The lakes and watercourses are habitats for various communities of cyanobacteria and algae, which are among the few primary producers in Antarctica. The amount of nutrients in the mineral-poor Antarctic environment is a limiting factor for the growth of freshwater autotrophs in most cases. In this study, the main aim was to assess the availability of mineral nitrogen for microorganisms in cyanobacterial mats in James Ross Island. The nitrate and ammonium ions in water environment were determined as well as the contents of major elements (C, N, P, S, Na, K, Ca, Mg, Al, Fe, Mn) in cyanobacterial mats. The molar ratios of C:N, C:P and N:P in mats were in focus. The growth of freshwater autotrophs seems not to be limited by the level of nitrogen, according to the content of available mineral nitrogen in water and the biogeochemical stoichiometry of C:N:P. The source of nutrients in the Ulu Peninsula is not obvious. The nitrogen fixation could enhance the nitrogen content in mats, which was observed in some samples containing the Nostoc sp.
An investigation of cyanobacterial microflora in the northern, deglaciated part of James Ross Island in the NW part of the Weddell Sea, Antarctica , was conducted during the Antarctic summer season 2005-2006. Five main types of habitats with dominant cyanobacterial assemblages were analyzed (soils, seepages, streams, wetted rocky walls and lakes), and main ecological variables were measured (pH, temperature, intensity of global radiation, conductivity and nutrients), as a background for further ecological and ecophysiological studies. The definable traditional cyanobacterial morphospecies were identified.
The common and ecologically important cyanobacterial form-genus Leptolyngbya is widely distributed in numerous ecosystems over the Earth's biosphere. Several morphospecies dominate microbial communities in polar habitats, but their diversity and local ecological significance are little known. Several articles characterising strains isolated from Antarctic coastal habitats by molecular methods were published, but knowledge of their phenotype and ecological characters are indispensable for future detailed environmental studies. Distinct morpho- and ecotypes (ecologically important morphospecies) from maritime Antarctica are characterised in this article. Eight dominant Leptolyngbya types from subaerophytic and freshwater habitats were recognised, and four of them (L. borchgrevinkii, L. fritschiana, L. nigrescens and L. vincentii) are described as new distinct species.
The paper presents the results of a study of cyanobacteria and green algae assemblages occurring in various tundra types determined on the basis of mosses and vascular plants and habitat conditions. The research was carried out during summer in the years 2009–2013 on the north sea−coast of Hornsund fjord (West Spitsbergen, Svalbard Archipelago). 58 sites were studied in various tundra types differing in composition of vascular plants, mosses and in trophy and humidity. 141 cyanobacteria and green algae were noted in the research area in total. Cyanobacteria and green algae flora is a significant element of many tundra types and sometimes even dominate there. Despite its importance, it has not been hitherto taken into account in the description and classification of tundra. The aim of the present study was to demonstrate the legitimacy of using phycoflora in supplementing the descriptions of hitherto described tundra and distinguishing new tundra types. Numeric hierarchical−accumulative classification (MVSP 3.1 software) methods were used to analyze the cyanobacterial and algal assemblages and their co−relations with particular tundra types. The analysis determined dominant and distinctive species in the communities in concordance with ecologically diverse types of tundra. The results show the importance of these organisms in the composition of the vegetation of tundra types and their role in the ecosystems of this part of the Arctic.
The diversity of cyanobacterial assemblages from various microhabitats in the Arctic area of Petuniabukta, Billefjorden, central Svalbard, was described. The present article contains the introductory common review of the cyanobacterial diversity and ecological data concerning main habitats, while the characteristics of individual taxonomic groups will be presented in following specific studies. Eight distinct main habitats were recognized, which differed in their species composition and especially the dominant species. More than 80 morphospecies were registered during our investigation, but only about 1/3 of them could be assigned to known and described taxa. The others require additional analyses based on modern taxonomic methods (the polyphasic approach ). The composition of cyanobacterial micro flora was comparable with assemblages in coastal Antarctica. The diversity of unicellular and colonial morphotypes (36 taxa) was higher tha n other groups. The number of filamentous species without heterocytes and akinetes, with 30 species, and heterocytous types, with only 20 species, were similar in both of these ecosystems. These numbers will be surely changed in the future, but the overall proportion of different groups will likely stay the same. In contrast to the limited species diversity, simple filamentous aheterocytous species were dominant and formed massive populations. Fewheterocy tous taxa, mostly grouped within the genus Nostoc ( N. commune –complex), were dominant in tundra soils.
The aim of the paper is to present the hydrodynamic, mass transfer and illumination characteristics of a laboratory helical-tube photobioreactor Biostat PBR-2S, commercially available and used in many laboratories in Poland and worldwide. The investigated hydrodynamics parameters were: mean liquid circulation rate, liquid velocity/residence time in the tubular part of the apparatus and mixing time, measured in the wide range of rotary speed of the circulation pump. The influence of the aeration intensity on these parameters was also checked. The volumetric oxygen and carbon dioxide transfer coefficients in the liquid phase and their dependency on the liquid circulation rate and gas inflow rate were determined. The experiments were performed in tap water and then in a real three-phase cultivation broth at the end of thermophilic cyanobacteria T. synechococus growth. For the final evaluation of the tested PBR there were series of test cultivations run under different conditions of illumination. The highest final concentration of the biomass of tested cyanobacteria reached the relatively high value of 4.38 g/dm3 of the dry biomass, although the process conditions were not fully optimized. The laboratory photobioreactor PBR-2S proved to be a good tool for investigations of microalgae cultivation processes. The presented results and practical observations may help to analyze and understand the mutual influence of the specific process parameters in the described PBR, especially during autotrophic organism cultivations.
In order to simulate the warming effects on Arctic wetlands, three passive open−top chambers (OTCs) and three control cage−like structures (CCSs) equipped with soil temperature and soil volumetric water content (VWC) probes for continuous micro− climatic measurements were installed in a wet hummock meadow, Petuniabukta, Billefjorden, central Spitsbergen, in 2009. The warming effects on primary productivity were investigated during summer seasons 2009 and 2010 in cyanobacterial colonies of Nostoc commune s.l., which plays an important role in the local carbon and nitrogen cycles. The microclimatic data indicated that the effect of OTCs was dependent on microtopography. During winter, two short−term snow−thaw episodes occurred, so that liquid water was available for the Nostoc communities. Because of the warming, the OTC hummock bases remained unfrozen three weeks longer in comparison to the CCSs and, in spring, the OTC hummock tops and bases exceeded 0 ° C several days earlier than CCS ones. Mean summer temperature differences were 1.6 ° C in OTC and CCS hummock tops, and 0.3 ° Cinthe OTC and CCS hummock bases. The hummock tops were drier than their bases; however the VWC difference between the OTCs and CCSs was small. Due to the only minor differences in the microclimate of OTC and CCS hummock bases, where the Nostoc colonies were located, no differences in ecophysiological characteristics of Nostoc colonies expressed as photochemistry parameters and nitrogenase activities were detected after two years exposition. Long−term monitoring of Nostoc ecophysiology in a manipulated environment is necessary for understanding their development under climate warming.
A filamentous benthic cyanobacteria, strain USMAC16, was isolated from the High Arctic Svalbard archipelago, Norway, and a combination of morphological, ultrastructural and molecular characterisation (16S rRNA gene sequence) used to identify to species level. Cell dimensions, thylakoid arrangement and apical cell shape are consistent with the Pseudanabaena genus description. The molecular characterisation of P. catenata gave 100% similarity with Pseudanabaena catenata SAG 1464-1, originally reported from Germany. Strain USMAC16 was cultured under a range of temperature and photoperiod conditions, in solid and liquid media, and harvested at exponential phase to examine its phenotypic plasticity. Under different culture conditions, we observed considerable variations in cell dimensions. The longest cell (5.91±0.13 μm) was observed at 15°C under 12:12 light:dark, and the widest cell (3.24±0.06 μm) at 4°C under 12:12 light: dark in liquid media. The study provides baseline data documenting the morphological variation of P. catenata in response to changing temperature regimes.