Biogenic elements in terrestrial substrates, freshwater pools and subice seamples of the Argentine islands – Kyiv peninsula region, the Maritime Antarctic
Aim. The aim was to estimate inflow of nitrogen and phosphorus to the terrestrial substrate, freshwater pools, as well as in the ice core and subglacial waters, from the sea-bird colonies, and locations of non-colonial flying birds, or individual colonial birds activity. Methods. The samples of substrates, fresh waters, ice cores and samples from the subglacial waters collected during the 25th (2019/20) and 26th (2020/21) Ukrainian Antarctic expeditions in the area of the Argentine Islands – Kyiv Peninsula were analyzed by selected indicators of ornithogenic impact – concentration of bioaviable forms of nitrogen and phosphorus. Results. The concentration for nitrogen and phosphorus are shown to be ornitogenic in samples from all explored locations. High concentrations of ornithogenic compounds were detected not only inflowing from birds colonies, in particular penguins, but also in samples without their influence. Conclusions. The obtained data confirm the high level of influence of both colonial and non-colonial birds on terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems of the Argentine Islands-Kyiv Peninsula. It is shown that the edifying effect and inflow of significant amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus occurs not only in large penguin colonies, but also in single nesting or feeding and resting areas of non-colonial flying birds, or in the presence of individual colonial birds in the study area. However, in the locations of large penguin colonies, easily disolved bioavailable forms of nitrogen and phosphorus are found in much higher, hypertrophic concentrations. Relatively low concentrations of nutrients are currently found only in areas that have recently been released from the glacier and remain uninhabited, unattractive or inaccessible to birds. Such locations are currently marked only on the coast of the Kyiv Peninsula and are associated with the recent retreat of local glaciers. In case of the presence of penguins or the activity of non-colonial or individual colonial birds, all studied freshwater pools were eutrophied to varying extend. The dynamics of organic matter inflow to some of the studied freshwater pools of the region probably indicates the permanent eutrophication. Studies of the ice core of the Galindez Island Glacier and subglacial freshwaters have shown that ornithogenic effects have been observed here for a long time.
Key words: eutrophication, seabirds, the Antarctic, substrates, freshwater pools.
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