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first_img Previous Article Next Article Officefacilities management company Regus has changed the way its employees learn – allaround the world. Simon Kent reports on its initiativeImplementinga new method of training delivery throughout an organisation is not a simpleexercise. Creating the required training materials and ensuring all employeesunderstand and have access to them can take time. However,the office facilities management company Regus has introduced a new approach totraining that has had clear positive results in only six months. Through theestablishment of the Regus On-line Learning Institute (Roli) all employees nowhave access to learning materials 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Inparallel with the company’s aim to “change the way we work” the trainingdepartment has effectively changed the way its organisation learns. Accordingto training director Ian McCourt, the speed at which Roli has been created isno surprise to those within the company. Regus is a young and expandingorganisation, expecting its workforce to double in the next 12 months. It’s arapidly developing business and employees take the view that Regus’s businessyears move twice as fast as anywhere else.Thecompany has a strong entrepreneurial ethic, allowing employees to effectivelywork as if they were managing their own business, taking the initiative andsharing best practice wherever possible. Atthe same time it provides the learning support and career opportunitiesemployees require to develop within the company.Relevance“We’revery focused as an organisation,” says McCourt, “but we tend to lose interestunless information is delivered in bite-sized manageable chucks. All trainingmust be transferable to the real world – if we can’t see the relevance then ourretention rate immediately drops.” McCourtwanted to introduce a new approach to training that would key into the company’sculture. He wanted staff to have access to concise and effective trainingmaterials wherever and whenever they needed that training. Hisvision was to deliver high-quality video and interactive training materialsacross Regus’s growing IT network enabling employees to receive high-qualityrelevant training at their own PC.CreatingRoli has been a team effort with close collaboration between all departments ofthe company. McCourt’s training department was concerned with designing theresource to fit in with the company’s overall training structure, supportingemployees from basic induction skills through to management and professionalqualifications. However,McCourt was emphatic that the training department should not be responsible fortraining content. “We took the approach that if you were a salesman then whowould you really like to learn from? Not some professional trainer, but from areal expert – the person who is at the top of the organisation in that field.”Eachsection of the company – from finance through to purchase and logistics – hastherefore been active in the design of the materials available for theiremployees. Departmentalheads have been appointed as “deans” of their specific “faculty” – usinglanguage that reinforces the gravity and seriousness with which the companyviews its training activities. RachelKing helped to create the content for the sales and marketing department.Indeed, when employees log on to the sales faculty, it is her role to welcomethem through a streamed video clip, and her voice that guides them through someof the exercises. “Weneeded to introduce a new data management system to our teams globally – that’ssome 2,500 employees,” she explains. “Atfirst we were going to do it through training the trainer, allowing skills tobe cascaded through the organisation in each region. Using e-learning has meantwe can take a coordinated approach, providing everyone with the same standardof training and support.”PositivefeedbackThisinitiative has received positive feedback from sales teams throughout theorganisation. While there may have been some resistance or at least negativefeelings about the idea of classroom-based training, each sales team has beenable control how and when they have been trained. Byfollowing multimedia presentations with interactive multiple choice and opentext question and answer exercises, the department has ensured a 100 per centsuccess rate among employees since they cannot proceed past the exercise untilthey have correctly answered the test and demonstrated working knowledge.Trainees still have access to human support if they need it through emailedqueries or simply by phoning one of the three specialists in charge of thetraining initiative. Atthe same time, information generated by the system can be collected and used toprovide feedback on the effectiveness of the training – showing whether thereis a need for additional information or courses on a subject or regional basis.Thispattern of interactivity and course design is replicated within each Facultyand department of the company, and within each course module.Thethird party involved in the creation of Roli is of course, Regus’s IT section.Having viewed other online learning resources, Darren Sharp, head of IT,believed they could create and deliver higher quality training products –courses that would use video and interactive exercises set on aneasy-to-navigate site.ContextAtthe end of the day, however, it is the training context – the structure aroundRoli – that is key to realising the full value of the resource. Employeesreceive appraisals, feedback and sign off from their line managers whichensures every learning activity is integrated into their work, and new skillsare used actively in working life.However,perhaps the most radical and surprising aspect in the establishment of Roli isthat at no time has McCourt or any other manager directed employees as to howmuch time they should spend on the system receiving training. Organisationsthat have introduced e-learning have often struggled with the problem of how tomake sure employees devote sufficient quality time to training activities, whenthey can concentrate without being interrupted or distracted. McCourthas, in effect, solved the problem by not addressing it, preferring to rely oncreating the right level of demand. “Inthe end, I decided that if we created something which people wanted to use,they would manage their own time in order to use it,” he says. “Ithought long and hard about whether to stipulate training time, but at the endof the day, time management is an important part of everyone’s job.” Access all hoursOn 1 Mar 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

HR benchmarking is more than cost-cutting

first_imgHR benchmarking is more than cost-cuttingOn 17 Jul 2001 in Personnel Today HR teams that join benchmarking networks seem to be making a desperate, yetfutile, attempt to justify their existence. It is highly ironic, therefore,that the growth in the use of HR benchmarking seems to bear a directcorrelation with the huge losses in HR jobs through outsourcing. The mainreason for this is that benchmarking is using the wrong type of measures forthe wrong reasons. HR databases suffer from two fundamental flaws. Most of the data comprisesmeaningless activity measures (for example, number of training days per employee),which is usually of no great interest to anyone outside the HR department. Yet,when more business-focused measures are used (profitability per employee, forinstance), the database can show no causal connection to HR activity. One particular metric that I regard as the worst possible piece of data thatan HR department can collect is the “full-time equivalents per HRdepartment FTE” ratio. What is better, 100:1 or 50:1? Surely it dependsentirely on what the “1” HR person is actually doing. Would anyoneever try to gauge how effective a football team may or may not be on the basisof the players-to-manager ratio? No doubt accountants are interested in this metric because they regard HRcosts as an overhead, and overheads are usually a one-way street. So even ifyour FTE/HR ratio is the best on the database (although I’m still not surewhether “best” means lowest or highest), there will always bepressure to reduce HR’s cost. HR teams that have signed up to these databases seem to have missed the wholepoint about benchmarking. It is meant to be a continuous improvement technique,not just a cost-reduction tool. Improvements can and will come from increasingresources as well as reducing them. The only possible good I can see coming from such databases is that ifinefficient and ineffective personnel administrators want to act like turkeysvoting for Christmas, then they get what they deserve. This should free upprecious resources for those HR people involved in more important work. I would go further and argue that an organisation can never have too many HRpeople if they all actually add lots of value – an argument that any boarddirector can understand and accept as long as they see some convincingevidence. I would not say the same for accountants, however. The sooner we publishtheir FTE ratio, the better. Let’s see how they like it. By Paul Kearns, senior partner, Personnel Works Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more


first_imgThis month’s newsLandfill risks The world’s most extensive study into the potential health risks of livingclose to landfill sites has been published by the Government. It looked at ratesof birth defects, low birth weight, stillbirths and cancer within these areasand found no increase in rates of cancer. But birth defects were found to be 1per cent higher than expected, and 7 per cent higher if the site containedhazardous waste. The number of low birth weight babies was around 5 per centhigher near to landfill sites, but no difference was found in the rate ofstillbirths. Scaffolders’ back pain Scaffolders are at high risk of developing serious back pain, according to astudy by doctors in the Netherlands. The study of 229 scaffolders and 59supervisors found low back pain was consistently associated with physical load.Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2001;58:597-603 Corporate manslaughter A construction company has been convicted of corporate manslaughter over thedeath of one of its employees, in a case brought by the HSE. Wisbech firmEnglish Brothers was convicted in August of causing the death of gang foremanBill Larkman, who fell eight metres through fragile insulation material. It wasfined £30,000 and £12,500 costs. Stroke awareness OH professionals have been urged to take part in this year’s StrokeAwareness Week, which runs from 30 September to 6 October. The week isorganised by the charity The Stroke Association and this year will focus on theimportance of increasing physical activity to help reduce the risk of a stroke.The information pack is available by calling 020 7566 0319 or e-mailing [email protected] seminar A one-day seminar on investigating and preventing workplace injury and illhealth will take place on October 17 at Cardiff’s Hanover Hotel, organised bythe Institution of Occupational Safety and Health. Those interested in attending should call Cynthia Hovord at the Health andSafety Executive on 02920 263000 or e-mail [email protected] safety A safety warning on lorry loader cranes has been issued by the Health andSafety Executive. New cranes must be fitted with an interlocking system, orequivalent engineering solution, to prevent the crane operating withoutstabilisers being deployed. The warning follows 12 incidents over the past fiveyears, including one fatality. Guidelines for zoos The Health and Safety Commission has launched a consultation on proposals towithdraw an approved code of practice on health and safety standards for zoosand replace it with new guidance. It runs until 5 November. information for waiting staff A free information sheet to help reduce injuries to waiters has beenpublished by the HSE. The catering information sheet No 20 sets out what typesof injuries commonly occur while waiting. safety Guidance on how to survey workplaces for materials containing asbestos andhow to record the results has been published by the HSE. Surveying, samplingand assessment of asbestos-containing materials is part of the HSE’s Methodsfor the Determination of Hazardous Substances series. Comments are closed. NewsOn 1 Oct 2001 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Articlelast_img read more

Employers get tough in targeting talent

first_imgEmployers are making recruitment procedures increasingly rigorous to makesure they employ only the best candidates. A survey by publisher GTI of 500 companies reveals online screening of jobapplicants has risen from 12 per cent in 2000 to 54 per cent in 2001. More than a quarter of employers used some form of psychometric test lastyear, up from 17 per cent the previous year. Graduate Recruitment Trends also shows employers are increasingly demandinggraduates demonstrate essential skills during job interviews. Four out of 10 companies used group exercises last year, a rise of 14 percent on the previous year, and the proportion of firms asking candidates togive presentations jumped 12 per cent to 37 per cent over the same period. Carl Gilleard, chief executive of the Association of Graduate Recruiters,said the study shows HR is under increasing pressure to select the rightcandidates in a difficult economic climate. “Graduate recruiters recognise the cost of recruitment and want to becertain the people they select have the capacity to be successful,” saidGilleard. “This is driven by a need to select people with the skills to make acontribution to business success quickly.” Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Employers get tough in targeting talentOn 5 Feb 2002 in Personnel Todaylast_img read more


first_img Previous Article Next Article PeopleOn 18 Jun 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. Neil Jones is the first civilian to be appointed as director of humanresources for Dyfed Powys Police. He was previously head of HR and developmentat the Welsh Development Agency, where he introduced the WDA’s first ever HRstrategy and led the development of the Pathways to Learning programme. Jones is responsible for the full range of HR activity as well as high-levelstrategic input: “My remit will include overall responsibility for thefull range of personnel and development services,” he says. “I willalso be responsible for the overall strategic direction of the HRfunction.” He will oversee recruitment, training and career development, occupationalhealth and health and safety. Jones will also sit on the management board.”I’m looking forward to becoming a member of the board and being fullyinvolved in the overall development of the force’s strategy,” he says.”It is vitally important that HR policies and practices are directly alignedwith the business needs of the force.” Jones is also looking forward to securing an integrated approach to theappointment, development, reward and motivation of police and civilian staffand working with the existing team at police headquarters. Married with one daughter, he is in the process of moving to West Wales,where he can further indulge his hobbies of walking, going to the theatre anddining out with friends. CV 2002 Director of HR, Dyfed Powys Police 2000 Head of HR and development, Welsh Development Agency 1993 Assistant head of HR, University of Glamorgan 1990 Personnel manager, Mid Glamorgan County Council… on the move Property care group Delta Doric has appointed Veronica Workman as safety andresources manager. Her remit includes HR, with responsibility for employeedevelopment and ensuring the firm has all the necessary skills throughout thework-force. Workman will also oversee training and the quality managementprocess, as well as administering health and safety policies. Paul Reynolds has taken over as HR director for bar, restaurant andnightclub operator Urbium. The company recently demerged from Chorion and is nowindependent. This is a newly created position for Urbium, which runs the TigerTiger chain, and underpins its plans for expansion through acquisition in bothEurope and the UK. Reynolds is responsible for creating HR procedures andpolices. Jon Sparkes is the new head of HR at Cambridgeshire County Council. He joinsfrom The Genetics Group, but was previously an HR manager at PlesseyTelecommunications. He now has overall responsibility for the management anddevelopment of the council’s HR policies. Sparkes has a BSc in managementsciences and is co-author of the book Leading HR. Lindsay Blackman, head of personnel and management development at McNicholasConstruction, has joined the board. She is responsible for developing policiesand co-ordinating all HR activity at the group. She became head of personnel in1996 and established the department, helping the workforce grow from 600 to3,000 in five years. She previously worked for Sock Shop and Hobbs Belinda Earl, chief executive of Debenhams, has been appointed head of thenewly formed Skillsmart Sector Skills Council. The organisation aims to raisethe skills and productivity of retail sector staff and is one of fivetrailblazer SSCs established by the Government. Although an owned subsidiary ofthe British Retail Consortium, Skillsmart will represent the whole retailsector, including non-BRC members. Earl joined Debenhams from Harrods in 1985and joined the board in 1999. last_img read more

Training solutions on show

first_imgNextmonth’s Wolce conference reflects the need to showcase every training mediaunder one roof. Sue Weekes reportsTheorganisers of Wolce decided there was quite a lot in a name this year. VentureMarketing Group (VMG) took the decision to change the ‘Open Learning’ in theevent’s name to ‘Of Learning’ after careful discussion with the trainingindustry and industry experts as well as delegates and visitors to previousevents over the past 10 years.About80 per cent of all senior training professionals advocate the use of blendedsolutions now. And while it remains true that e-learning – the medium thatfacilitates so much open learning nowadays – is one of the industry’s fastestgrowing sectors, VMG felt there was a need to showcase all training media underone roof, which was fully-backed after consultation with practitioners. Theupshot of it all should mean a more meaningful event for both visitor andexhibitor. Theevent takes place 2-3 October at the NEC in Birmingham, with the Gala dinnerand awards, presented by Will Carling. Exhibitors include this year’s mainsponsor learndirect, Ascot Systems, BAOL, Bytes technology, ebc, Hyperwave,Question Mark Computing, Skill Boosters, Smart Technologies, XOR and many more.Theconference runs concurrently across the two days and, unlike the exhibition,maintains some lines of demarcation being broken down into four themeddevelopment tracks: e-learning, blended learning, best practice in open anddistance learning and face-to-face learning. The opening address will be madeby Dave Jedrziewski, director of leadership and management development at DellComputer Corporation USA, which is currently undergoing the change from amanagement organisation to a leadership one. He will be covering the organisationalchanges that are required to initiate and deliver successful trainingprogrammes. “Currentlyat Dell, we are moving to a leadership-based training and developmentorganisation to attain our training results in the right way,” explainsJedrziewski. “By instituting the ethos that ‘one manages things and oneleads people’, we are changing the focus of our training and development to onewhich allies itself to our business needs and uses whatever delivery meansnecessary to gain results. “Wehave, however, taken the ego out of the training field by allowing employees tohave an increased sense of ownership over their training as long as it fitswith their clearly-developed career mapping.”Withthe training receiver still firmly in mind, the keynote address on the secondday of the event by Mark Frank, principal of IBM Learning Services, will beassessing the penetration of new training technologies and whether employeeswelcome such technological changes. As the man accountable for the quality and productionof courses for IBM’s training throughout the world, he will also be providingsome indicators for the future of corporate training and how companies can maketraining changes with the minimum of organisational disruption.Throughoutthe conference there will be plenty of real-life examples and experiencesrelayed via a number of case studies from such companies as BT, Goldman Sachs,Royal Bank of Scotland and Debenhams. For those who are currently trying todecide if the much talked about blended approach is for them, the sessioncalled Mastering the Blended Approach should provide some valuable insight onday one. Speakers include Rob Field, training and development specialist fromAvis, who will be able to talk about his experience of putting together ablended solution, along with Jayne Edwards, technology training manager atHalifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS). “Around 15 per cent of our learning iscompleted online but this is only one medium by which we deliver our training;others include CD-Rom and video, and there is always a place for face-to-faceas part of a blended solution,” comments Edwards.Sowhether the future of your training is face-to-face, online or most likely, abit of both, Wolce, in its 10th anniversary year, should have something foryou. Whatto see…AscotSystems B90 – Launching the innovative integration of the NetTutor virtualclassroom with Pathlore’s Learning Management System. This facilitates instantonline monitoring and assistance, creating a true virtual training centreenvironment. n Bytes Technology H10 – Visit Dr David in the learning surgery.The IT services specialists won’t promise to cure all ills but says it will beoffering advice on training strategy.BourneTraining E50 – The custom-built learning specialist will be showcasing itsnewly-developed solution that helps organisations create bespoke e-learningin-house using their own content and mainstream development tools.E2trainC90 – Latest products on show will be the Kallidus Learning ManagementSystem and authoring system. The latter allows an organisation’s own staff toproduce interactive learning content for the web or CD-Rom without the need forprogramming skills. HyperwaveP70 – Still not convinced that combining e-learning and knowledgemanagement is possible? Hyperwave sees it as a business imperative – find outwhy. ImpaticaG40 – Make time to see Impactica for Powerpoint, a clever piece oftechnology that lets you open and view Powerpoint files regardless of whetheryou have the Microsoft application or not.LearndirectB20 – Main sponsor of the show and now the largest e-learning project inEurope. Here you can find out what learndirect corporate has to offer to thebusiness world.UnlimitedE120 – View some of Ireland’s largest e-learning provider’s blendedsolutions which combine vendor-authorised content with Unlimited’s developedcurricula delivered through classroom training, CD-Rom and interactivee-learning.Essentialinformation–Wolce is at the Birmingham NEC on 2 and 3 October. The exhibition, which isfree, is open from 10am to 5pm on the Wednesday and 10am to 4pm on Thursday.–Although entry to the exhibition is free, conferences are paid-for with theexception of the opening and keynote addresses and two free master classes. –Pre-register at and to receive your conference programme, contactthe visitor hotline on 020 8394 5171.–Getting there: Byrail: Birmingham International station (the NEC’s own station) which has directservices to and from London Euston, Liverpool and Manchester. A connectingservice is available from Birmingham New Street..Byroad: The NEC is clearly sign-posted from the M1, M5, M6, M40 and M42.Byair: Birmingham International Airport Training solutions on showOn 1 Sep 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more

American dreams?

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. American dreams?On 1 Jan 2003 in Personnel Today US training trends are usually expected to migrate to the UK.  DeeDee Doke asks training experts on bothsides of the pond to assess their likely impact this yearAt the beginning of 2003, the economic and political challenges facing USbusiness are becoming training issues in corporate classrooms, as business andtraining themselves adapt to the uncertainties of a volatile world. From security awareness to human performance analysis, US business islooking to training to help it adapt to manifestations of the new world ordersuch as terrorism, corporate ethics and values lapses, productivity stagnationand globalisation. Or, prevent such challenges from taking big bites out of thebottom line. “It is a time of dramatic change,” says Pat Galagan, managingdirector of content at the American Society of Training and Development, inAlexandria, Virginia. “It is also a time of great promise. New doors areopening.” One example is e-learning, which in the US as elsewhere, infused thetraining industry with a new breed of IT-literate trainers with differentskillsets than most veteran trainers. Trainers are also being required to have greater business acumen than everbefore to guide their audiences through the ever-increasing complexitiesinvolving a company’s strategy. This equates to more training for the trainers,along with companies’ chief learning officers, on a variety of fronts.”Companies are becoming more global, everything is being done faster. Newskills are not just business skills, but emotional skills, teamwork, and globalawareness,” Galagan says. Performance gaps One area of increasing training focus in the US is human performanceanalysis – a 30-year-old movement that Galagan says is now gathering speed. A performance consultant will examine all aspects of a workplace situationto determine where a performance gap is occurring, what the cause is and how tofix it. “What’s new is analysing the situation instead of defaulting to atraining course. It is very results-orientated,” Galagan says. UK training consultant Andrew Forrest wishes such a system was taking holdhere. “I think it ought to be a trend,” he says. “A lot of moneyis thrown at organisational training, and I think evaluation is an absolutelykey point. I’d like to see organisations taking evaluation moreseriously.” Even ‘world-class’ organisations are far behind the power curve inappropriately assessing the type of training they actually need because theydon’t necessarily understand what knowledge gaps exist, he says. Forrest believes that knowledge management expertise within the UK generallyremains at “a very, very basic stage”. He says: “There’s a longway to go to identify good processes in one part of the organisation and for itto make its way to the other parts.” Greater rewards and recognition must be put in place to underscore trainingin this field, Forrest says. In terms of business training content, look no further than the newsheadlines of the past 12 to 18 months to get an idea of two of today’s keytraining content trends in the US. Let an issue become a cause celebre in the US, and a training course on howto – or how not to – choose the same path is sure to follow. Consider the 1974Watergate scandal, for instance. It first forced then-President Nixon toresign, and then changed the course of US journalism training to develop andinstil new investigative skills in the nation’s reporters and editors. This tradition of seeking solutions to crises and preventing mistakes thatled to earlier crises is now being played out in US businesses’ trainingcentres as the events of 11 September and the Enron and WorldCom scandals forcebusiness to reconsider security practices and procedures, and ethical codes andvalues. “Since 9/11, there’s been a lot of interest in security training,”says Galagan. “The creation of the Homeland Security department willfurther drive up interest.” Companies that feel vulnerable to terrorist attack,such as transport firms, airlines and energy providers, are among the mostlikely to seek out such training, although the post-9/11 anthrax attacks andthe Washington DC sniper incidents are prompting a broad variety of businessinterests to become more security knowledgeable as well. Similarly, fallout from a lack of concrete ethics frameworks within USbusiness – unlike the UK’s corporate governance model – has fuelled interest inethics and values training, particularly within leadership developmentprogrammes and MBA offerings. And to tie up all of those pressing business issues into onestrategy-conscious package, a training method of helping companies visualisetheir past, present and future is picking up steam among US-based companiessuch as Charles Schwab, IBM and National Semiconductor. San Francisco’s Changeworks Global guides senior teams to, literally, see‘the big picture’. A strategic illustrator works with participants to develop avisual representation of what a company wants to accomplish. “We helporganisations set out their change road map,” says trainer Cynthia Scott.”We show the big picture in a way they can understand.” Contactswww.astd.comwww.changeworksglobal.comwww.theworkfoundation.comlast_img read more

Small firms must protect themselves from claims

first_imgRelated posts:No related photos. Smallbusinesses need to take action to protect themselves from compensation claimsfor causing work-related stress, an employment lawyer has warned.MarkThompson, legal team leader at Associa Employment Service, responding to theHSE/Personnel Today research, said recent cases had seen employees successfullyclaim up to £91,000 for work-related stress, with reports of some businessessettling out of court for more than £200,000.”Fewsmall businesses realise that it is every employer’s duty, by law, to make surestaff are not made ill by their work. This includes illnesses brought on bywork-related stress. Employers who do not take stress seriously are leavingthemselves open to compensation claims.”Thefirm has a checklist of 10 tips for small businesses looking to minimisestress-related compensation claims. Previous Article Next Article Small firms must protect themselves from claimsOn 3 Dec 2003 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. last_img read more

Kinematics of labriform and subcarangiform swimming in the Antarctic fish Notothenia neglecta

first_img1. The kinematics of labriform and subcarangiform swimming have been investigated for juvenile (7–8 cm) and adult (27–30 cm) stages of the antarctic teleost Notothenia neglecta Nybelin at 1–2 °C 2. Upper threshold speeds using the pectoral fins alone (labriform swimming) were 0.8LS−1 in adult fish and 1.4Ls−1 in juveniles, where L is body length 3. In adult fish, steady subcarangiform swimming is only used at speeds of 3.6-5.4Ls−1 (tail-beat frequencies of 5.0-8.3Hz). Intermediate speeds involve unsteady swimming. In contrast, juvenile fish employ subcarangiform swimming at a range of intermediate velocities between the maximum labriform and burst speeds (2.3-8.4Ls−1 at tail-beat frequencies of 4.0-12.5 Hz). These differences in swimming behaviour are discussed in relation to changes in life-style and muscle fibre type composition between juvenile and adult fish 4. Burst swimming speeds in N. neglecta have been compared with equivalent data from temperate species. It seems likely that low temperature limits swimming performance in antarctic fish. This is more noticeable in juvenile stages, which normally have much higher tail-beat frequencies than adult fishlast_img read more

Microbial ecology of sea ice at a coastal Antarctic site:community composition, biomass and temporal change

first_imgThe coastal sea ice in the vicinity of Davis Station, Antarctica (68* 35′ S, 77* 58′ E), supported a diverse microbial community which varied in composition and biomass in response to increasing insolation and temperature during the austral summer. To understand more fully the fate of photosynthetically fixed carbon in sea ice, we examined the dynamics of community composition, biomass and production in autotrophs, heterotrophic protozoa and bacteria. The microbial community inhabiting the bottom few centimeters of land fast ice differed markedly from the interior communities in taxonomic composition and biomass and in the timing and fate of production. Total microbial biomass integrated throughout the ice depth declined during the season from a mean of 1150 mg C m-2 on 17 November to 628 mg C m-2 by 22 December. This largely reflected a decrease in the biomass of the bottom ice community which was dominated by the diatom Entomoneis spp. In contrast, the biomass of the interior ice community increased during summer and was dominated by autotrophic forms <20 um in length with a small dinoflagellate, Gymnodinium sp., becoming particularly abundant. Heterotrophic protozoa, composed of mainly nanoflagellate, euglenoid and dinoflagellate taxa, contributed between 16 and 19% of the total integrated microbial biomass in the interior ice and between 1 and 11% in the bottom ice. The biomass of heterotrophic protozoa increased throughout the ice depth during summer and estimated taxon-specific net growth rates ranged between 0.168 d-1 for a heterotrophic euglenoid and 0.05 d-1 for the heterotrophic nanoflagellate population over a 23 d period. Bacterial biomass varied by several orders of magnitude between ice depths mainly due to the occurrence of an abundant population of large epiphytic bacteria attached to Entomoneis spp. in the bottom ice. However, bacterial biomass contributed a similar proportion of between 4 and 16% of the total microbial biomass in both interior and bottom ice. The biomass of unattached bacteria increased throughout the ice depth during summer and exhibited an estimated net growth rate of 0.05 d-1. These data are used to quantify autotrophic production in bottom and interior communities, to estimate the flux of carbon to heterotrophs and to illustrate the complexity of the trophic interactions in coastal sea ice.last_img read more

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