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Genus Staurastrum

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Staurastrum paradoxum Meyen 1828, being the only Staurastrum species dealt with by Meyen, is considered the type species of this genus. The genus Staurastrum is distinguished by the radial symmetry of the cells. Traditionally, all desmid species characterized by solitary cells that are tri- to pluriradiate are accounted the genus Staurastrum, as is the case with all biradiate species marked by hollow, arm-like processes. Actually, Staurastrum includes species of more varied morphology than any other genus of desmids. Cell length may range from less than ten to far over a hundred micrometres and also the shape of the semicell body differs (e.g., subcircular, semicircular, elliptic, obversely triangular, campanulate, trapeziform, rectangular). In species characterized by arm-like processes, the length of those processes appears to be related to the habitat: plankton inhabitants having longer arms than benthic representatives of the same species.

Keywords: benthic representatives; genus Staurastrum; Meyen; plankton inhabitants



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