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Showing posts from August, 2016

Diatom of the month – August 2016: Didymosphenia geminata

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by Luca Marazzi*

Many algae are able to form blooms, sometimes releasing dangerous toxins for aquatic organisms and people. Cyanobacteria are most infamous for producing blooms such as those ongoing in Florida's coastal waters, but other algae, including diatoms, can create such vast colonies too. The large (100,001-1,000,000 µm3)asymmetrical biraphidDidymosphenia geminata, or colloquially ‘didymo’is one of them; it attaches to stones in rivers by stalks (made of mucopolysaccharides, long chains of sugar molecules)that can be 1 m long! Didymo is invasive in Argentina, Chile, and New Zealand, where this video was released in 2008 to inform the fishing community that they should clean and dry all their gear to avoid spreading this species to other water bodies.
Fig. 1.(top) Didymosphenia geminata (scalebar = 10 µm; photo by Mart Schmidt); (bottom)numerous cells and mucilage stalks from South Boulder Creek (November 2011) - credit/source:Sarah Spaulding (http://westerndiatoms.colorado.…
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The Peril of Peat: Sea Level Rise in South Florida: Part 1
Post by: Ben Wilson



I love mud. Seems like I have for a long time now. It’s squishy and smelly, and once you get a little bit on you, you might as well go all out. I’m lucky in that the two most recent places I’ve lived, coastal Alabama and now in Miami, have had ample areas for me to get my mud fix. However, over the past century those areas have been dramatically decreasing, and given current and future climate change, they may disappear at an even greater rate. Over the next two blog posts, I will tell you how human development has altered water flow in the past, further exacerbating the problem of today: sea level rise. In order to save the mud, we must first look at what caused this problem in the first place.

Drain, baby, Drain


Whole books have been written on why and how the Everglades have been modified and managed, but I will just hit the highlights here. The Everglades as it is today began forming abo…