Lech Stempniewicz

Lech Stempniewicz
University of Gdansk | UG · Department of Vertebrate Ecology and Zoology

professor

About

150
Publications
25,932
Reads
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2,819
Citations
Citations since 2016
59 Research Items
1534 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
Additional affiliations
January 1972 - November 2016
University of Gdansk
Position
  • asistant

Publications

Publications (150)
Article
Full-text available
The Little Auk Alle alle is a small planktivorous auk breeding colonially in the High Arctic. Owing to its large population size and bi-environmental lifestyle, resulting in the large-scale transport of matter from sea to land, the Little Auk is one of the most important components of the marine and terrestrial ecosystems in the Arctic. As a result...
Article
Full-text available
The polar bear Ursus maritimus is one of the species most endangered by the rapidly declining sea–ice cover in the Arctic, which they use as a platform to hunt fatty, high-energy seals. In recent decades, more polar bears have been forced to remain longer on land, so their access to seals is limited. The importance of terrestrial food to polar bear...
Article
Full-text available
Assessment of the impact of climate change on the Arctic nearshore ecosystems requires knowledge of the “reference points”, that is, the state of things before the effects of the warming become pronounced. For parasites, which play an essential role in the nearshore ecosystems, this knowledge is scarce and fragmentary. This study, based on the mate...
Article
Full-text available
To monitor the rapid changes occurring in Arctic ecosystems and predict their direction, basic information about the current number and structure of the main components of these systems is necessary. Using boat-based surveys, we studied the numbers and distribution of seabirds foraging in Hornsund (SW Spitsbergen) during three summer seasons. The a...
Article
Full-text available
Hornsund is a typical high-Arctic fjord, with the usual predominance of water masses of the Arctic origin, and associated lipid-rich zooplankton, which is an important food source for many seabird species. The fjord hosts one of the largest concentrations of breeding little auks worldwide, as well as several large colonies of black-legged kittiwake...
Article
Full-text available
Using GPS-tracked individuals, we compared foraging ecology and reproductive output of a High-Arctic zooplanktivorous seabird, the little auk Alle alle, between three years differing in environmental conditions (sea surface temperature). Despite contrasting environmental conditions, average foraging fights distance and duration were generally simil...
Article
Full-text available
The diversity of cyanobacteria and algae from various microhabitats in Spitsbergen is comparatively well known. However, the relationships between environmental factors and the structure of microflora communities remain largely unclear. This study was conducted in Hornsund Bay, which exhibits large variability in the physicochemical characteristics...
Poster
Full-text available
Beta diversity of soil (springtails and mites) and limnoterrestrial (tardigrades) invertebrates increases in the vicinity of seabird nesting sites due to higher total number of species, and different communities occurring close to seabird nests/colonies as compared with areas beyond their influence.
Poster
Full-text available
We compared local realized niche space between selected pairs of species �to determine if they occupy the same niche. To verify the hypothesis, we used statistical methods proposed by Geange et al. 2011.
Article
Full-text available
Background: Foraging strategies of seabird species often vary considerably between and within individuals. This variability is influenced by a multitude of factors including age, sex, stage of annual life cycle, reproductive status, individual specialization and environmental conditions. Results: Using GPS-loggers, we investigated factors affecting...
Article
Full-text available
Here, we model current and future distribution of a foraging Arctic endemic species, the little auk (Alle alle), a small zooplanktivorous Arctic seabird. We characterized environmental conditions [sea depth, sea surface temperature (SST), marginal sea ice zone (MIZ)] at foraging positions of GPS-tracked individuals from three breeding colonies in S...
Article
Full-text available
Two high latitude fjords of Spitsbergen (Hornsund 77°N and Kongsfjorden 79°N) are regarded as being highly productive (70g and 50gCm⁻²year⁻¹) and having organic-rich sediments. Hornsund has more organic matter in its sediments (8%), nearly half of it of terrestrial origin, while most of that in Kongsfjorden (5%) comes from fresh, marine sources (mi...
Poster
Full-text available
Our results show that the guano input from seabirds which have different diets can affect High Arctic vegetation in specific and more complex ways than previously realized.
Article
Full-text available
Although the processes occurring at the front of an ice face in tidewater glacier bays still await thorough investigation, their importance to the rapidly changing polar environment is spurring a considerable research effort. Glacier melting, sediment delivery and the formation of seabird foraging hotspots are governed by subglacial discharges of m...
Article
Full-text available
DNA extracted from faeces may be a valuable source of information about the animal itself, as well as its microflora. An isolated reindeer population from Svalbard (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus) was tested for the presence of Shiga toxin encoding genes in the collected faecal samples. Even though the reindeers were not interacting with any other...
Poster
Full-text available
Climate-induced glacier retreat is considered in the context of its reducing the sea-ice contact zone used by marine birds and mammals as important foraging grounds and may cause declines in their numbers. To test this hypothesis, a survey was conducted in diversified habitats of a rapidly deglaciating Arctic fjord in Svalbard. Of the 15 seabird an...
Article
Full-text available
Climate-induced glacier retreat is considered in the context of its reducing the sea-ice contact zone used by marine birds and mammals as important foraging grounds and may cause declines in their numbers. To test this hypothesis, a survey was conducted in diversified habitats of a rapidly deglaciating Arctic fjord in Svalbard. Of the fifteen seabi...
Article
Arctic terrestrial ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to the effects of ongoing and predicted climate changes. The current states of environmental biodiversity and ecological networks in the Arctic need to be known and understood in order to monitor how they change and how these changes may influence the particular components of the ecosystem....
Article
Full-text available
It is well known that polar bears feed on vegetation. Here, I report novel observations of polar bears grazing on polar scurvy grass (Cochlearia groenlandica) at the foot of a large seabird colony on a cliff on Spitsbergen, Svalbard, in the summers of 2005, 2006, 2009, 2014 and 2015. Why they choose such energy-costly climbing to feed on plants is...
Article
Full-text available
The role of seabirds as sea-land biovectors of nutrients is well documented. However, no studies have examined whether and how colonial seabirds that differ in diet may influence terrestrial vegetation. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to describe and compare plant communities located in the vicinity of the two most common types of seabird c...
Article
Full-text available
Due to deposition of birds' guano, eggshells or feathers, the vicinity of a large seabirds' breeding colony is expected to have a substantial impact on the soil's physicochemical features as well as on diversity of vegetation and the soil invertebrates. Consequently, due to changing physicochemical features the structure of bacterial communities mi...
Data
Detailed taxonomic analyses for different ranks in the two tested soil samples. Sunburst charts show the relative abundance of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences for each soil sample, at different taxonomic levels. The first level of the sunburst chart represents all phyla present in a particular sample; the next levels represent the class, orde...
Data
Rarefaction analysis of the tested soil samples based on the chao1 measure.
Data
Detailed taxonomic analyses for different ranks in the tested soil samples. Table shows the relative abundance of bacterial 16S rRNA gene sequences for each tested soil sample (A and C), at different taxonomic levels.
Data
Differences between sample A (under the influence of the little auk colony) and sample C (the control sample) at the class level within each phylum, compared by chi-square test analysis.
Article
Full-text available
We studied the relative importance of several environmental factors for tundra plant communities in five locations across Svalbard (High Arctic) that differed in geographical location, oceanographic and climatic influence, and soil characteristics. The amount of marine-derived nitrogen in the soil supplied by seabirds was locally the most important...
Data
Dataset table of environmental data (explanatory variables). (XLSX)
Data
Dataset table of plant community composition based on percentage ground cover (response variables). (XLSX)
Data
Dataset table of N and C contents (%) and isotopic signatures (δ15N and δ13C, ‰) of vascular plants, mosses and lichens tissues (response variables). (XLSX)
Data
GLM and GAM models from Fig 3B–3D with scatter plots. (TIF)
Data
Dataset table of guano deposition in Hornsund location and C and N elements and their stable isotopes in soil. (XLSX)
Article
Full-text available
Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus) is a non-migratory subspecies of reindeer inhabiting the high-arctic archipelago of Svalbard. In contrast to other Rangifer tarandus subspecies, Svalbard reindeer graze exclusively on natural sources of food and have no chance of ingestion of any crops. We report the use of a non-invasive method f...
Data
Detailed taxonomic analyses on different ranks in the tested feces samples. Sunburst charts show the relative abundance of bacterial 16S rDNA sequences in total population (Rt) and for each tested individual R1-R10, at different taxonomic levels. The first level of sunburst chart represents all phyla present in particular samples, and the next leve...
Data
Comparison of microbial community with the use of principal coordinate analyses of Bray-Curtis dissimilarities at the phylum level in all tested reindeer individuals.
Data
Detailed taxonomic analysis on different ranks in the tested feces samples. Table shows the relative abundance of bacterial 16S rDNA sequences for each tested individual R1–R10, at different taxonomic levels.
Article
Full-text available
Zooplanktivorous seabirds as central-place foragers are constrained by the need to repeatedly return to the colony. Breeding within a cost-effective distance from food-abundant foraging grounds may be crucial for successful reproduction. In this study, foraging areas, ranges and habitats of high-Arctic little auks ( Alle alle) breeding on Bjørnøya...
Article
Full-text available
Different phenological responses to climate changes by species representing preys and predators may lead to mismatch between functionally dependent components of an ecosystem, with important effects on its structure and functioning. Here, we investigate withinseason variation in zooplankton availability, chick diet composition and breeding performa...
Article
Full-text available
Seabirds are among the most important vectors transferring biogenic compounds from the sea onto land in the polar regions and, consequently, influencing the properties of soil and vegetation. We studied the influence of bird colonies (Adélie penguin Pygoscelis adeliae, gentoo penguin P. papua and giant petrels Macronectes giganteus) on soil propert...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Previously we have shown that the most southern gull from the large white-headed gulls group, the kelp gull Larus dominicanus, from the Argentine Islands (maritime Antarctic) uses Sanionia moss species and Deschampsia antarctica Desv. Sprouts as nest building materials (Parnikoza et al., 2012). Typically, the moss is used for nest base construction...
Poster
Full-text available
For plants living in the harsh environment of Arctic tundra, proper amount of nutrients provided by large nesting colonies of sea birds is necessary for survival, and it enables the plants to move from vegetative to generative phase and to produce seeds. Efficient generative reproduction is rare among polar plant species, and their population survi...
Article
Full-text available
In spite of general knowledge that guano deposited near seabird colonies enhances fertility of poor polar soils, improves primary production and influences the tundra plant community, there are very few quantitative studies concerning plant responses to ornithogenic fertilization on the population level. We studied density, size variability and pro...
Article
Full-text available
In the Arctic, areas close to seabird colonies are often characterized by exceptionally rich vegetation communities linked with the high nutrient subsidies transported by seabirds from the marine environment to the land. These areas also support soil invertebrate communities of which springtails (Collembola) often represent the most abundant and di...