Planktonie material was collected at 63 samling stations during the BIOMASS-SIBEX cruise of the r/v "Profesor Siedlecki". Samples were collected with a Bango-505 net in the water column from the sea surface downwards to a depth of about 200 m. Throughout the research area most numerous were the following typically Antarctic species: Calanoides acutus, Calanus propinquus, Rhincalanus gigas, and Metridia gerlachei. The abundance of the last one was several times higher that of other species. At the time of the investigations the animals were in the final stage of invidual development and in readiness for reproduction.
The distribution of planktonic Ostracoda (Halocyprididae) was studied based on vertically-stratified zooplankton samples collected by hauling 200 p.m - mesh net by day and by night during two austral seasons: summer 1985/1986 and winter 1989, from the 1200 m deep Croker Passage off the Antarctic Peninsula. Seven species of Ostracoda were recorded: Alacia belgicae, Alacia hettacra, Melaconchoecia isocheira, Metaconchoecia skogsbergi, Boroecia antipoda, Disconchoecia aff. elegans and Proceroecia brachyaskos. The first three species, endemic to Antarctic waters, were predominant (about 90%). Generally Ostracoda were most numerous in 600-200 m layer in summer and in 1000-400 m layer in winter. In the investigated area there was a clear contrast between the abundance of Ostracoda during austral summer and scarcity during austral winter.
226 papers by Polish authors and co-authors have been collected. They deal with Antarctic or sub-Antarctic fishes and also their parasites. The majority (35.7%) of the publications discuss fish biology including growth, age, maturity, feeding and occurrence of particular species in the area. Fewer papers are devoted to parasitology (26.0%). Papers dealing with fish biomass and exploitation make up 18.5%. Papers dealing with morphology and systematics make up 6.6%. The remaining papers are devoted to technology, physiology, palaeontology and others.
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.
The presence of 31 species of birds was observed at sea sout of 50°S, out of this number 26 species were present also south of 60°S. The most numerous aggregations of birds were recorded in the regions of: Elephant Island, the South Orkneys and NE part of Bransfield Strait. The average number of birds during 10-minute observation was 74.5. In the areas under observations Daption capense predominated quantitatively. The following species were subdominant: Pygoscelidae, Oceanites oceanicus, Diomedea melanophris, Fulmarus glacialoides and Macronectes giganieus. In the total number of the birds observed krill-eaters contributed in 80.1% plankton-eaters — 7.8%, squid-eaters — 6.2% omnivores — 5.9% and fish-eaters — 0.1%. In comparison with the autumnal observations more than twice as many birds at sea were observed in the same area.
On the basis of 35 one-hour series of the measurement of the wind velocity, read out every two minutes, the wind structure at the Arctowski Station, situated on Admiralty Bay, King George Island, was analysed. Very strong turbulence was found with air flow directions from over the area of the Island (S, SW. W and NW) and laminarity with directions from SE, E, NE and partly N, i.e. when the air flows from Admiralty Bay or from over the open waters of Bransfield Strait. The qustiness coefficient, the relationship between the maximum and mean velocities and the intensity of turbulence were determined for the two flow types. Two extremely different cases, in terms of flow character, were considered, by determining for them the distributions of instantaneous velocities and those of oscillations.
Power spectrum techniques were applied to two time series of wind speed values recorded at the Arctowski Station in order to investigate the influence of turbulent and laminar air flow on the quasi-periodicity of the micro-scale wind structure.
In the breeding season 1988/89, within the region of SSSI No. 8, nesting of 12 species of birds was observed. The highest number of nests — 24430 — belonged to three species of pygoscelid penguins; 77.1% were the Adelie penguin. Relatively high fluctuations in the number of penguins in some rookeries in particular breeding seasons were confirmed. During regular countings of mammals' in 1988 the presence of 5 species of Pinnipedia was noted, of which the southern elephant seal was most numerous in the summer season, whereas crabeater seal — in winter. In the region of SSSI No. 8, breeding of southern elephant seal and Weddell seal was observed. Fluctuations in the number of seals in this region in the period 1977—1988 were insignificant.
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.
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 microclimate of the nest-sites of Pygoscelis adeliae, P. antarctica and P. papua was studied from December 1979 to January 1981. The temperature of the ground, air temperature at 0.05 m, 0.35 m ad 2 m and wind velocity at 0.35 m and 2 m above the ground were recorded. The wind velocity in the places chosen by penguins for nesting was lower than at the meteorological station by 22% to 60%. It was proved that in winter the mean monthly ground temperature at the nesting places was lower than that at the meterological station by 6 to 8°C due to the much thinner snow cover. Pygoscelid penguins chose for nesting places of specific microclimate and modified the wind velocity, temperature of the ground and, to a leser extent, the air temperature.
Permanent renewal of measurements of phenomena occuring on Earth sufrace — the main task of geodesy and cartography — is the important element of geodynamic studies of the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Insitute of Geodesy and Cartography participates in the program of research led by Polish Academy of Sciences for over 10 years, using conventional geodetic methods, as well as new types of data, acquired from satellite observations and through remote sensing techniques. This activity is evidenced by setting-up astronomical main points close to Hornsund Station in 1958, as well as at Arctowski Station in 1976, where cyclic astronomical and satellite measurements were performed on these points. Geodynamic test site was organized in the Hornsund Region. As a result of these works numerous topographic and thematic maps were produced and many scientific publications were prepared by Institute specialists.
The results of chemical and biological analyses of lake water samples, taken in the Bunger Hills during January—March 1987 by the participants of the 32-nd Soviet Antarctic Expedition from the new seasonal station „Oasis-2" (66°16'S and 110°45'E) are presented. It was discovered that the sea contributed considerably to the formation of intraoasis isolated reservoirs. The water of the epishelf lake — Transkripcii Bay — consists of two layers: upper freshwater (0,3—l,0‰) and lower salt water (19‰); the bottom water contains H2S. The phosphate concentration varied from 3—8 mg 1-1 in freshwater lakes to 37 mg 1-1 in Rybij Chvost Bay (Pass Cove), where the high concentration of chlorophyll „a" (up to 10 mg 1-1) was found.
Macrozooplankton was caught at 17 stations with a Bongo net from the 0-200 m layer. The stations were located near the pack ice edge, between Elephant Islands and the South Orkney Islands. The cluster analysis of 58 recognized taxa allowed to distinguish three regions: the western — near Elephant Island, the middle and the western one — at the South Orkney Islands. No clear difference in macrozooplankton species composition at the open sea stations and those near pack ice was found. The average biomass of macrozooplankton in the investigated area amounted to 82.8 g/1000 m3 (95% CL: 47.2-94.2 g/1000m3). Macrozooplankton was dominated by salps and krill. The biomass and 95% confidence limits were 52.0 g/1000 m3 (15.6-59.2 g/1000 m3) and 26.1 g/1000 m3 (8.4-30.4 g/1000 m3), respectively. Differences in the biomass distribution of some taxa in three distinguished regions were observed. Except of salps the biomass of particular taxa caught near the pack ice edge and the same taxa caught in stations distant from this edge were similar. The biomass of salps was evidently higher in most northern stations.
In the region between King George Island and the South Orkney Islands 7 fish species from 6 families were found. The concentration of larvae at the edge of drifting ice was higher (2.55 ind. x 1000 m-3) than in the stations situated at a distance from the ice edge (0.93 ind. x 1000 m-3).
Thin coal seams found in the Lions Cove Formation, Polonia Glacier Group (Middle Eocene, upper part) at King George Bay, King George Island (South Shetland Islands, West Antarctica), represent lustrous (vitrine) brown-coal metaphase. The coal from the lower seam represents carbonized wood, probably angiosperm, that from the upper ones originated due to accumulation of branches or larger wood fragments and leaf remains. These coals are slightly older than metaxylite brown coal previously described from Admiralty Bay on King George Island, and dated at Eocene-Oligocene boundary. Both coal occurrences are evidences for a warm climate which prevailed in the Antarctic Peninsula sector during the Arctowski Interglacial (ca 50—32 Ma).
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.
Parasitic isopods (Aega antarclica and Gnathia calva) were discovered on fishes collected during Polish expeditions to the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean. Pranizae of G.calva infected 14.5% of Nololhenia corriceps neglecta and 16% of Notothenia rossi marmorata. The infestation rates are probably underestimated.
This paper recapitulates Polish botanical and mycological research on terrestrial and freshwater Antarctic ecosystems carried out between 1977 and 2009. The main results are briefly summarized. The references encompass nearly 200 papers on floristics, taxonomy, biogeography, ecology, cytology, bioc hemistry, physiology and genetics of lichens, mosses, fungi, algae and vascular plants inhabiting soils, rocks and inland waters in the Antarctic.
During the SIBEX1' programme in December 1983/January 1984, 27 hauls were made from the "Profesor Siedlecki" with a 368 — mesh midwater sampling trwal. A total of 13 fish species at postlarval or juvenile stages was found in the catches. The greatest aboundance and species diversity of juvenile ichthyofauna was observed within shelf waters of the Peninsula. Postlarval and juvenile Pleuragramma antarcticum was the most common and most aboundant species there.
Bunger Oasis (66° 15'S 100° 45'E), which lies in the deep interior of the Antarctic Continent, was the destination of the Polish Polar Expedition in 1978/1979. The area of Oasis which is free of ice, with a surface area of 1000 km2, its own hydrographic network and diversified relief of the terrain, has over the recent years been populated by live organisms, birds (cheek-bone and snow fulmar) and Wedell seal. In valleys and depressions of the terrain, traces of soil, mosses and lichens appear. The relief of the terrain of Oasis is undergoing continuous intensive change as a result of the natural effects of the Antarctic climate.
In colonies situated at the southern coast of King George Island the nesting areas of penguins of the genus Pygoscelis were investigated with respect to the protection of eggs and chicks against flooding. Relationships between the nesting strategy determined by the characteristics of breeding grounds, degree of colonization and breeding time, and the climatic conditions of zones in which majorities of particular species populations breed were presented. It was recorded, that interspecific differences in nesting strategy of pygoscelid penguins enable species which breed sympatrically to avoid competition for the nest-sites, and also seem to be responsible for various population dynamics of species in the maritime Antarctic.
Hydrological conditions in the region between the King George and Elephant Islands were defined on the basis of 24 STD measurements and 20 XBT profiles made in the time period from 26 October to 16 November 1986. In the entire investigated region the surface water temperature was below zero, often close to freezing point. The presence of summer modification of surface water with its characteristic thermal minimum was not found. Between the Scotia Front and the relatively well pronounced stream of geostrophic currents the anticyclonic meander was observed above the edge of the shelf at the depth of 100 m. Its spread was about 10 nM and within this meander the downwelling of surface water was noticed. As a compensating water movement, the upwelling of warmer waters was observed in the Drake Passage at 400 m.
In the region of the Admiralty Bay 12 nesting bird species were encountered of a total abundance of 40890 pairs and biomass amounting to about 395000 kg Three penguin species constituted 91.7% in abundance, their biomass constituting 98.7% of the whole community. Densities of abundance and biomass of adult birds in relation to the living area of penguins (i.e. 775 km2) ranged from 32.3 to 121.4 indiv. km-2 and from 115.1 to 4730 kg k m-2.