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Chrysophytes are a diverse and often abundant group of primarily freshwater algae that are characterized by the endogenous formation of siliceous cysts or stomatocysts (also called statospores or statocysts). Cyst morphology is highly variable, but believed to be species-specific. Cysts have continued to receive attention from phycologists and especially paleoecologists, who use these indicators for assessments of environmental change.
In this volume, we have compiled descriptions, using both scanning electron and light microscopy, as well as line drawings, for 176 new cyst descriptions. In combination with the 155 morphotypes described in the first volume of the Atlas of Chrysophycean Cysts (Duff et al., 1995), we believe that most of the common stomatocysts found in north temperate freshwaters have now been described.
This Atlas attempts to dispel some of the mystery surrounding stomatocysts, to facilitate the accurate identification of individual cyst morphotypes, and to encourage other workers to begin using these important indicators of environmental change. The terminology is outlined in detail. This is followed by detailed descriptions of cyst morphotypes, which continues from work completed in the first Atlas. Any available biogeographical and ecological information is also provided.
We believe this Atlas will be useful to paleoecologists who wish to include stomatocysts in their studies. We also expect this book will be used by researchers working with living chrysophytes, and those interested in the morphology and ultrastructure of cyst morphotypes. Hopefully these descriptions will further accelerate the continued effort to link cyst morphotypes to the algae that produce them.
About the Author
John P. Smol is a professor in the Biology Department at Queen's University (Canada), with a cross-appointment at the School of Environmental Studies. He co-directs the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL). Professor Smol is co-editor of the Journal of Paleolimnology and holds the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change.