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.
A total of sixty five taxa of marine phytoplankton (diatoms, dinoflagellates, silicoflagellates and cyanoprokaryotes) were recorded in the transect from the cold region of the Antarctic (Weddell Sea) up to La Plata Bay, Argentine in the late austral summer (March 1989). Diatoms were the dominant group in a south-north transect from the Seal-Bay (Princess Martha Land, the Antarctic). Most of the phytoplankton species of the cold Antarctic region disappeared around 50°S where there is a steep water temperature gradient. The diatom flora declined in the regions of increasing temperature, i.e. between 60° and 50° S and was replaced by dinoflagellates of the genus Ceratium. Large centric diatom genera Corethron, Rhizosolenia, Chaetoceros and Dactyliosolen represented the most apparent phytoplankton part. The most common of the small centric diatom genera were Thalassiosira, Asteromphalus, Actinocyclus and Coscinodiscus, while several species of Navicula and Nitzschia were the most abundant pennate forms. The presence of a considerable number of freshwater pennate diatoms, characterized as indifferent in the halobion spectrum and mostly periphytic, might be attributed to survival strategies during their development on the floating coastal ice.
This paper reports the preliminary results from the studies on the scanning electron microscopical studies on chrysophycean cysts collected in ponds and streams of King George Island (South Shetlands). The cysts play an important role as the survival developmental stages. Fifteen morphotypes are described, six of which are new for science. Particular attention has been paid to the anatomy of the pore, collar structure and to the ornamentation of the cyst surface.
Phytoplankton samples were collected at 141 stations in the Norwegian, Greenland, Barents and Baltic seas, in July-August 1992 and July-August 1993. In fifteen of these stations 22 unarmoured dinoflagellate species from the order Gymnodiniales belonging to the genera Amphidinium, Cochlodinium, Gymnodinium, Gyrodinium, Torodinium and Polykrikos have been found. Data on 16 species are given here, including synonyms, size or size variation, localities and environmental factors (temperature and salinity at the surface). 14 species are illustrated.
Suspended matter, phytoplankton and light attenuation were investigated in various North East Greenland, Svalbard and Siberian river mouths in 1992-1994. The amount of mineral suspensions well correlated with freshwater discharge in the case of tidal glacier bays, while such correlation in Siberian rivers and pack ice meltwater was not found. Freshwater phytoplankton species were found in Siberian estuaries only and in two other ecosystems marine and ice phytoplankton species prevailed. The light attenuation connected with freshwater discharge seems to be a key factor limiting primary production in coastal Actic waters in the summer. The amount of glacial suspensions well correlated with the salinity drop in the case of Svalbard, while Siberian river estuaries produced very turbid waters with the suspension loads not correlated to freshwater or depth.
The paper presents the results of seven-year survey of Antarctic seals along the western shore of Admiralty Bay, King George Island, South Shetland Islands. Five species were monitored during seven of the eight years, between 1988-95, excluding 1993. Numbers of elephant seals and Antarctic fur seals showed strong annual cycles, fur seals with two seasonal peaks. These of the other three species were more irregular. Fewer Weddell seals were seen in 1994 and 1995 then during the period 1988-92; with this exception, no overall trend in numbers was apparent during the period 1988-95.
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