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Modern conophyton‐like microbial mats discovered in Lake Vanda, Antarctica

Modern conophyton‐like microbial mats discovered in Lake Vanda, Antarctica Abstract Lake Vanda is a cold nonturbulent, perennially ice‐covered lake in the valleys of southern Victoria Land, Antarctica. Observations made and samples collected under the 3.5 m ice in 1980 by SCUBA divers reveal that an extensive benthic microbial mat dominated by the filamentous blue‐green algae (cyanobacteria) Phormidium frigidum and Lyngbya martensiana is growing there. As is the case in other Antarctic lakes investigated by us thus far, the mat in Lake Vanda traps and binds sediment and precipitates calcite and is undisturbed by grazers and burrowers. Therefore, stromatolitic laminae are being generated. Unlike the other Antarctic lakes investigated in this region, Lake Vanda has (a) an ice cover and water that transmits significantly more light; (b) an ice cover that is permeable to gases and aeolian sediment; (c) no zone of lift‐off mat where photosynthetically generated oxygen would render the mat buoyant and cause it to separate from the substrate and float away; and (d) mat that has a distinctive pinnacle macrostructure. Although the laminae being laid down by the Lake Vanda mat do not retain the cone and ridge morphology of the living mat, the pinnacle macrostructure of the mat is similar to the Precambrian Conophyton stromatolites as well as microbial structures forming in Yellowstone hot springs, freshwater marshes in the Bahamas, and hypersaline intertidal mats in Baja California, Mexico, and Shark Bay, Australia. This suggests (a) Conophyton‐like structures similar to those abundant during the Precambrian can form under widely varying environmental conditions and (b) high latitudes should not be overlooked as sites of formation of ancient stromatolites. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Geomicrobiology Journal Taylor & Francis

Modern conophyton‐like microbial mats discovered in Lake Vanda, Antarctica

Modern conophyton‐like microbial mats discovered in Lake Vanda, Antarctica

Geomicrobiology Journal , Volume 3 (1): 16 – Jan 1, 1983

Abstract

Abstract Lake Vanda is a cold nonturbulent, perennially ice‐covered lake in the valleys of southern Victoria Land, Antarctica. Observations made and samples collected under the 3.5 m ice in 1980 by SCUBA divers reveal that an extensive benthic microbial mat dominated by the filamentous blue‐green algae (cyanobacteria) Phormidium frigidum and Lyngbya martensiana is growing there. As is the case in other Antarctic lakes investigated by us thus far, the mat in Lake Vanda traps and binds sediment and precipitates calcite and is undisturbed by grazers and burrowers. Therefore, stromatolitic laminae are being generated. Unlike the other Antarctic lakes investigated in this region, Lake Vanda has (a) an ice cover and water that transmits significantly more light; (b) an ice cover that is permeable to gases and aeolian sediment; (c) no zone of lift‐off mat where photosynthetically generated oxygen would render the mat buoyant and cause it to separate from the substrate and float away; and (d) mat that has a distinctive pinnacle macrostructure. Although the laminae being laid down by the Lake Vanda mat do not retain the cone and ridge morphology of the living mat, the pinnacle macrostructure of the mat is similar to the Precambrian Conophyton stromatolites as well as microbial structures forming in Yellowstone hot springs, freshwater marshes in the Bahamas, and hypersaline intertidal mats in Baja California, Mexico, and Shark Bay, Australia. This suggests (a) Conophyton‐like structures similar to those abundant during the Precambrian can form under widely varying environmental conditions and (b) high latitudes should not be overlooked as sites of formation of ancient stromatolites.

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References (20)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1521-0529
eISSN
0149-0451
DOI
10.1080/01490458309377782
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Lake Vanda is a cold nonturbulent, perennially ice‐covered lake in the valleys of southern Victoria Land, Antarctica. Observations made and samples collected under the 3.5 m ice in 1980 by SCUBA divers reveal that an extensive benthic microbial mat dominated by the filamentous blue‐green algae (cyanobacteria) Phormidium frigidum and Lyngbya martensiana is growing there. As is the case in other Antarctic lakes investigated by us thus far, the mat in Lake Vanda traps and binds sediment and precipitates calcite and is undisturbed by grazers and burrowers. Therefore, stromatolitic laminae are being generated. Unlike the other Antarctic lakes investigated in this region, Lake Vanda has (a) an ice cover and water that transmits significantly more light; (b) an ice cover that is permeable to gases and aeolian sediment; (c) no zone of lift‐off mat where photosynthetically generated oxygen would render the mat buoyant and cause it to separate from the substrate and float away; and (d) mat that has a distinctive pinnacle macrostructure. Although the laminae being laid down by the Lake Vanda mat do not retain the cone and ridge morphology of the living mat, the pinnacle macrostructure of the mat is similar to the Precambrian Conophyton stromatolites as well as microbial structures forming in Yellowstone hot springs, freshwater marshes in the Bahamas, and hypersaline intertidal mats in Baja California, Mexico, and Shark Bay, Australia. This suggests (a) Conophyton‐like structures similar to those abundant during the Precambrian can form under widely varying environmental conditions and (b) high latitudes should not be overlooked as sites of formation of ancient stromatolites.

Journal

Geomicrobiology JournalTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 1, 1983

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