CRYPTOENDOLITHIC ALGAL COMMUNITIES OF THE COLORADO PLATEAU

Robert A. Bell, Patrick V. Athey, Milton R. Sommerfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Eighteen taxa, including representatives of both eukaryotic and prokaryotic genera, were isolated from below the surface of eight sandstones in four semi‐desert and cold temperate biomes of northern Arizona, southern Utah and Western New Mexico. The algae occurred as uniform well defined bands in light‐colored sandstones and also as scattered patches in dark sandstones. The algal communities varied in generic composition, chlorophyll a content, and location within the different sandstones. Biomass, estimated by chlorophyll a content, was approximately two to twenty‐fold greater than reported for cryptoendolithic algal bands in a cold desert habitat. The widespread distribution of certain algae in endolithic habitats of the Colorado Plateau and their presence in rocks at quite distant locations suggests that the endolithic habitat may he utilized by algae whenever it provides more favorable conditions than the surrounding surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)429-435
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Phycology
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1986

Keywords

  • algal ecology
  • Arizona
  • blue‐green algae
  • chlorophyll extraction
  • Colorado Plateau
  • cryptoen‐dolithic algae
  • DMSO
  • endolithic algae
  • green algae
  • sandstones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Plant Science

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