Basin-Delta Mothersite

Diatom Flora of the Salton Sea

Salton Sea Home Page


Muddy Area with Sick Grebe


Benthic Flora

Trybionella hungarica


Tryblionella and Nitzchia frustulum


Nitzchia frustulum


Gyrosigma wormleyi

Diploneis bombus


Caloneis africana


Brachysira aponina


Amphora beaufortiana



Benthic Flora

Many diatoms can be found in the nearshore sediments of the Salton Sea, either attached to sand grains or rocks, or living on the mud. They can be seen forming dense patches of brownish color on the substrate. These diatoms are usually robust with heavily silicified frustules (e.g. Caloneis africana, Diploneis bombus). Some of them are motile; they secrete mucus that allows them to glide freely on the mud. Especially in the summer, clumps of cyanobacteria with their entrained benthic diatoms break free from the bottom to float at the surface in dense floating mats.

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