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Notes on reproduction, ecology and distribution

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the reproduction, ecology and distribution of Staurastrum and Staurodesmus species. The sexual reproduction in Staurastrum and Staurodesmus species is predominantly vegetative, by cell division. Particularly in species with a planktonic way of life, circulating in the open water of large lakes, the chances of cells meeting for sexual reproduction are almost nil. Successful conjugation is only possible under conditions of undisturbed cell contact for the time needed to induce pairing of conjugants and amoeboid migration of gametes. Such conditions are to be expected in shallow, stagnant water bodies, in the shelter of submerged vegetation, but not in more turbulent open water. Most of the Staurastrum and Staurodesmus species occur in (slightly) acidic oligo-mesotrophic habitats, but especially among euplanktonic species quite a number are known that flourish under eutrophic conditions. Many species exhibit distinct geographical distribution patterns within Europe.

Keywords: Europe; geographical distribution patterns; sexual reproduction; Staurastrum; Staurodesmus



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