Diatom Taxonomy, Ultrastructure and Ecology: Modern Methods and Timeless Questions

A tribute to Eugene F. Stoermer

Ed.: J.P. Kociolek; E.C. Theriot; R.J. Stevenson

2009. XV, 323 pages, 369 figures, 28 tables, 47 plates, 17x24cm, 780 g
Language: English

(Nova Hedwigia, Beihefte, Beih. 135)

ISBN 978-3-443-51057-2, paperback, price: 139.00 €

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Synopsis top ↑

This book presents twenty peer-reviewed contributions delineating the full breadth of current diatom-related research in the Earth, atmospheric and biological sciences.
The wide topical range of contributions to this volume spans from the use of diatoms in Quaternary stratigraphy over the influence of anthropogenic factors on diatom species composition, bioassessement of streams by means of diatom-based indices, paleoclimatic studies with diatoms, molecular studies, diatoms in extreme environments to a number of more classical studies of diatom systematics and taxonomy in a wide variety of environments.
The contributions besides reflecting the wide range of expertise are also characterized by their worldwide authorship, both by established scientists and persons just beginning their careers and students of diatom research.
The volume is dedicated to Dr. Eugene F. Stoermer, who has worked with most of the contributors to this volume, for his life-long scientific work on a variety of topics, the common thread of which has always been diatoms.

Review: Nova Hedwigia vol. 90 1-2 (2010) top ↑

This special issue of Nova Hedwigia Beihefte is dedicated to Prof. Eugene F. Stoermer on the occasion of his retirement, for his distinguished career in the field of diatomology.

After a preface by the editors, followed by a list (unfortunately incomplete) of the taxa named in honour of E.F.Stoermer, some of them proposed in the present volume, the book includes a table of contents, a tribute to Prof. Stoermer by Norman Andresen, followed by a list of his graduated students and the 16 original contributions covering diverse fields of the study of diatoms which make the bulk of the volume.

Two of these contributions deal with fossil diatoms and their use in biostratigraphy and paleolimnology, respectively. Three papers are mainly ecologically oriented, towards the response of diatoms to environmental factors, natural or anthropogenic, their use for stream bioassessment in diatom-based indices or their behaviour in extremely acidic environments. Among the other fields also touched on, are the elaboration of mathematical methods (quantitative shape analysis) in the taxonomy of Fragilariforma taxa, the use of molecular tools for the assessment of taxonomic composition of benthic algal communities and the induction of resting spores in Craticula cuspidata.

More than the half of the volume (196 pp. and 8 papers) is devoted to diatom taxonomy. In a paper on Colliculoamphora, Williams & Reid make a plea for the morphological species concept and for the recognition of species as taxa "diagnosable by a unique combination of character states". Thus, they fear that, owing to the current trends in taxonomy, "the entire descriptive taxonomic enterprise is encouraged to decline to zero". However, this decline is not obvious in the present volume since many new taxa are here described on classical morphological characters: 38 new species, one new forma, one new name and two new combinations - which would have warranted the inclusion of a complete list at the end of the volume. The new taxa belong to the genera Colliculoamphora (6 species), Encyonema (1), Encyonopsis (2), Eunotia (3), Frustulia (1), Gomphonema (5), Gomphosphenia (1), Navicula (14) and Pinnularia (5). Five new species are dedicated to Gene Stoermer: Frustulia stoermeri, Navicula genestoermeri, Colliculoamphora stoermeri, Encyonopsis stoermeri and Gomphosphenia stoermeri, the last three being omitted from the list on page v. From a geographical point of view, most of the diatoms treated in this volume originate from the U.S.A. but some of the studies also concern other countries such as Canada, Mexico, Mongolia, Panama, or have a wider geographical scope. All new taxa are valid, with designation of holotype, illustrations and Latin descriptions. Even though in some cases the Latin is rather poor, it is generally understandable but a few of the epithets chosen for new taxa need some corrections to agree with the rules of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN): Encyonema panamaensis should read E. panamaense since Encyonema is neuter [art. 62.1 (c)]; Colliculoamphora stoermerii shoud read C. stoermeri [art. 60.11; rec. 60C.1 (a)]; C. edgarenis looks somewhat peculiar, the code would ask for C. edgariana or C. edgarii but one can wonder whether art 60.11 may apply in this case, the termination "enis" being different from those cited in this article.

The illustrations are abundant and generally of good quality, including SEM as well as LM photographs but, in a few cases, some of the latter seem rather poor, especially on p. 31 where the figures are too light.

The book will be of interest to all diatomists and especially to those interested in the systematics, taxonomy and ultrastructure of freshwater diatoms from North America and other places all over the world.

P. COMPÈRE, Meise, Belgium

Nova Hedwigia vol. 90 1-2 (2010)

Review: Journal of the North Carolina Academy of Science, 126(2), 2010 top ↑

Forty-four authors present information on the ecology, systematics, taxonomy and ultrastructure of diatoms in 16 research papers collected into a single volume in celebration of the distinguished career of Dr. Eugene Stoermer. This fascinating compendium of eclectic papers contributed by Dr. Stoermer’s contemporaries, former students, and “academic grandchildren” appropriately reflects his varied interests and accomplishments during a long career dedicated to the study of diatoms and the phytoplankton of large lake ecosystems. This volume contains both basic research papers focusing on the ultrastructure, molecular biology, and ecology of diatoms as well as applied research papers that examine the role of diatoms as tools in water quality assessment, biostratigraphy, biogeography, and paleolimnology. The work begins with a personal tribute describing Dr. Stoermer’s scientific career and novel contributions to the field of diatom research. The first contributed paper in this volume highlights the use of a landscape approach to understand how ecological processes operating at multiple spatial and temporal scales determine diatom community composition in Michigan streams. Landscape ecology methodology represents an important recent tool in understanding how natural and anthropogenic environmental features affect the diversity and stability of diatom communities (Yangdoon et al. 2000, Fore and Graf 2002).

As might be expected in a volume dedicated to one of the first researchers to use electron microscopy to study diatom ultrastructure (Stoermer et al. 1964, Stoermer and Pankratz 1964), beautiful images abound within the pages of this volume. The light microscope and SEM images contained within 12 of these papers illustrate important cytostructure and frustule features of diatoms and add to the visual appeal of this publication. The Thomas et al. paper is a comprehensive study of the ultrastructure, taxonomy, and distribution of Gomphonemoid diatoms from the Great Smoky Mountains National Parkand includes 6 new species descriptions. The Witkowski et al. paper describes the diatom flora of San Francisco Bay including 11 new species of Navicula. Although I typically find formal species descriptions complete with type locality, holotype information and nomenclatural etymology to be dry reading, the high resolution and illustrative value of the accompanying images contained in these papers are incredible and more than make up for the formulaic limitations of formal species descriptions.

The scope of several of the papers extends beyond that typically found in research papers and reflect Dr. Stoermer’s tendency to embrace new approaches and methods to better elucidate our understanding of diatom taxonomy. The Kingston and Pappas paper includes a critical discussion of the role of developmental considerations (generational size diminution) on the use of shape analysis in diatom species determinations as well as the biological meaning of changing shape coefficients. This paper also presents a cogent description of the use of multivariate statistical procedures (e.g., principle components analysis, ordination, and discriminant analysis) in diatom taxonomy and species identification. The Williams and Reid paper describing a new species of Colliculoamphora includes a fascinating review and well-written critique of species concepts in general as well as their specific application to the diatoms. And finally, the Windbrough et al. paper on the diatoms of a geographically isolated, intermontane desert valley in México contains a well-documented and comprehensive discussion of paleoclimatic changes on diatom adaptive radiation, endemism and Lazurus species in the Chihuahuan Desert.

The only feature that detracts from the overall value of this publication is the occasional appearance of minor editorial oversights such as the omission of a necessary preposition or an incorrect reference that can be found at the beginning and end of this volume. Given the scope of this work and the excellence of the assembled papers, these infrequent errors are easily forgiven. This volume would be an invaluable addition to the library of anyone fascinated by the diversity, ecology, and utility of the diatoms.

Michael B. Kingston, Biology Department and Environmental Studies Department, Elon University

Journal of the North Carolina Academy of Science, 126(2), 2010, p. 67

Table of Contents top ↑

Preface V
Andresen, N.: Eugene F. Stoermer: A Personal Tribute IX
Stevenson, J. R., Novoveska, L., Rising, C. M. & Wiley, M. J.:
Comparing responses of diatom species composition to natural and
anthropogenic factors in streams of glaciated ecoregions (With 1
figure and 5 tables) 1
VanLandingham, S. L.: Use of biostratigraphy in determining a minimum
(Sangamonian = 80,000–ca. 220,000 yr. BP) and a maximum (Illionoian =
ca. 220,000–430,000 yr. BP) age for the Hueyatlaco artifacts, Puebla,
Mexico) (With 6 figures, 2 plates and 2 tables) 15
Lavoie, I., Hamilton, P. B., Wang, Y.-K., Dillon, P. J. & Campeau, S.:
A comparison of stream bioassessment in Québec (Canada) using six
European and North American diatom-based indices (With 7 figures and 3
tables) 37
Donar, C., Stoermer, E. F. & Brenner, M.: The Holocene paleolimnology
of Lake Apopka, Florida (With 7 figures and 3 tables) 57
Hobbs, W. O., Wolfe, A. P., Inskeep, W. P., Amskold, L. & Konhauser,
K. O.: Epipelic diatoms from an extreme acid environment: Beowulf
Spring, Yellowstone National Park, U.S.A. (With 3 figures and 2
tables) 71
Schmid, A.-M. M.: Induction of resting-spores in the pennate diatom
Navicula (Craticula) cuspidata by uncoupling of the cell and plastid
cycles (With 5 plates) 85
Kingston, J. C. & Pappas, J. L.: Quantitative shape analysis as a
diagnostic and prescriptive tool in determining Fragilariforma
(Bacillariophyta) taxon status (With 3 figures and 1 table) 103
Manoylov, K. M., Marsh, T. & Stevenson, R. J.: Testing molecular tools
for assessment of taxonomic composition of a benthic algal community
(With 5 figures, 2 plates and 5 tables) 121
Lange-Bertalot, H. & Metzeltin, D.: A dystrophic mountain lake in
Panama – Hot spot of new and rare neotropical diatoms (With 17 plates)
Bahls, L., Potapova, M., Fallu, M.-A. & Pienitz, R.: Aulacoseira
canadensis and Aulacoseira crassipunctata (Bacillariophyta) in North
America (With 44 figures) 167
Williams, D. M. & Reid, G.: New species in the genus Colliculoamphora
Williams & Reid (Bacillariophyceae) with Commentary on species
concepts in diatom taxonomy (With 6 plates and 1 table) 185
Thomas, E. W., Kociolek, J. P., Lowe, R. L. & Johansen, J. R.:
Taxonomy, ultrastructure and distribution of Gomphonemoid diatoms
(Bacillariophyceae) from Great Smoky Mountains National Park (U.S.A.)
(With 15 plates, 1 table and 1 appendix) 201
Edlund, M. B. & Soninkhishig, N.: The Navicula reinhardtii species
flock (Bacillariophyceae) in ancient Lake Hövsgöl, Mongolia:
description of four taxa (With 68 figures and 1 table) 239
Winsborough, B.M., Theriot, E. & Czarnecki, D.B.: Diatoms on a continental
"island": Lazarus species, marine disjuncts and other endemic diatoms
of the Cuatro Ciénegas basin, Coahuila, México (With 29 figures and 2 tables)
Theriot, E.C. & Jones, B.: The morphology, physiology and taxonomy of two
small Stephanodiscus species in Yellowstone Lake and Jackson Lake, Wyoming,
USA (With 53 figures and 1 table) 275
Witkowski, A., Lange-Bertalot, H., Kociolek, J.P. & Bak, M.: Diatom flora
of San Francisco Bay and vicinity. I. new species in the genus Navicula Bory
sensu stricto (With 143 figures and 1 table) 295