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  • Provisional checklist of terrestrial heterotrophic protists from Antarctica
    Antarct. Sci. (IF 1.653) Pub Date : 2019-11-07
    Andrew R. Thompson; Gareth S. Powell; Byron J. Adams

    Heterotrophic soil protists encompass lineages that are both evolutionarily ancient and highly diverse, providing an untapped wealth of scientific insight. Yet the diversity of free-living heterotrophic terrestrial protists is still largely unknown. To contribute to our understanding of this diversity, we present a checklist of heterotrophic protists currently reported from terrestrial Antarctica, for which no comprehensive evaluation currently exists. As a polar continent, Antarctica is especially susceptible to rising temperatures caused by anthropogenic climate change. Establishing a baseline for future conservation efforts of Antarctic protists is therefore important. We performed a literature search and found 236 taxa identified to species and an additional 303 taxa identified to higher taxonomic levels in 54 studies spanning over 100 years of research. Isolated by distance, climate and the circumpolar vortex, Antarctica is the most extreme continent on Earth: it is not unreasonable to think that it may host physiologically and evolutionarily unique species of protists, yet currently most species discovered in Antarctica are considered cosmopolitan. Additional sampling of the more extreme intra-continental zones will probably result in the discovery of more novel and unique taxa.

  • Insights on the environmental impacts associated with visible disturbance of ice-free ground in Antarctica
    Antarct. Sci. (IF 1.653) Pub Date : 2019-11-14
    Shaun T. Brooks; Pablo Tejedo; Tanya A. O'Neill

    The small ice-free areas of Antarctica provide an essential habitat for most evident terrestrial biodiversity, as well as being disproportionately targeted by human activity. Visual detection of disturbance within these environments has become a useful tool for measuring areas affected by human impact, but questions remain as to what environmental consequences such disturbance actually has. To answer such questions, several factors must be considered, including the climate and biotic and abiotic characteristics. Although a body of research has established the consequences of disturbance at given locations, this paper was conceived in order to assess whether their findings could be generalized as a statement across the Antarctic continent. From a review of 31 studies within the Maritime Antarctic, Continental Antarctic and McMurdo Dry Valleys regions, we found that 83% confirmed impacts in areas of visible disturbance. Disturbance was found to modify the physical environment, consequently reducing habitat suitability as well as directly damaging biota. Visible disturbance was also associated with hydrocarbon and heavy metal contamination and non-native species establishment, reflecting the pressures from human activity in these sites. The results add significance to existing footprint measurements based on visual analysis, should aid on-the-ground appreciation of probable impacts in sites of disturbance and benefit environmental assessment processes.

  • Fatty acid trophic transfer of Antarctic algae to a sympatric amphipod consumer
    Antarct. Sci. (IF 1.653) Pub Date : 2019-10-22
    Julie B. Schram; Margaret O. Amsler; Aaron W.E. Galloway; Charles D. Amsler; James B. McClintock

    The shallow benthos along the western Antarctic Peninsula supports brown macroalgal forests with dense amphipod assemblages, commonly including Gondogeneia antarctica (Amsler et al. 2014). Gondogeneia antarctica and most other amphipods are chemically deterred from consuming the macroalgae (Amsler et al. 2014). They primarily consume diatoms, other microalgae, filamentous macroalgae and a few undefended macroalgal species, including Palmaria decipiens (Aumack et al. 2017). Although unpalatable when alive, G. antarctica and other amphipods will consume the chemically defended brown algae Himantothallus grandifolius and Desmarestia anceps within a few weeks of death (Amsler et al. 2014).

  • An incubating northern giant petrel actively feeds on a Salvin's prion
    Antarct. Sci. (IF 1.653) Pub Date : 2019-11-05
    Christopher W. Jones; Michelle M. Risi; John Cooper

    Pelagic seabirds often nest on islands that are far from productive foraging areas. The Procellariiformes (petrels, shearwaters and albatrosses) are among the longest-ranging seabirds; they have several adaptations that permit them to efficiently utilize distant foraging areas and fast for long periods during incubation (Phillips & Hamer 1999). Giant petrels (Macronectes spp.) are large surface-nesting procellariiforms. They feed both by direct predation and by scavenging carrion, and they are the largest avian predator-scavengers in the Southern Ocean. Among procellariiform seabirds, one partner forages while their mate remains on the nest to incubate their single egg (Warham 1990). Northern giant petrels (Macronectes halli) have incubation shifts lasting up to 17 days (Cooper et al. 2001). In general, incubating procellariiform seabirds do not feed during their shift (Warham 1990). We report the first case to our knowledge of a procellariiform seabird, a northern giant petrel, actively feeding at its nest whilst incubating.

  • Cosmogenic 10Be exposure dating of glacial erratics on Horseshoe Island in western Antarctic Peninsula confirms rapid deglaciation in the Early Holocene
    Antarct. Sci. (IF 1.653) Pub Date : 2019-11-14
    Attila Çiner; Cengiz Yildirim; M. Akif Sarikaya; Yeong Bae Seong; Byung Yong Yu

    The rapid warming observed in the western Antarctic Peninsula gives rise to a fast disintegration of ice shelves and thinning and retreat of marine-terminating continental glaciers, which is likely to raise global sea levels in the near future. In order to understand the contemporary changes in context and to provide constraints for hindcasting models, it is important to understand the Late Quaternary history of the region. Here, we build on previous work on the deglacial history of the western Antarctic Peninsula and we present four new cosmogenic 10Be exposure ages from Horseshoe Island in Marguerite Bay, which has been suggested as a former location of very fast ice stream retreat. Four samples collected from erratic pink granite boulders at an altitude of ~80 m above sea level yielded ages that range between 12.9 ± 1.1 ka and 9.4 ± 0.8 ka. As in other studies on Antarctic erratics, we have chosen to report the youngest erratic age (9.4 ± 0.8 ka) as the true age of deglaciation, which confirms a rapid thinning of the Marguerite Trough Ice Stream at the onset of Holocene. This result is consistent with other cosmogenic age data and other proxies (marine and lacustrine 14C and optically stimulated luminescence) reported from nearby areas.

  • Subglacial topography and thickness of ice caps on the Argentine Islands
    Antarct. Sci. (IF 1.653) Pub Date : 2019-11-29
    Jānis Karušs; Kristaps Lamsters; Anatolii Chernov; Māris Krievāns; Jurijs Ješkins

    This study presents the first subglacial topography and ice thickness models of the largest ice caps of the Argentine Islands, Wilhelm Archipelago, West Antarctica. During this study, ground-penetrating radar was used to map the thickness and inner structure of the ice caps. Digital surface models of all studied islands were created from aerial images obtained with a small-sized unmanned aerial vehicle and used for the construction of subglacial topography models. Ice caps of the Argentine Islands cover ~50% of the land surface of the islands on average. The maximum thickness of only two islands (Galindez and Skua) exceeds 30 m, while the average thickness of all islands is only ~5 m. The maximum ice thickness reaches 35.3 m on Galindez Island. The ice thickness and glacier distribution are mainly governed by prevailing wind direction from the north. This has created the prominent narrow ice ridges on Uruguay and Irizar islands, which are not supported by topographic obstacles, as well as the elongated shape of other ice caps. The subglacial topography of the ice caps is undulated and mainly dependent on the geological structure and composition of magmatic rocks.

  • ANS volume 31 issue 6 Cover and Front matter
    Antarct. Sci. (IF 1.653) Pub Date : 2019-11-29


  • ANS volume 31 issue 6 Cover and Back matter
    Antarct. Sci. (IF 1.653) Pub Date : 2019-11-29


  • Sedimentology and geochemistry of a perennially ice-covered epishelf lake in Bunger Hills Oasis, East Antarctica.
    Antarct. Sci. (IF 1.653) Pub Date : 2001-09-07
    P T Doran,R A Wharton,W B Lyons,D J Des Marais,D T Andersen

    A process-oriented study was carried out in White Smoke lake, Bunger Hills, East Antarctica, a perennially ice-covered (1.8 to 2.8 m thick) epishelf (tidally-forced) lake. The lake water has a low conductivity and is relatively well mixed. Sediments are transferred from the adjacent glacier to the lake when glacier ice surrounding the sediment is sublimated at the surface and replaced by accumulating ice from below. The lake bottom at the west end of the lake is mostly rocky with a scant sediment cover. The east end contains a thick sediment profile. Grain size and delta 13C increase with sediment depth, indicating a more proximal glacier in the past. Sedimentary 210Pb and 137Cs signals are exceptionally strong, probably a result of the focusing effect of the large glacial catchment area. The post-bomb and pre-bomb radiocarbon reservoirs are c. 725 14C yr and c. 1950 14C yr, respectively. Radiocarbon dating indicates that the east end of the lake is >3 ka BP, while photographic evidence and the absence of sediment cover indicate that the west end has formed only over the last century. Our results indicate that the southern ice edge of Bunger Hills has been relatively stable with only minor fluctuations (on the scale of hundreds of metres) over the last 3000 years.

  • Dissolved gases in perennially ice-covered lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica.
    Antarct. Sci. (IF 1.653) Pub Date : 2001-09-07
    D T Andersen,C P McKay,R A Wharton

    Measurements of dissolved N2, O2, Ar, CO2, and CH4 were made in perennially ice-covered Lake Hoare. Results confirm previous reports that O2 concentrations in the upper water column exceed atmospheric equilibrium and that N2 and Ar are supersaturated throughout the water column. The mean supersaturation of N2 was found to be 2.0 (+/- 0.37) and Ar was 3.8 (+/- 1.1). The ratios of N2/Ar (20.3 +/- 13.8), and O2/Ar (22.5 +/- 4.0) at the ice-water interface are consistent with those previously measured, suggesting that bubble formation is the main process for removing gas from the lake. However, the saturations of N2 and Ar greatly exceed those previously predicted for degassing by bubble formation only at the ice-water interface. The data support the hypothesis that removal of gas by bubbles occurs in the water column to a depth of 11 m in Lake Hoare. CO2 concentration increases from near zero at the ice-water interface to 80-100 times saturation at and below the chemocline at c. 28 m. There is considerable variability in the gas concentrations throughout the water column; samples separated in depth by one metre may vary by more than 50% in gas content. It is likely that this phenomenon results from the lack of turbulent mixing in the water column. Methane (c. 2 micrograms l-1) was detected below the chemocline and immediately above the sediment/water interface at a depth of 30 m. Samples from lakes Vanda, Joyce, and Miers, also show supersaturations of O2, N2, and Ar at levels similar to levels found in Lake Hoare.

  • Soil temperatures and stability of ice-cemented ground in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica.
    Antarct. Sci. (IF 1.653) Pub Date : 2001-09-07
    C McKay,M T Mellon,E I Friedmann

    Year-round temperature measurements at 1600 m elevation during 1994 in the Asgard Range Antarctica, indicate that the mean annual frost point of the ice-cemented ground, 25 cm below the surface, is -21.7 +/- 0.2 degrees C and the mean annual frost point of the atmosphere is -27.5 +/- 1.0 degrees C. The corresponding mean annual temperatures are -24.9 degrees C and -23.3 degrees C. These results imply that there is a net flux of water vapour from the ice to the atmosphere resulting in a recession of the ice-cemented ground by about 0.4-0.6 mm yr-1. The level of the ice-cemented permafrost is about 12 cm below the level of dry permafrost. The summer air temperatures would have to increase about 7 degrees C for thawing temperatures to just reach the top of the subsurface ice. Either subsurface ice at this location is evaporating over time or there are sporadic processes that recharge the ice and maintain equilibrium over long timescales.

  • Ecosystem services of the Southern Ocean: trade-offs in decision-making.
    Antarct. Sci. (IF 1.653) Pub Date : 2013-10-29
    Susie M Grant,Simeon L Hill,Philip N Trathan,Eugene J Murphy

    Ecosystem services are the benefits that mankind obtains from natural ecosystems. Here we identify the key services provided by the Southern Ocean. These include provisioning of fishery products, nutrient cycling, climate regulation and the maintenance of biodiversity, with associated cultural and aesthetic benefits. Potential catch limits for Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba Dana) alone are equivalent to 11% of current global marine fisheries landings. We also examine the extent to which decision-making within the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) considers trade-offs between ecosystem services, using the management of the Antarctic krill fishery as a case study. Management of this fishery considers a three-way trade-off between fisheries performance, the status of the krill stock and that of predator populations. However, there is a paucity of information on how well these components represent other ecosystem services that might be degraded as a result of fishing. There is also a lack of information on how beneficiaries value these ecosystem services. A formal ecosystem assessment would help to address these knowledge gaps. It could also help to harmonize decision-making across the ATS and promote global recognition of Southern Ocean ecosystem services by providing a standard inventory of the relevant ecosystem services and their value to beneficiaries.

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