Agata Z. Wojtal:

Species composition and distribution of diatom assemblages in spring waters from various geological formations in southern Poland

2013. 436 pages, 4 figures, 5 tables, 170 plates, 14x23cm, 810 g
Language: English

(Bibliotheca Diatomologica, Band 59)

ISBN 978-3-443-57050-7, paperback, price: 159.00 €

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diatomalgaespring wateragriculturePolandDiatomeenAlgeQuellwasserLandwirtschaftPolen


Synopsis top ↑

Algae are present in most fresh waters, including spring waters. Springs are the simplest of natural laboratories for studying interactions between a limited number of species and environmental factors, and they are refugia for a number of rare and declining species.

This book provides information on the ecology and distribution of 174 abundant and common diatoms in spring waters and on 30 species that are poorly known and rarely reported. More than 2000 micrographs (including over 1000 SEM images) illustrate morphological characteristics of the species. The new genus Crenotia and three new species (Eunotia chelmickii, E. oligotraphenta and Staurophora lanceolata) are described and five new combinations are introduced.

The species treated in this book were collected from 62 natural springs and five borehole-originated outflows characterized by heterogeneous geological, hydrological conditions; natural and affected by human impact (urbanization, agriculture). Diluted, calcium-rich but nutrient-poor, eutrophic, saline, carbonated or sulfide-rich springs were used as basis for the study. The key factors controlling species distribution in spring waters are thoroughly investigated and discussed.

This book is a valuable source of information for biologists interested in bio-geographic diatom distribution and in the ecological effects of human interference and natural conditions on diatom distribution.

Book Review: Algological Studies 145/146 top ↑

In the past springs were exploited only in terms of drinking water. Anyhow, this special biotope connecting ground and surface waters is species rich thanks to stable environmental conditions and mosaic structure of microbiotopes. It started to draw attention of scientists and since the 1990s geographically extended ecological investigations of spring water diatoms started to appear. The new book Species composition and distribution of diatom assemblages in spring waters from various geological formations in Southern Poland written by Agata Z. Wojtal is another valuable study of these unique biotopes.

The publication is providing information on ecology and distribution of diatoms from 62 natural springs and 5 borehole-originated outflows of various nature according to morphological spring type (helocrenes, rheocrenes, limnocrenes), geological formations (Paleogene granites, gneisses, Mesozoic sediments, Jurassic and Miocene sandstone and gypsum deposits), hydrological conditions and land use (natural parks versus agriculture and urban areas). Sampled were springs located in southern Poland in the area covering ca 14,500 km2, namely Tatra Mts, Beskid Sadecki, Roznowskie Foothills, Beskid Niski, Krakowsko-Czestochowska Upland and Nidzianska Basin. In terms of chemistry the types of springs include diluted, calcium-rich but nutrient poor, nutrient-rich, saline, carbonated or sulfide-rich water.

First part of the book keeps traditional structuring of scientific papers (Abstract, Introduction, Study area, Methods, Results and Discussion).

The main interest of the author is ecology of diatoms inhabiting springs. All sampling sites are well documented by chemical analyses of spring water, especially ionic composition. Performed were statistical analyses (PCA, DCA, CCA, UPGMA) using 224 species and varieties in order to reveal environmental patterns of diatom species distributions and assemblages. For selected 45 species were estimated environmental optima and tolerance ranges.

Next part brings information on 174 abundant and common diatom taxa and 30 poorly known and rarely reported species, all presented with the full name and authority and morphometric, ecological and distribution data from this study. All selected species are illustrated by more than 2000 micrographs (including over 1000 SEM images) in the attachment. Like in other volumes of Bibliotheca Diatomologica photo documentation takes most of the book (more than 60 % of pages).

The new genus Crenotia (with typus generis Achnanthidium thermale Rabenhorst) and three new species (Eunotia chelmickii, E. oligotraphenta and Staurophora lanceolata) are described and five new combinations proposed.

It is laudable that the author provides all 204 selected taxa by literature references, which clears us its taxonomic content. Anyhow, comments only sporadically involve discussions to taxonomic delimitation problems (as they are appointed to Craticula buderi / C. halophila on or outside of this part to Achnanthidium minutissimum / A. microcephalum complex). Such comments, based on experiences of authors from different regions would be very valuable contributions to the problem of diatom taxa delimitation mentioned at the end of Discussion.

Agata Wojtal elaborated great amount of diatom samples from all three types of microbiotops (epilithon, epibryon and epipelon if present). In each sample the author counted 300 up to 400 frustules. She worked so carefully that for each geographic unit she gives exact total valve count. Altogether 520 diatom taxa were identified. It is a pity that the book does not bring their complete list (Cited only 224 species used for statistical analyses.). The design of statistical analyses was well planned in order to obtain as much data on distribution and ecology of diatoms as possible. The list of used literature is also very praiseworthy.

The work of Agata Wojtal is an outstanding crenobiological study bringing valuable information on ecology and distribution of diverse, sensitive, and informative indicator organisms – diatoms and we highly recommend to diatomists to have this book in their libraries.

Markéta Fránková, Petr Marvan

Algological Studies 145/146

Bespr.: Zentralblatt für Geologie und Paläontologie Teil II Jg. 2014, Heft 1/2 top ↑

Vorliegendes Werk befasst sich mit der Diatomeenflora von 62 natürlichen Quellaustritten und 5 Grundwasserbohrungen in verschiedenen Regionen im Süden Polens. Diese Quellen und Bohrungen liegen in Regionen, deren Untergrund – geologisch gesehen – große Unterschiede aufweist. Verfn. stellt das Untersuchungsgebiet und die unterschiedlichen geologischen, hydrologischen Bedingungen, aber auch die anthropogenen Einfl üsse der einzelnen Quellen und Bohrungen, detailliert vor. Basierend auf diesen Grundlagen und den taxonomischen Ergebnissen analysiert und diskutiert sie, welche Faktoren die Diversität und die räumliche Verteilung der Diatomeen in diesen Quellen am stärksten beeinflussen.
Am Ende des Werkes liefert die Verfn. dann taxonomische und ökologische Informationen zu etwa 200 verschiedenen Taxa sowie zu deren Verbreitung. Sie stellt dabei folgende neue Taxa und Kombinationen auf: Crenotia gen. nov. (*Achnanthidium thermale Rabenhorst 1864); Eunotia chelmickii sp. nov., E. oligotraphenta sp. nov., Staurophora lanceolata sp. nov.; Crenotia angustior (Grunow) stat. nov. comb. nov., C. gibberula (Grunow) comb. nov., C. grimmei (Krasske) comb. nov., C. rumrichorum (Lange-Bertalot) stat. nov. comb. nov., C. thermalis (Rabenhorst) comb. nov.
Das Werk ist durch insgesamt 170 Tafeln mit mehr als 2.000 lichtmikroskopischen und rasterelektronenmikroskopischen Einzelbildern der einzelnen Taxa hervorragend bebildert. Den Abschluss des Werkes bildet ein sechsseitiger Index mit den Namen der einzelnen Diatomeentaxa. Dieser erleichtert das Auffinden einzelner Taxa erheblich.
Die vorliegende Arbeit stellt eine, nach Meinung des Rezensenten gelungene, klassische Monographie dar, die nicht nur wichtige und umfassende Informationen für Rezentbiologen liefert, sondern auch für Paläontologen, die sich mit dieser Algengruppe befassen.

Dieter Uhl, Frankfurt am Main

Zentralblatt für Geologie und Paläontologie Teil II Jg. 2014, Heft 1/2

Table of Contents top ↑

1 Abstract 6
2 Introduction 7
3 Study area 9

3.1 Inner Carpathians (Central Western Carpathians) 12
3.2 Outer Carpathians (Carpathian Flysch) 12
3.2.1 Beskid Sadecki, Beskid Niski 12
3.2.2 Roznowskie Foothills 21
3.3 Slasko-Krakowska Upland (Krakowsko-Czestochowska
Upland) 21
3.4 Malopolska Upland (Nidzianska Basin) 22
4 Methods 22
4.1 Collection and preparation of material 23
4.2 Identification of diatoms 24
4.3 Data analysis 25
5 Results 28
5.1 Environmental variables 28
5.1.1 Summary of spring characteristics for geographic units 29
5.1.2 Diatom assemblages in geographic units 36
5.2 Numerical analysis 41
5.2.1 Cluster analysis 41
5.2.2 Ordination results 44
5.2.3 Estimation of environmental optima and tolerance ranges for
45 diatom species 50
5.3 Species of special interest – species complexes, indicator
species, rare taxa, geographic elements 54
6 Discussion 55
7 Taxonomy, ecology and distribution 72
8 Acknowledgments 140
9 References 141
10 Plates 157
11 Index of diatom names 431