A glimpse of the microbial world's hidden beauty
To collect, identify and document these single-celled algae called desmids, USGS biologist Barry H. Rosen has traveled by airboat into the interior of Florida’s Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, where decaying marsh grasses created a mosaic of peat soils and the soft, slightly acidic water where desmids grow. Rosen thinks the area may have some of the world’s greatest diversity of this algal family. His team has found more than 200 species from 31 genera – “crazy diversity” in just a few samples, he says.
Micrasterias foliacea collected in Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, August 2017. Photo: Barry H. Rosen, USGS
Barry H. Rosen, USGS