Chemical analyses showed that on the western coast of Spitsbergen some soils have a very high content of organic matter (2.15-5.63 Ct %) in the top layer while other soils show significantly lower quantities (0.75-0.82 Ct %). With respect to the total nitrogen content (Nt %) a similar situation can be found. Investigations in upper soil horizons, carried out for 5 places in Spitsbergen, showed that one of the soils studied was very little developed with 51,000 colony forming units (cfu) /g dried soil while four soils were more developed with 233,600-695,000 cfu/g dry wt. Heterotrophie, aerobic, non-sporogenous and Gram-negative bacteria are typical for the rhizosphere. Micromycetes, however, were very scarce, soil respiration and cellulolytic potentials were similar to those found in acid and cold soils of Romania (temperate climate). The five soils were enzymatically tested for: catalase, saccharase, urease and total phosphatase potentials. It is important to underline that the biotic and enzymatic potentials of the four more developed soils from Spitsbergen are comparable with the poorer soils from Romania. In Spitsbergen the period with a climate favorable for biological processes is too short (2-3 months) and consequently the organic layer is only 9-12 cm thick.
Supplement to: Negoita, Teodor Gheorghe; Stefanic, Gheorghe; Irimescu-Orzan, Mirela Emilia; Palanciuc, Vasilica; Oprea, Georgeta (2002): Microbial, chemical and enzymatic properties in Spitsbergen Soils. Polarforschung, 71(1/2), 41-46