preserve total activity up to 35°C for 45 minutes, and are completely inactivated at 55°C for 5 minutes. Prevailing part of lipolytic activity is present in krill cephalothorax, however, extracts from krill abdomen also display a marked activity. Krill lipases are probably resistant to an attack of crustacean's proteinases.
The length of crystalline cones (cc) is proportional to krill body length and this proportion can be described by the equation L cc = L krill x 1.679 + 52.032 ( cc — μm; L krill - mm). By measuring cc one can determine the size of krill with the precision of 2—3 mm. The structure of crystalline cones is not crystal, and the elemental composition includes much of S and Ca. Crystalline cones are often found in the stomach and feces of animals feeding on krill.
Polish exploration and exploitation of marine resources of Antarctic waters date back to the reconnaissance cruise of the Sea Fisheries Institutes (SFI) r/v Profesor Siedlecki in 1974. Since 1975, a co-operation between the Institute of Ecology, Polish Academy of Sciences (PAS) at Dziekanów Leśny and SFI in Gdynia with participation of the University of Agriculture in Szczecin, Faculty Marine Fisheries and Food Technology (UA) was established. Fishing fleets of the Polish Deep-Sea Fisheries Companies Odra, Dalmor and Gryf, since 1976 were operating in the Atlantic sector of Antarctic waters, south of the convergence.
Antarctic krill carbohydrate content was followed during 1983—84 Eighth Polish Antarctic Expedition. The Admiralty Bay (King George Island) was th area of study. The following average values of three estimated fractions were obtained: 3.77 +- 1.51%, 0.47 +- 0.34% and 3.30 +- 1.33% for total, TCA-soluble and TCA-insoluble carbohydrates, respectively. Percentage contribution of the estimated fractions to dry weight varied seasonally (1.48—7.41%, 0.15—1.83%, and 1.28—6.28%, respectively). The carbohydrate content showed a clearcut cycle of changes over the calender year, with a minimum in autumn-winter and a maximum in spring-summer.
ll was proved that the activity of basic proteinases (pH 8.3) and acid proteinases (pH 4.0) of the Antarctic krill increases exponentially in spring-summer season (September-December); the activity of the first ones is 6 times higher and increases more rapidly. The positive relation between the proteolytic activity and the degree of gut filling of krill was also evidenced. The lack of high activity of acid proteinases in early spring does not support the suggestions of Ikeda and Dixon (1982) that during Antarctic winter krill takes energy from the autoproteolysis of own body proteins.
Results of hydroacoustic investigations of krill swarms occurring southwest of Elephant Island carried out between 30 October and 5 November 1986, are presented. Krill swarms of the geometric length of 32 m, mean vertical cross section area of 206 m2 , and mean density of 133 g m-3 were recorded and measured. Biomass distribution is presented in maps. The highest density values amounting to 5001 nM-2 were recorded in the eastern part of the survey area, above the slope of Elephant Island's shelf. On the basis of upper and lower limits of the occurrence of given krill swarms, a scheme of their vertical, diurnal distribution was constructed.
Seasonal changes in the Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba Dana) autoproteolytic activity were followed throughout the year. Using the kinetic formula for the first order reaction, the initial reaction rate (y0), the rate after 5 minutes (y5) and the average reaction rate (yx) after 0, 5, 10, 15 and 20 min of incubation of mixed homogenate at 40° + 0.2°C were determined in each sample. Changes in the krill autoproteolytic activity over the year were found to follow a sinusoid with a maximum during the austral summer (January) and a minimum during the austral winter (July-August). The maximum initial reaction rate was about ten times the minimum initial rate, which is an evidence of a considerable seasonal variation in the krill autoproteolytic activity associated presumably with the krill feeding intensity.
Changes in the amount of basic nitrogen fractions (total, protein and non-protein nitrogen) were studied in an annual cycle. Significant seasonal changes were noted, minima occurring in Antarctic winter and maxima during spring-summer season. These changes are due mainly to high fluctuations of water content in krill in the annual cycle.
Krill population structure was studied in Western Antarctic in austral spring and summer 1986/87. At the end of October and the beginning of November in the waters around Elephant Island the mean krill length was 44 mm and sexually mature specimens dominated. Juveniles were absent. In the Bransfield Strait the mean E. superba length was 43 mm. and males slightly overdominated females. The share of females with spermatophores and of immature females was higher than in the Elephant Island area. Juveniles were also not recorded. Krill was most diversified around Elephant Island in January; juveniles and females with ovaries filled with eggs were recorded. It was found that 84% of krill population was infested by ciliate protozoans (Apostomatida).
In general, Antarctic marine bacteria are small, with biovolumes ranging from 0.139 to 0.204 μm-3 cell-1, but their total biomass in seawater is considerable due to relatively high numbers that approximate to 1020 cells km-3. Bacterial biomass becomes more concentrated closer to land. Our multi-year Antarctic studies demonstrated an average total bacterial biomass of 504 tons in Admirality Bay (24 km3) or 21 tons per 1 km3, versus 6.4 tons per 1 km3 in the open ocean. Strikingly, bacterial biomass reached 330 tons per 1 km3 of seawater at the sea-ice edge, as sampled in Goulden Cove in Admiralty Bay. Bacterial biomass in Admirality Bay, which we believe can be enriched by halotolerant and thermotolerant fresh water bacteria from glacial streams, is equal to or even exceeds that of the standing stock of krill (100-630 tons per bay) or other major living components, including phytoplankton (657 tons), flagellates (591 tons), and ciliates (412 tons). However, the bacterial biomass is exceeded by several orders of magnitude by non-living organic matter, which constitutes the basic bacterial carbon source. Factors regulating high bacterial abundance in the vicinity of land are discussed.