Regional Monitoring of Natural Environment 2004, No 5, 95-102
ANTARCTIC AND ARCTIC SOILS AS HABITATS FOR ORGANISMS
H.-P. Blumeand M. Bölter
A concept for an ecological rating of habitats is given by this approach, which comprises different polar soils. This concept was used to understand strong differences in kind and intensity of vegetation cover, in the amount of bacterial biomass and in some examples in the activity of soil animals of sites with permafrost of the Continental Antarctic, the Maritime Antarctic and of some Canadian Islands.
It could be shown that mainly the length of the snow free period, the intensity of cryoturbation and the amount of accumulated organic matter control plant cover and bacterial activity; but also the water, air and nutrient conditions have an important influence. This influence, however, is more closely related to local and seasonal aspects.