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Ecology and distribution

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Chapter Summary

High desmid species diversity is expected in nutrient-poor, clear waters. The favourable desmid habitat is in shallow water bodies that are moderately poor in nutrients and slightly acidic to slightly alkaline in nature. Such conditions are found in moorland pools with a luxurious vegetation of, e.g., Hypericum elodes, Eleogiton fluitans, Pilularia globulifera, Luronium natans and Apium inundatum, in peat pits with Stratiotes aloides, Utricularia vulgaris, Menyanthes trifoliata and Potamogeton natans, or in fen hollows with Carex lasiocarpa, Pedicularis palustris, Utricularia minor and Scorpidium scorpioides. As most desmid species have a benthic way of life rather than a planktonic one, squeezing of submerged aquatics usually yields better results than towing plankton net in the open water. The most favourable season for collecting desmids is in summer-time as the population density of most species is at its highest. Yet, also in the middle of winter large numbers of desmids may be encountered.

Keywords: Carex lasiocarpa; desmid species diversity; Eleogiton fluitans; Hypericum elodes; Luronium natans; Pedicularis palustris; Pilularia globulifera; plankton net; Scorpidium scorpioides; Utricularia minor



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