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Diatom Flora of the Salton Sea

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Epiphyte Habitat


Epiphitic Flora


Licmorphora and Tabularia



Tabularia on Chaetomorpha



Achnanthes brevipes


Epiphytic Flora

Several of the diatoms in the Salton Sea grow in colonies attached to the macroalgae that live on rocks along the shore. The diatom colonies can be very dense (e.g. as in the case of Tabularia parva living on Chaetomorpha sp. and can cause the macroalgae to appear a brown color instead of the original green color.

A subgroup within the epiphytic flora includes epiphytic diatoms living on diatoms, a rather unusual phenomenon not often reported in the diatom literature. This occurs in Whitefield Creek where Tabularia investiens attaches to Pleurosira laevis, and Achnanthes spp to Terpsinoe musica.

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