A survey of algae from montane cloud forest and alpine streams in Bolivia: Macroalgae and associated microalgae
Mc Clintic, Amy S.; Casamatta, Dale A.; Vis, Morgan L.
Thirty-three stream segments in the Bolivian highlands were sampled for macroscopic algae (thalli visible with the naked eye). Select physical and chemical stream parameters of these streams were measured. Thirteen montane cloud forest streams were examined around Coroico; alpine streams were sampled in Unduavi (13 streams) and Sorata (7 streams). At each location, a variety of lotic habitats were examined ranging from rivulets and waterfalls to large trunk rivers. Overall, the streams had neutral-alkaline pH (7.4-8.7) with low to moderate conductivity (<250 µS·cm). The mean number of macroalgal taxa per stream segment was 2.4 and ranged from 1 to 5. From the 80 macroalgal specimens collected, a total of 32 taxa were identified from the following taxonomic groups: 14 cyanobacteria, 12 Chlorophyta, 4 Heterokontophyta and 2 Rhodophyta. Microscopic algae (exclusive of diatoms) associated with the macroalgae were also identified with 107 microalgal infrageneric taxa were recorded. There were 51 cyanobacteria, 53 Chlorophyta, 2 Heterokontophyta and 1 Rhodophyta. No taxa identified to species were collected from all three locations but a few were sampled in two locations. There were 35 new records for South America and an additional 46 new for Bolivia totaling 81 new records representing 77% of the taxa identified to species. This research suggests that the Andes have the potential for new taxa and many more new records.