Silva Balcanica 22(3): 57-67, doi: 10.3897/silvabalcanica.22.e66704
Morphological and physico-chemical properties of Cryosoils in the Bulgarian antarctic base on Livingston island, Antarctica
expand article infoRositsa Ilieva, Rositsa Yaneva§, Miglena Zhiyanski§, Evgeny Abakumov|
‡ University of Forestry, Sofia, Bulgaria§ Forest Research Institute, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria| Saint-Petersburg State University, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Open Access
Abstract

Under the global climatic changes and anthropogenic impacts on the environment, information about characteristics and specific features of soils in remote regions as Antarctica is valuable and could be used as references. This study focuses on the analyses of original data about the physico-chemical composition and micromorphological structure of Cryosols, collected in 2019 from the sampling area of the Bulgarian Antarctic Base “St. Kl. Ohridski” located on Livingston Island, Antarctica. The studied Cryosols are moderately acidic with slow and incomplete transformation of organic residues. The organic carbon content is low, except for soils formed under the influence of an ornithogenic factor. The mezo- and micromorphological observations show a predominance of the mineral phase, weakly affected by weathering processes. Many soil pores and voids are observed, which facilitates water-air and intra-soil exchange during the short Antarctic summer. The analyses showed an evidence for the connection of the processes of soil formation of Cryosols in the region with the pulsating degradation of the glaciers.

Keywords
Cryosols, soil properties, micromorphology, Livingston island, Antarctica