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Number of results: 5
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Abstract

This paper presents distribution and properties of soils within the Fuglebekken catchment in neighbourhood of the Polish Polar Station in Hornsund, SW Spitsbergen (Svalbard Archipelago). The present study describes 8 representative soil profiles out of 34 profiles studied for the whole catchment. Soils of the Fuglebekken catchment show initial stage of their formation because of very slow rate of chemical and biological weathering in Arctic climate conditions . Uplifted marine terraces of the Fuglebekken catchment are characterized by domination of Haplic Cryosols which ar e related to stony and gravelly parent material (reworked marine sediments). Such soils constitute of 17% of the studied area. Turbic Cryosols forming characteristic micro−relief occur on flat surfaces and gentle slopes. Such soils (covering 7% of the catchment) are formed from loamy parent material. Along streams Hyperskeletic Cryosols (Reduc taquic) and Turbic Histic Cryosols occur. The last two soil units (constituting 11% of the catchment) are mantled by continuous and dense vegetation cover (especially mosses) due to high content of water rich in nutrients flowing from colonies of sea birds located on slopes of Ariekammen and Fugleberget. The studied soils are generally characterized by shallow occurrence of permafrost ( i.e. at 30–50 cm), high content of pebbles, sandy or sandy loam texture, and neutral or s lightly alkaline reaction. Soils occurring along streams and near colonies of sea birds show higher content of nutrients (N and P) in comparison with other soils and are covered by more dense vegetation. This indicates important impact of bird guano on chemical composition of soil solution and fertility of such soils.
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Abstract

Physical and chemical properties of Arctic soils and especially the properties of surface horizons of the soils are very important because they are responsible for the rate and character of plant colonization, development of vegetation cover, and influence the rate and depth of thawing of soils and development of active layer of permafrost during summer. The main aim of the present study is to determine and explain the spatial diversity of selected physical and chemical properties of surface horizons of Arctic soils from the non-glaciated Fuglebekken catchment located in the Hornsund area (SW Spitsbergen) by means of geostatistical approach. Results indicate that soil surface horizons in the Fuglebekken catchment are characterized by highly variable physical and chemical properties due to a heterogeneous parent material (marine sediments, moraine, rock debris), tundra vegetation types, and non-uniform influence of seabirds. Soils experiencing the strongest influence of seabird guano have a lower pH than other soils. Soils developed on the lateral moraine of the Hansbreen glacier have the highest pH due to the presence of carbonates in the parent material and a lack or presence of a poorly developed and discontinuous A horizon. The soil surface horizons along the coast of the Hornsund exhibit the highest content of the sand fraction and SiO2. The surface of soils occurring at the foot of the slope of Ariekammen Ridge is characterized by the highest content of silt and clay fractions as well as Al2O3, Fe2O3, and K2O. Soils in the central part of the Fuglebekken catchment are depleted in CaO, MgO, and Na2O in comparison with soils in the other sampling sites, which indicates the highest rate of leaching in this part of the catchment.
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Abstract

Organic carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus in the soils of the High Arctic play an important role in the context of global warming, biodiversity, and richness of tundra vegetation. The main aim of the present study was to determine the content and spatial distribution of soil organic carbon (SOC), total nitrogen (N tot ), and total phosphorus (P tot ) in the surface horizons of Arctic soils obtained from the lower part of the Fuglebekken catchment in Spitsbergen as an example of a small non−glaciated catchment representing uplifted marine terraces of the Svalbard Archipelago. The obtained results indicate that surface soil horizons in the Fuglebekken catchment show considerable differences in content of SOC, N tot , and P tot . This mosaic is related to high variability of soil type, local hydrology, vegetation (type and quantity), and especially location of seabird nesting colony. The highest content of SOC, N tot , and P tot occurs in soil surface horizons obtained from sites fertilized by seabird guano and located along streams flowing from the direction of the seabird colony. The content of SOC, N tot , and P tot is strongly negatively correlated with distance from seabird colony indicating a strong influence of the birds on the fertility of the studied soils and indirectly on the accumulation of soil organic matter. The lowest content of SOC, N tot , and P tot occurs in soil surface horizons obtained from the lateral moraine of the Hansbreen glacier and from sites in the close vicinity of the lateral moraine. The content of N tot ,P tot , and SOC in soil surface horizons are strongly and positively correlated with one another, i.e. the higher the content of nutrients, the higher the content of SOC. The spatial distribution of SOC, N tot , and P tot in soils of the Hornsund area in SW Spitsbergen reflects the combined effects of severe climate conditions and periglacial processes. Seabirds play a crucial role in nutrient enrichment in these weakly developed soils.
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Abstract

Sphagnum riparium (Bryophyta) is recorded and described from the Wedel Jarlsberg Land on Spitsbergen, the Arctic Svalbard Archipelago. It is the northernmost known population of the species in the Northern Hemisphere. The distribution of the two known Sphagnum species in the Hornsund area, viz. S. riparium and S. squarrosum is mapped and described.
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Abstract

In 72 samples collected from various types of habitats of West Spitsbergen 150 algal taxa have been identified, including 100 taxa of Cyanoprokaryota, 40 of Chlorophyceae, and 10 of Xanthophyceae. Seventy-two species, mainly blue-green algae (55 taxa) are considered as new for Svalbard flora.
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