A snowflake chain? Nope. A one-celled green alga.
The desmid family of single-celled green algae are never found in abundance, says USGS biologist Barry Rosen. They inhabit the soft, slightly acidic water of wetlands that depend on rainwater, like Florida’s Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. They don’t “bloom” en masse, but their presence is an indicator of good water quality. Rosen’s research is likely to facilitate Everglades ecological studies by increasing our understanding of the relationship between algal communities and water quality.
Micrasterias foliacea collected at Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, August 2017. Photo: Barry Rosen, USGS
USGS, public domain